Reverse Bay Parking
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This manoeuvre requires that you squarely park the car between the bay lines, finishing reasonably straight and reasonably central. Crossing the bay lines before the car is parked is not immediately an issue, provided that you straighten up safely before you finish. You will only usually have to carry out this manoeuvre at the test centre if there is a suitable parking area.
Three key skills are required to successfully carry out the reverse bay parking manoeuvre:
- Control: Keep under a slow, controlled speed using clutch control
- Accuracy: Manoeuvre, keeping within the lines of the bay and to drive out
- Observation: Be aware of everything around you and to act accordingly
Your examiner will give you a brief instruction of what he wants you to do. You should then:
1. Assess the layout markings and the size of the spaces available. Select your target bay and, using the MSM routine, take up a position suitable for the exercise. You should allow enough room out from the bays for your vehicle's turning circle, while leaving enough room at the other side to allow for the front of the vehicle swinging out when you turn. You should also go 2 or 3 bays past the one that you intend to take before stopping an applying the handbrake. Select reverse immediately to inform other drivers of your intentions. Your position will also do this.
2. Take good all-round observation before reversing slowly back to your point-of-turn. A general reference for this is when you are roughly in the centre of the bay that is 2 down from yours. When you start to turn, the front of your vehicle will swing out so make sure that you take another look all-round before continuing.
3. Apply the full steering lock while looking out at the nearside line of your bay. You want to see the side of your vehicle turning inside this line so you should also identify this line in your side mirror as soon as you can. Take repeated observations all-round during the manoeuvre. As you turn you should then identify the other bay line in your other side mirror.
4. As the vehicle draws parallel with the bay lines you should then straighten your wheels. Look out the back windows as you reverse back to a suitable position inside the bay.
You should take good, all-round observation throughout the exercise. You should reverse your car slowly, smoothly and under full control making good use of the accelerator, clutch, braking and steering. You should ensure that when bringing the front of the vehicle around that you have sufficient clearance from other vehicles or kerbs.
You should not take more than a reasonable time, creating a hazard for other road users. You should not get too close to other parked cars or the layout markings. You should not place too much reliance on your mirrors rather than taking good, effective all-round observation. Try not to steer while the car is stationary (dry steering), you will not fail your test for this but it is not good driving practice.
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