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Richard Mountain Driving School

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Fully qualified Approved Driving Instructor with over 18 years experience.

Catering for all levels of ability, from complete beginner to Pass Plus.

PASS PLUS

Newly qualified drivers are at a far greater risk on the roads due to their inexperience. Statistics show that there is a higher than average risk of death and injury to young drivers and their passengers.

                                                                                                                                                   

(Source: National Travel Survey, Department for Transport).

 

The Pass Plus course is aimed at new drivers, through a sylabus of different topics to help newly qualified drivers broaden their experience on differing types of roads, some of which they may not have used during their lessons and so developing their skills and knowledge. The course looks at giving the pupils a safer attitude whilst driving, improving the pupils anticipation and dealing less with the physical control of the car (unlike lessons prior to the test) but working more on the mental aspects of thinking and planning well ahead.

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The instructors role within the pass plus course is to encourage a safe and positive approach to driving responsibly, to help the pupil anticipate problems earlier, to ensure that the pupil uses care and consideration when dealing with hazards and helping pupils to be patient when dealing with other road users.

 

There is NO TEST on the Pass Plus course, the instructor will evaluate the pupils performance throughout the course, areas of weakness will be nurtured and developed to improve over the 6 hours. If there is a particular topic that the pupil can not get to grips with, the instructor will recommend that additional hours would be necessary to improve the pupils driving to bring them up to the standard required to achieve the Pass Plus certificate.

 

Any aditional hours needed to attain the required standard would depend on what work is required. In my personal experience, it is extremely rare that a pupil would need additional hours in order to pass the course.

 

The six sections of the Pass Pluss are:

  • Using  and improving  observations,  developing judgement to reduce unnecessary  hesitancy and  improved awareness of other road users by using visual scanning techniques.

 

  • Being considerate  towards more vunerable road users, such as cyclists, pedestrians and the young and old.

 

  • Using spacial awareness and thinking about clearance to others.   Such as safe stopping distances, forward planning and adequate clearance to obstacles.

 

  • Considering typical features of urban roads like multi-lane junctions, large roundabouts, bus and cycle lanes, gyratory systems, one way systems and road markings.

  • The  importance of  seeing and  being seen.  Knowing how  to clean  windscreens with wipers, demisters and correct use of different lights.

 

  • The  dangers of skidding,  dealing with and avoiding skidding,  how to stay as  safe as  possible in  the event of a skid. Tyre condition, correct pressures and their importance. Also looking at ABS systems and other ways of braking effectively.

 

  • The  use  of  speed  and  stopping  distance.  Using  the  correct  speed  for  the  conditions,  keeping   a safe separation distance, dealing with foggy conditions and driving in high winds.

  • Dealing with rural hazards such as road surfaces, narrow lanes and passing places, what is dead ground, gradients and their effect on the vehicle. Correct and effective use of the horn.

 

  • Making progress, when and where to safely overtake, the increased potential for overtaking manoeuvres and a safe following distance given the differing speed limits in the countryside.

 

  • Developing observational skills. Unexpected dangers such as pedestrians in the road, horses, slower moving vehicles such as tractors or other farming implements, mud on the road or even livestock being moved from field to field.

  • Understanding the importance of operating the lights correctly, legal aspects, avoiding dazzling others and the transition and effect at dusk and dawn.

 

  • Using correct speed and stopping distance by being able to stop within sight range and the ability to alter the speed to suit the road, weather and visibility.

 

  • Thinking about pedestrians and cyclists not dressed in reflective clothing. The difference and dangers between lit and unlit roads.

 

  • Dazzle and surface glare in wet conditions.

  • Practicing joining,leaving and turning onto and off slip roads. Turning right and correct use of the central reservation.

 

  • Forward planning further ahead, using correct lane discipline, keeping a safe separation distance, reacting to road signs and being aware of the correct speed limits.

 

  • Knowing when its safe and necessary to overtake. The use of M-S-M and using effective observations to deal safely with other road users in other lanes.

  • Practice using slip lanes to join and leave the motorway, assessment of traffic when joining and marker signs when exiting.

 

  • Forward planning whilst on the motorway, reacting to other road users, correct lane discipline, safe lane changing, awareness of junctions with joining traffic and also watching for and understanding road signs.

 

  • Knowing when its safe and necessary to overtake. The use of M-S-M and using effective observations to deal safely with other road users in other lanes.

 

  • Understanding breakdown procedure and dealing with them correctly. Use of emergency telephones.

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What is the Pass Plus Course?

1. Town Driving

2. All Weather Driving

3. Out of Town Driving & Rural Roads

4. Night Driving

6. Motorways

5. Dual Carriageways

The benefits of taking the course are that the newly qualified driver gains essential experience on new types of roads that may not have been used previously, they will also take a more responsible attitude towards how they drive and deal with others using the road. They will stay safer due to thinking more about how their actions directly affect the car and its reponse in poor conditions. It gives the new driver stronger driving skills and a better road knowledge in conditions they may never have driven in. Essentially, it also reduces the risk of the driver being involved in a road accident.

 

Another advantage of taking the Pass Plus course is that some insurance companies support and recognise the Pass Plus scheme and in doing so they offer better prices on car insurance for drivers who have completed the course, some of which could possibly offer a discount from the premium. To a newly qualified driver, insurance costs will hit their pockets hard, and quotes of £1000+ are common. So with the cost of the Pass Plus course being a little over £100 the course could easily pay for itself!

 

See the USEFUL LINKS page for a list of insurance companies who support the Pass Plus scheme.

 

See the PRICES page for the cost of the Pass Plus Course.

Benefits of Taking The Pass Plus Course

                                                                                                                               In 2007, 32 per cent of car driver deaths and 40 per cent of all car passenger deaths were people aged between 17 and 24.