The Government’s Pass Plus scheme explained
Taking the Pass Plus test can help newly qualified drivers to gain more confidence on the road
The UK Government’s Pass Plus scheme is a road safety initiative created to help newly qualified drivers gain more confidence on the road.
Pass Plus instructors provide newly qualified drivers with extra training in areas of driving that may not have been covered in full during standard driving lessons and the actual test, such as night time driving and driving on the motorway.
This June will see for the first time learner drivers taking to the motorway for lessons accompanied by a fully qualified driving instructor in a dual controlled car, however Pass Plus will still provide newly qualified drivers with the skills required to improve on their driving and help them to gain in confidence after they’ve received their licence.
In order to gain a Pass Plus certificate, students have to complete around six hours of training with a Pass Plus registered approved driving instructor.
It normally costs less than £200 to take the Pass Plus test and a discount is provided by some local councils. Once you gain your certificate you might be given a discount with your insurance provider.
The test can be taken at any time after passing your driving test but is classed as extremely useful to those who’ve passed in the last twelve months and whilst they call it a test there’s no actual test to take, rather the students are assessed across six individual modules.
A Pass Plus certificate will only be issued once the instructor is confident that the student has reached the appropriate grade in all six modules.
The Pass Plus course provides an extra six hours of experience behind the wheel with a qualified instructor.
The six modules students are tested on as part of the Pass Plus are:
1. Town driving – pupils are taught how to drive more confidently when having to navigate complex junctions and to make the best use of their observational and awareness skills, as well as understanding the need for space around their car. Also highlighted is the needs of vulnerable road users.
2. All-weather driving – helping drivers to understand how a car behaves in different types of weather conditions and covers the reasons why you should drive more slowly and how to avoid skidding.
3. Rural driving – learning to drive on country roads is vital as they generally contain more blind bends and brows, are harder to overtake on, much narrower and there’s a chance you might meet a sheep or two and a couple of tractors.
4. Night time driving – this module helps drivers to gain more confidence driving in the dark and the challenges that come with it such as night time dazzle from oncoming vehicles, manoeuvring in the dark and judging distance.
5. Dual carriageways – provides more experience and concentrates on safe distances, how to use slip roads, lane use, judgement and observation.
6. Motorways – a totally new experience if you’ve just passed your test. This module will teach you the skills needed to drive safely on the motorway such as correct lane use, overtaking, joining and leaving, rules concerning lights and what to do if your break down.
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