The SCALP routine explained

Lesson Type
Last updated: 12 Nov 2019

Your driving instructor will teach you about finding a Safe, Convenient and Legal Position (SCALP) to stop in soon after you begin your driving lessons.

The SCALP routine is all about finding a safe, convenient and legal position to pull over in to, and it’s important that you know exactly how to identify where you can and where you can’t stop.


You need to be aware of what’s around you in order to be able to determine whether you’re in a safe position to stop. For example, you should never stop too close to a junction or on a bend in the road. As a general rule, you should make sure you’re at least 10 metres away from a junction.


Is where you’re pulling over going to cause a hazard to other drivers? Will you be blocking your passengers in by stopping too close to bollards, a lamp post or a big muddy puddle? Consider how your parking might effect other road users and whether you’ll cause an obstruction to large vehicles.


You should only stop in a legal space. Do not:

– Stop within 10 metres of a junction (including side roads on the opposite side of the road). – Stop on double yellow lines, zig zag lines, driveways or loading bays. – You should also avoid stopping in bus or cycle lanes.


The SCALP routine isn’t just about where you stop – you need to think about how you stop too. Your vehicle should be close and parallel to the kerb, but not so close that you touch or mount it. You should also make sure that your wheel is straight and that your car is not sticking out into the road at all.

The SCALP routine in your driving test

Failing to stick to the SCALP routine in your driving test could lead to you failing on the day. Remember you need to know how to move off safely and how to get the MSPSL routine right too, so don’t forget to check out our guides.

Image via NRMA Motoring and Services.