What is pass plus?
Pass Plus is a driving course specifically aimed at new drivers. It is designed by the driving standards agency (DSA) with help from insurers and the driver instruction industry.
Using the skills you already have learnt from your driving lessons it will help you anticipate and deal with all kinds of hazards.
Pass Plus is made up of 6 modules
Driving around a town centre
During the first part of this module your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will give you a brief introduction to the Pass-Plus course. Your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will also explain the main aims and objectives of the Pass-Plus course and the skills and knowledge that you will acquire as you complete each module of your Pass-Plus course. During the second part of this module your allocated Just-Pass instructor will focus primarily upon your ability to drive around complex town-centers. Your allocated Just-Pass instructor will take you to Walsall town centre to conduct this part of your module. In the Walsall town centre, your allocated Just-Pass instructor will show you how to deal with complex town centre junctions, busy public transport such as buses and trams, and also how to handle busy jam packed pedestrianised areas of town. Your skills of observation, judgment and awareness will be very crucial here, as town centers pose a challenge for even the most experienced of drivers, and your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will ensure that you develop your skills of observation, judgment and awareness. Also due to the busy nature of town centers, you will have to show caution for other road users including pedestrians and ensure that you leave sufficient space around your vehicle; again your allocated Just-Pass Instructor will help you do this
All weather driving
Your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will conduct this module in the form of a practical session wherever possible. However if the weather does not permit, your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will explain to you exactly what to do according to DSA recommendations if there is adverse weather conditions. Ensuring that you choose the correct speed, making sure that you are fully aware of the correct stopping distances, and also making sure that you see other road users and are seen by other road users are all crucial needed skills when driving in adverse weather conditions, all of which your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will teach you. The main types of weather conditions that are seen as most hazardous are, rain, sleet, snow, ice, mist, fog and bright sunshine. These are the types of weather conditions that cause even the most experienced of drivers difficulty, and are also the types of weather conditions that cause the most accidents. Thus your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will make sure that you know exactly what to do and how to do it should these weather conditions arise. Another issue that also causes accidents and uncertainty is the issue of skidding. Thus your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will go through with you in depth about the issue of skidding. They will explain clearly what causes skidding, they will also explain how to prevent skids, they will also show you how to correct slow-speed skids. Your allocated Just-Pass instructor will also explain and deal with the issue of braking on poor surfaces, as this is an area that new and experienced drivers alike struggle with. You will also be looking at what aquaplaning is and exactly how to deal with that as well.
Driving on motorways
During this part of the Pass-Plus course you will be taught how to drive along a motorway and key skills required for motorway driving. Your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will take you to motorways near or around Walsall such as the M6, where they will demonstrate to you the key skills required to drive on motorways and allow you to practice again what you have been taught. On motorways key topics include, planning a journey, using signs and markings on the road, how to safely and securely leave and join a motorway and make full effective use of the slip road, which speed is best to use in different situations, and efficient observation. Your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will show you how you would get from one place to another, and show you how to use signs and road markings to get there; they will also show you how to make full, safe and effective use of the slip road to join and leave a motorway, and also show you which speed is best to use in different situations and then allow you to practice what they have taught you.
