McGuinty Government Improving Beginner Driver Training



    Actions Increase Consumer Protection

    QUEEN'S PARK, Dec. 27 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is improving
standards for beginner driver education (BDE) in Ontario to help teach novice
drivers safe driving habits and keep Ontario's roads safe, Transportation
Minister Jim Bradley announced today.
    "We are taking decisive steps to improve standards for beginner driver
education programs, so parents can be confident that when they choose a
driving school, their children will learn to drive safely and correctly," said
Bradley. "We plan to take additional actions in 2008."
    The ministry maintains a list of approved beginner driving schools on its
website www.mto.gov.on.ca. To be approved a school must meet ministry
standards or they are removed from the list.
    A new monitoring and audit program has been implemented, and includes
undercover shoppers to ensure standards are being followed. In 2007, MTO
audited all ministry-approved beginner driver education schools in Ontario and
removed 22 schools from its approved list because they were not up to standard
(see list below).
    Other enhancements include:

    
    -   Regulation of all BDE schools
           -  Instructors must work for an MTO-licensed school to teach new
              (G1) drivers (it is illegal for unlicensed schools to teach new
              drivers)
           -  High school BDE programs, which were not previously regulated
              by MTO, will be subject to licensing and MTO audits as of
              September 2008
    -   Tougher standards to ensure better-qualified driving instructors
           -  New driving instructors can no longer be licensed if they have
              a single demerit point or a Criminal Code conviction.

    The Ontario government encourages parents and novice drivers to get more
information before they select a beginner driving school by:

    -   Choosing only approved driving schools. Schools that offer
        ministry-approved beginner driver education courses are listed at
        http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/driver/gradu/approve.htm
    -   Checking the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services' Consumer
        Beware List for references to beginner driving schools at
        http://www.consumerbeware.mgs.gov.on.ca/catsct/start.do, and
        registering any problems with a driving school at that site
    -   Asking friends or co-workers about their experiences with driving
        schools
    -   Asking to meet with the classroom and the behind-the-wheel training
        instructors before you make any payments.
    

    In the New Year, the province will release new BDE curriculum standards.
    The province will also review the "time discount" - allowing a G1 driver
to graduate to G2 after eight months, rather than a year, if the driver takes
a recognized BDE course. One option would be to follow British Columbia and
shift the time discount earned by successfully completing an approved BDE
course to the stage where a G2 driver graduates to the full G license,
switching to benefit to somewhat older and more experienced drivers.
    As of November 1, 2007, there were 472 ministry-approved BDE course
providers in Ontario, and more than 200 high schools delivering a
ministry-approved curriculum. More than 100,000 students graduate from a
ministry-approved course each year. Since June 2000, more than 700,000
students have graduated from ministry-approved courses.
    "The McGuinty government is delivering on its commitment to improve the
quality and consistency of driver education across the province," said
Bradley. "Getting beginner drivers off to a good start will make our roads
safer for all."
    Driving schools removed from MTO's approved list:

    
    A Plus Driving School                         Hamilton
    Acts Driving School                           Ottawa
    All Save Driving School                       Toronto
    Amigo Driving School                          Toronto
    Assyrian Driving School                       Toronto
    Best Way Driver Education                     North York
    C G Driving School                            Toronto
    Chief Driver Education                        Bolton
    Dalal Driving School                          Mississauga
    Diamond Driving School                        Hamilton
    Downtown Driving School                       Toronto
    Driving Safety League                         Ancaster
    E & V Driving School                          Scarborough
    Hilltop Driving School                        Orangeville
    Key Driving School                            Etobicoke
    Mar-Pol Driving School                        Etobicoke
    Mr. Learn to Drive                            Cambridge
    Ontario Driver Education                      Dundas
    Safe Driving School                           Kingston
    Standard Driving School                       Toronto
    The District of Grand Driving School          Geraldton
    Yellow Bird Driver's Training Centre          North York


    Disponible en français

                              www.mto.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Oved, Minister's Office,
(416) 327-2885; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158; Public
Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), 1-800-268-4686 toll free, 1-866-471-8929 TTY

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