Driving Lessons

Cowley’s School of Motoring

Moving Off and Stopping


Prepare, Observe, Move

We use the P.O.M routine to keep us safe when moving off.

We always prepare the car first, so that when we look around and decide to go, we can be moving immediately. If we looked around first and thought it was safe then the situation could have changed by the time we had got the car ready to go, which could be dangerous.


                    This is about getting the car ready to go, so that all we need to do is release the handbrake and we’re moving.

                    Assuming that we’ve already finished our cockpit drill and started the engine, the sequence in a manual car would be

                    – Clutch; press the clutch pedal all the way to the floor

                    – Gear; select the gear required, usually First

                    – Gas; add a small amount of gas to raise the engine speed slightly, listen for a gentle hum.

                    – Bite; bring the clutch up slowly until you feel it start to connect. You should feel the car slighty pull forward. Make small adjustments until you feel the right amount of pull.

                    – Handbrake Ready; hand on the handbrake, thumb on the button, but not pressed.


                    With the car ready to go, all you need to do is take off the handbrake and it’ll start moving, but first you need to check for danger.

                    Look in your mirrors, ahead and finishing with a right blind-spot check. 


– look in your mirrors for any vehicles approaching that may mean you shouldn’t move off or that you should signal to that you are moving off.

– check the road ahead for any reasons you can’t move off or that you need to signal for.

– blind-spot check over your right shoulder for pedestrians or cars coming out of driveways, side roads or from a parked position.


Once the car’s ready, and now you know it’s safe to move away, decide whether to signal or not, release the handbrake hold the clutch still and allow the clutch to do its job and bring the car up to the same speed as the engine. As the car starts to move lift the clutch a small amount to allow the car to start moving moving more. Once the car starts to increase in speed slowly release the clutch. 

You’ll most likely need to steer slightly away from the kerb for normal driving, then straighten up the car when you’ve reached a good position in the road for normal driving.


When moving off from the side of the road you should consider if it is necessary to signal. 

When deciding if a signal is necessary, consider these questions

– are there any vehicles who will be affected by me moving off?

– are there any pedestrians or cyclists that could be affected by me moving off?

Remember, if there are any vehicles who would have to change speed or direction if you pulled away then you’ll need to wait until after they’re gone for a safe gap.

Timing the signal is important in these situations as you wouldn’t want to mislead any vehicles or pedestrians.


When Stopping at the side of the road we will use the M.S.P.S.L routine.

Mirrors, Signal, Position, Speed, Look


Check your mirrors so you’re aware of the situation behind you before pulling over and how that might affect others.


Signal if there is anyone around that would benift. Time your siganl as not to confuse other road users, for example

– don’t signal driving past a junction as it may look like you are turning into the junction.

– don’t signal too early as other cars will be confused as to where you’re pulling over.

– don’t siganl too late and not give other road user enough warning that you are stopping.

-timing the siganl will depend on the speed you are driving when you decide to stop. (you can practice this with your instructor.)


Position the car so it’s next to the kerb. The ideal way to do this is to keep looking ahead and line yourself up with the road in front of you. Try to keep you eyes moving, if you stare in one place you may lose perspective of your angle or position.


Slow  the car down so you can get a better postion then come to a gentle stop.

1. Off gas

2. Gently brake to start then more firmly

3. Press clutch down just before the car stops

4. Ease the pressure off the brake just as the car stops.


Look all around for hazards, keep your eyes adjusting when trying to position the car. Look for a Safe Convienient and Legal place to park.

Some thing to consider,

  • Don’t park too close to other vehicles, in particular those displying blue badges or needed wheelchair access.  
  •  Check that emergancy can get past and you’re not blocking the road.
  •  Don’t park where it would be hazardous for others to pass, e.g bends, brow of the hill.
  •  Always male sure you’ve parked somewhere legal, e.g look out for parking restrictions, don’t park with 10 metres of a junction.


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