Pass Plus

Pass Plus is an established training course aimed at new drivers and was designed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) with the help of insurers and the driving instruction industry.

pass_plus-2Statistics show that new drivers are more likely to have an accident in the first two years of driving than at any other time in their driving career. Pass Plus is not a driving test but a 6 hour course (minimum) that will improve your driving skills and make you a safer driver.  Pass Plus will benefit you by enabling you to gain quality driving experience, helping improve your driving skills, teaching a more positive driving style which is both enjoyable and safe, as well as reducing the risk of you being involved in an accident.  It can also lead to insurance discounts.

You can complete the Pass Plus course at any time but ideally you should take it in your first year of driving after passing your driving test.

Pass Plus consists of six modules about driving in different conditions:

Driving around a town

The first module has two parts. It begins with an introduction to Pass Plus,with an explanation of how Pass Plus works and what to expect.  This will cover the course aims and the skills and knowledge to be covered.

The second part is a practical session covering the different features of driving in a town, such as complex junctions, multi-lane junctions, unusual roundabouts as well as trams, bus and cycle lanes.

You’ll focus on:

  • the importance of observation, judgement and awareness
  • maintaining eye contact
  • consideration for vulnerable road users
  • being defensive but not over cautious
  • spatial awareness and clearance to others
  • typical features of urban roads

All weather driving

This module will be covered as much as possible in a practical session. You’ll focus on correct speed, safe stopping distances, plus seeing and being seen in:

  • rain
  • sleet, snow and ice
  • mist and fog
  • bright sunshine

You’ll also look at skidding, and:

  • the cause of skids
  • skid prevention
  • correcting slow-speed skids
  • braking on poor surfaces
  • aquaplaning
  • use of ABS

Driving in the countryside

This module looks at the main differences between town and country driving:

  • observing the road ahead
  • making safe progress
  • sharp bends, hills, uneven roads and dead ground
  • keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead
  • safe overtaking

We will focus on:

  • consideration for pedestrians on roads with no pavements
  • horse riders
  • use of the horn
  • farm entrances
  • slow moving vehicles
  • livestock
  • road surfaces – i.e. mud on the road, potholes etc
  • use of passing places

Driving at night

This covers the important parts of driving at night, dawn and dusk. You’ll learn about:

  • the importance of using headlights correctly
  • knowing when to use the lights and why
  • legal aspects of fog lights
  • adjusting to the dark
  • judging speed and distance
  • the correct use of lights and keeping them clean
  • defensive driving due to the dazzle effect
  • awareness of other road users which maybe more difficult to spot
  • parking

Driving on dual carriageways

Dual carriageways are high speed roads where the two carriageways are separated by a central reservation. You will need to have particular skills, including:

  • effective observation, use of your mirrors, blind spots, scanning techniques
  • forward planning
  • separation distances
  • how to join and leave a dual carriageway safely
  • overtaking, positioning and lane discipline
  • the correct use of speed

Driving on motorways

The topics covered include:

  • differences between dual carriageways and motorways
  • journey planning
  • joining and leaving a motorway safely
  • safe speeds in different circumstances
  • effective observation and reaction to other road users
  • signs, signals and markings
  • lane discipline
  • safe lane-changing and overtaking
  • courtesy to other road users
  • motorway fatigue
  • breakdown procedures
  • dealing with debris on the carriageway
  • dealing with crosswinds
Source: direct.gov.uk