Learner driver training routes are divided into three areas:
- nursery routes
- intermediate routes
- advanced routes
There is no definite dividing line between these groups, and there may frequently be considerable overlap between them. On occasions there is justification for incorporating all kinds of route on one lesson: for instance, when making an initial assessment of a new learner driver with previous driving experience.
The nursery routes that will be used by a beginner learner driver will be the quietest roads in the area, but because these roads will be open to the public a certain amount of unplanned traffic may be encountered. On the whole though these routes would generally be quiet. One reason for not taking driving lessons straight from or to school would be that even these routes can get busy.
The nursery routes would encourage the new learner driver to be able to change gear, turn a few corners -right & left, carry out the three types of moving off – uphill, downhill and flat roads. Small or mini roundabouts will be used also. The novice learner would stay on this type of route until their confidence grows before progressing onto the intermediate routes.
The intermediate routes are designed for the pupil who is comfortable with changing gear and stopping and starting. This does not necessarily mean efficient at those takes, that will take a little longer. The intermediate routes would encompass all of the nursery routes plus traffic lights, slightly larger roundabouts, light traffic and parked cars.
The advanced routes would encompass both nursery and intermediate routes plus complex junctions, roundabouts, busy traffic lights, dual carriageways and country roads. Speeds of 60/70 mph and the use of 5th gear would be taught together with slip road exit and entrance onto a dual carriageway. Traffic anticipation, other drivers and your own attitude would be discussed.
Once progress could be seen at this advanced level a driving test date could be discussed.
The manoeuvres of turn in the road, reverse around a corner, parallel park and bay parking would be fitted into a driving lesson at any of the above levels of training route according to a students development. For instance a student may be struggling with turning the steering wheel efficiently and coordinating their foot pedals. In this case a turn in the road exercise might help even though only a handful of driving lessons has been taken.
The driving test now has a section included called the ‘independent driving section’. This is where a learner driver has to drive for approximately 10 minutes without having direct instructions such as – turn left, turn right etc. Instead a pupil will be given directions in the form of verbal, map or signage to follow. This can also be introduced into any of the training route levels by using bite size instructions to begin with.
This structured learning approach has produced a very high level of competence from all pupils trained on an intensive driving course through the Scottish Driving School of coaching.