Routines: Moving Off And Stopping

Now that you´re familiar with the controls of the car it´s time for the scary bit – driving it! To move off and stop we use a system, if we do things in a certain order then moving off and stopping will be smooth and easy.


Moving off

To move off we use a routine called POM or POSH which stands for Preparation, Observation, Manoeuvre or Preparation, Observation, Signal, Handbrake. Moving off is the most dangerous part of driving as potentially you are moving into a stream of traffic and so it is important we do things in a certain order to avoid causing any problems.


The first thing we need to do is get the car ready to move off. We start by pressing the clutch down to the floor with our left foot and selecting first gear by pushing the gear shaft across to the left and up to engage. Then slowly bring your left foot up on the clutch until you hear / feel the engine sound of the car change to what is known as the biting point. Keeping your left foot still, with your right foot apply a bit of pressure to the gas pedal, which is the pedal on the right, aiming to get the revs of the engine to settle around the 1 rev mark. The car is now ready to move off.


Before we set off we need to make sure it´s safe to move and to do that we need to do several checks around the car. We need to look from our least dangerous area and finish by looking in the most dangerous area, the direction we are heading in. If we´re parked on the left side of the road and wanted to move forwards then we would start our observations over our left shoulder through the rear passenger window. This shows us what is happening in our blind spot area, an area not shown in any of our mirrors, and will show us anything that may be moving off a driveway or walking behind the car. From there, we would then check our left wing mirror, to see if anything or anyone is on the left hand side of the car. We then look into our rear mirror to see what is directly behind us and then look into our right wing mirror to see if anything is overtaking us. We then look over our right shoulder to view our right blind spot area. This will show us if anything is coming out of a junction on the right perhaps or off a driveway, again which cannot be seen through any of the mirrors. From there we look back into the rear view mirror as the situation may now have changed and finally we look into the direction we are heading – ahead.

If we were reversing or parked on the right hand side of the road moving ahead then we would do the above observation checks but the opposite way round finishing by looking through the rear window not the front windscreen.

Move (Signal and Handbrake)

Now that we have checked that it is safe and the car is prepared, we are ready to go. Once we have done our checks we need to decide whether a signal is necessary or not. A signal is for the benefit of any road user including pedestrians, cars and cyclists. If, during your observations, you have noticed a road user it is best to wait until they have passed and then signal your intentions to move out by putting on a right signal. If you signal before they have reached you then the road user may be confused as to your intentions and may not know whether you intend to pull out in front of them or not. In a quiet area you may not need to signal at all but on busy roads and at busy times it is probably best to signal at all times.
The last thing to do is to release the handbrake to move away. Once you have released the handbrake you would then bring the clutch up a little higher so that the car begins to move, apply a bit more gas so that the car makes more progress and start to steer the car to a normal driving position.


When stopping the car we need to be mindful of a couple of things. Firstly we need to stop somewhere which is safe, convenient and legal, so we should not be parking anywhere that would block a driveway, obstruct a junction for example. We should also not stop on double yellow lines, in bus stops and so on. We also need to understand the width of the car so it may be worth finding a reference point out of your windscreen (maybe a point on the windscreen wiper) that you can use to help you judge where the kerb is in relation to the car. You know that when you are parking up you do not want to see the kerb any further to the right of this reference point as that would suggest that you are too close to the kerb.

To stop the car we use a routine called MSM, which stands for Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre. If we are parking on the left we would first check our centre and left wing mirrors to see which road users are in the area. We would then let them know our intention to park by putting on a left signal. Finally we would start the manoeuvre of bringing the car to a stop by the kerb. To do this firstly take your foot off the gas pedal and start to gently press the brake pedal. Then begin to steer the car closer to the kerb, straightening the car when you are the required distance from the kerb you need to be using your reference point from above. Finally continue to brake and when the speed of the car has dropped to below 10mph but before it reaches zero press the clutch pedal down to the floor. Once the car has come to a complete stop apply the handbrake, select neutral gear and cancel the signal.

Moving off and Stopping exercise
Getting a car moving is like baking a cake. You´ve got all the right ingredients, but if you add them in the wrong order, it´s a receipe for disaster! The following exercise will hopefully help to jog your memory of the controls of the car and the order in which you need to use them to get the car to move off and then stopping it.

Fill in the missing words, by dragging them into the gaps. When you have finished, press submit and see if you can get our car moving. If not, any wrong answers will be highlighted in red, so have another think about the process and correct the errors. If you need to, you can always drop the words into the bin, to clear them away.

Using the put the pedal down to the floor
Using the push the into
Bring the up to
Using the press the pedal to set the .

Keeping the feet steady the next thing we need to do is
We need to check from our dangerous area to our dangerous area. So if we are parked on the left hand side of the road and are moving ahead we look from to and if we are parked on the right or are reversing we look from to

We must make sure that we have checked our area too, which is an area not covered by our

During our if we see any we must wait until they have passed and then continue

The next thing we need to do is . If we are parked on the left hand side of the road we need to put on a and if we are parked on the right we need to put on a
If there are in the area we must wait unil they have passed before we , otherwise they may be confused as to our intentions.

The final thing to do is to lower the , we are now ready to

Next we bring the pedal up and apply a bit more pressure to the pedal to get the car up to

With our 2 hands on the we need to adopt our driving position of from the kerb.
To park up we need to firstly find somewhere , and to stop. We should not block people´s or stop close to a or park in a for example

Then we need to check our to assess if any are in the area. If we are parking on the left we would check our and mirrors and if we were parking on the right we would check our and mirrors
If there are any in the area we would then to let them know our intentions. If we are parking on the left we would give a and if we are parking on right we would give a .
If we are parking on the right we also need to make sure it is safe to cross the traffic flow

Next we need to ease off our pedal and with our start to gently press the pedal
Using the we now need to steer the car to the required position close to and parallel to the kerb.

To stop the car we need to continue using the pedal and just before the car comes to a stop we need to press the pedal down to the floor, using our , to stop the from stalling.
When the car has stopped we need to apply the , select and cancel the . We can now take our feet off the and the pedals

Finally you can breathe again knowing that you´ve moved the car off and stopped perfectly!

1 metre 1st Gear 3 metres 5 metres Accelerator Biting Point; Blindspot Brake Bus Stop Centre Children Clutch Convenient Driveways Engine Gas Gear Lever Handbrake Junction Least Left Left Foot Left Hand Left Mirror Left Signal Legal; Mirrors Most Move off Motorists Neutral Gear Observations Pedestrians Reverse Gear Reversing Right Right Foot Right Hand Right Mirror Right Signal Road Users Safe Signal Speed Steering Wheel



Stopping exercise
When stopping your car, remember the acronym SCALP. Which stands for Safe, Convenient And Legal Place. On the 3 diagrams below, drag the blue car to a suitable place to park.

Stopping Exercies 1
Blue Car

Have a look at this diagram. Where can this blue car park now? Simply drag and drop the car to complete the exercise.

Stopping Exercies 2
Blue Car

One final one street to look at. Where can this car park?

Stopping Exercies 3
Blue Car