Driving in the countryside
During this module your allocated Just-pass driving instructor will focus primarily upon driving in countryside or rural areas and the issues to be aware of when driving in countryside or rural areas. Countryside or rural area driving will focus essentially on driving on country lanes as country lanes are some of the most difficult roads to drive on due to being narrow and full of many obstacles; thus your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will take you on many country lanes near or around Walsall in order to develop key skills that are needed when driving in the countryside or in rural areas. Observation is a key skill that is needed in all aspects of driving, but is essential for countryside or rural area driving. Your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will help you to make sure that you are making all required observations when driving in the countryside or in rural areas. Your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will also teach you how to progress in countryside driving safely without causing harm to yourself or other road users. Some of the hazards in countryside areas or country lanes will include bends, hills, uneven roads and even dead ground. Dead ground is where parts of a road are hidden either by hedges, buildings or other vehicles, the hidden area is called dead ground. Your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will go through each of these obstacles one by one explaining what each one of them is and how you would deal with any one of them, should the need arise. Other vehicles in the countryside or on country lanes are also an issue you are going to have to deal with. This is where your allocated Just-Pass instructor comes in, as they will show you how to overcome this, by making sure you keep safe distances from the vehicle in front, and that you only overtake other vehicles when it is safe and appropriate to do so. However cars are not the only road users on country lanes, slow moving vehicles such as tractors pedestrians, horse riders and other animals are also road users you will need to be aware of as a driver. Your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will show you how you deal with each one of these road users in turn, as well as making sure that you consider their safety as well as your own. Other problems that even experienced drivers find with countryside driving and country lanes is mud and debris, farm entrances, the correct use of the horn and the use of passing places. A passing place is a country lane road that permits two way travel but is not wide enough in most places to allow vehicles to pass one another. Again your Just-Pass driving instructor will help you in each one of these areas.
Driving on dual carriageways
This module will teach you all the required skills you need in order to safely and confidentially drive on a dual carriageway. A dual carriageway is a road that has two lanes going both ways and is a road or highway in which the two directions of traffic are separated by a central barrier or strip of land, known as a central reservation. The key skills any driver will need on a dual carriageway include good all round observations, the checking of blind spots, regular use of the mirrors, correct judgement and the ability to plan ahead and in good time. Your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will enable you to acquire these key skills in this module of the pass-plus course by taking you on dual carriageway near or around Walsall and will then explain why these key skills are important. After that your instructor will allow you to practise these key skills on the chosen dual carriageway. Keeping a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead, and ensuring that you overtake vehicles properly leaving sufficient clearance as well as having good lane discipline are also issues which will be dealt with during this part of the Pass-Plus course. Your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will demonstrate how to overtake traffic correctly and safely, they will also demonstrate how to have good lane discipline as well as how much clearance or space to leave from the vehicle in front, and then allow you to practise what you have been taught. Dual carriageways can be extremely dangerous if not understood properly, so the key issues of correct speed and the safest and most correct way of leaving and joining a dual carriageway is important. Your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will make sure that you know exactly which speed to use on dual carriageways as well as making sure that you can leave and join a dual carriageway safely, conveniently, easily and most of all correctly.
Driving at night
Your Just-Pass driving instructor will conduct this lesson with you at night and make sure you learn about the key issues of night-time driving. Firstly the correct use of headlights is extremely important in the dark. Secondly making sure your headlights are clean for night time driving is also another factor that even experienced drivers overlook. Your allocated Just-Pass instructor will show you which lights are the most suitable to use in each case scenario. They will also show you how to clean your headlights properly and will show you how to adjust and change different light settings on the car, such as dipped beam, main beam etc. Also new drivers struggle a lot with driving in the dark as driving lessons and driving tests are almost always conducted during the daylight it is inevitable that a time will come when you will also have to drive in the dark. Thus your Just-Pass driving instructor will make sure you understand all you need to know about driving in the dark, and can apply the knowledge you have been taught. Judging speed and distance is a lot more difficult in the dark as unlike the light visibility is a lot more restricted which will therefore impact upon your ability to judge your distance and speed. Again restricted visibility in the dark will mean your everyday parking manoeuvres such as parallel park, are going to be made even more difficult. Restricted visibility also means vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders are going to be very difficult to see. But you do not need to worry, as your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will put all of your worries regarding the above issues at ease, and go through with you step by step on how to deal with each one of the above issues as they occur. Dazzle is also an issue which drivers find hard to deal with at night, and some drivers often end up going into road rage because of dazzle. Dazzle is where someone is temporarily and partially blinded from intense bright lights. Again your allocated Just-Pass driving instructor will teach you how to effectively and safely deal with dazzle, without getting frustrated or angry by it.