Sunday, 4 August 2013


This is where you are introduced to the routine that will dominate how you drive; Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre, otherwise known as MSM. However, before you do that, you need to decide where you are going to stop. There are three factors to consider. Firstly, is it safe? For example, would the place you are considering stopping at restrict anybody’s vision, put them in any danger or allow them to see you and what is coming the other way. Secondly, is it legal? Look for any signs or markings which tell you that you are not allowed to park there. Lastly, is it convenient? Make sure you are not blocking anyone’s path by parking across a driveway or parking directly opposite another vehicle on the other side of the road.

Having chosen somewhere that is safe, legal and convenient, it is then time for the MSM routine.

Mirror – check the inside and left mirrors for speed and position of following traffic

Signal – if there is anyone around, including ahead of you, that would benefit from a signal, indicate left. If there is nobody around who would benefit from a signal, there is no need for one.

Manoeuvre – start to break gently and move towards the kerb steadily. Just before the car stops, press the clutch all the way down. When you have stopped, put on the handbrake, go into neutral and cancel the signal (if necessary) before taking your feet of the pedals so that the car doesn’t roll or stall. When you first start to practice stopping, the car may only be moving very slowly and still be in first gear. If so, it is acceptable to put the clutch down before braking.

N.B. When the clutch is down, the car is not under full control so the clutch should not be down unless it is necessary.

Common Faults

It is easy to check put the clutch down too early. By doing this, you will lose the effect of engine braking and the car will travel further than you want it to. If you struggle to judge where the kerb is, it may help to use the left mirror as you move towards the kerb. Alternatively, find a reference point at the front of the car when it is in a good position and look for this point each time you stop by the kerb.