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Home / Blog / Mastering the Skill of Moving Off: A Guide to POM and MSPSL for your Intensive Driving Course

11 / 03 / 24

Mastering the Skill of Moving Off: A Guide to POM and MSPSL for your Intensive Driving Course

Moving off safely from the side of the road is a fundamental skill that every learner driver must master. It’s not just about turning the wheel and stepping on the accelerator; it involves a systematic approach that ensures safety for you, your passengers, and other road users. This is where the POM (Prepare, Observe, Move) routine and the MSPSL (Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed, Look) procedure come into play. Together, they provide a comprehensive guide to moving off with confidence and caution. Your National Intensive driving instructor will ensure you are consistently applying these routines by the time you reach level 5 on the DVSA learning syllabus and are ready to sit and pass your driving test!

Understanding POM (Prepare, Observe, Move)

Prepare: The first step is all about getting your vehicle ready to move. This involves checking that the handbrake is engaged and the gear is in neutral before starting the engine (cockpit drill). Once the engine is running, the clutch goes down then select the appropriate gear (usually first gear for moving off), and gently press down on the accelerator to increase the engine’s revs slightly. Then, find the clutch’s biting point—a slight lift of the clutch pedal until you feel the car is ready to move. This preparation ensures that your vehicle can move off smoothly as soon as it is safe to do so. Then you keep your feet still!

Observe: Safety is paramount, and observation is key to ensuring it. This step requires you to check all around the vehicle for any potential hazards. Start by checking your mirrors for any approaching traffic or pedestrians. Don’t forget to look over your shoulder to check your blind spots, an area not covered by your mirrors. This is crucial for spotting cyclists or motorcyclists who might be approaching.

Move: With the preparation complete and after ensuring it’s safe to proceed, it’s time to move off. Release the handbrake while simultaneously gently releasing the clutch as the car rolls slowly forwards and pressing the accelerator to achieve a nice and gentle rev. Do this smoothly to avoid stalling or jerking the car. As the car begins to move, steer gently into the correct position on the road and continue to observe your surroundings for any changes.

Integrating MSPSL (Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed, Look)

While POM gives you the foundation, integrating it with MSPSL ensures a thorough and safe approach to moving off:

  • Mirror: Check your rear-view and side mirrors to understand the position and speed of other road users. This helps in making informed decisions about when it’s safe to move off.
  • Signal: If necessary, signal your intention to move off to other road users. This is especially important in situations where your actions could affect them, such as on busy streets or in areas with many pedestrians.
  • Position: Ensure your vehicle is correctly positioned on the road for moving off. This could mean adjusting your position slightly if you are parked at an angle or close to an obstruction.
  • Speed: Gradually increase your speed to match the flow of traffic, ensuring that your acceleration is smooth and controlled.
  • Look: Continuously scan your environment as you move off. This includes checking mirrors, looking at the road ahead, and being mindful of any potential hazards that might arise.

Conclusion

The POM and MSPSL routines are crucial for any learner driver to understand and practice. They encapsulate the essence of safe driving, focusing on preparation, observation, and the methodical execution of moving off. By mastering these routines together with your National Intensive ADI, you will not only ensure you pass your driving test, but also ensure the safety and comfort of your driving experience for years to come!

 

Remember, safe driving starts with the basics, and these routines lay the foundation for a lifetime of responsible road use.

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