Ontario Government Raises The Bar For Driver Training

QUEEN’S PARK, ON, Sept. 17, 2007 – The McGuinty government is setting higher standards for driver education and training in Ontario to help keep roads safe, Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield announced recently.

“Ontario’s roads are among the safest in North America, but there is more we can do,” said Cansfield. “Whether you are a parent sending your teenager to a driving school or a new citizen preparing for a driver’s test, proper driving training and education is paramount in keeping all Ontarians safe.”

Effective September 1, 2007, the Ontario government begn to regulate schools offering beginner driver education, to ensure provincial standards are being followed.

A new curriculum standard will be implemented by the end of this year and will include leading-edge practices and training techniques that will also focus on eliminating reckless driving and speeding. To help educate drivers, the ministry has updated its driver handbook. The new handbook is now available.

The government will also introduce higher standards for driving instructors. Beginning December 1, 2007, individuals applying for a driving instructor licence must have zero demerit points. Instructors who accumulate more than three demerit points will lose their teaching licence.

“Quality driver training provides a solid foundation for safe driving for many years to come,” said Mark Yakabuski president elect of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The insurance industry is a longtime stakeholder in Ontario’s beginner driver education system. Most insurance companies provide discounts for novice drivers who provide proof of completion of the Ministry-approved beginner driver education course.

Discounts range up to 15 per cent, which is the equivalent of three years safe-driving experience. Novice drivers who complete a MTO-approved beginner driver education course are also eligible to take the G1 exit road test after only 8 months at the first level of graduated licensing.

The Certified Transportation Instructor Association also supports the improvements to the driver education system. The Association’s president, Keith Black, added, “professional driving instructors should be role models on the road. Improving the beginner driver education program will assure students and all motorists that driving schools and instructors meet the highest standards possible.”

For more information, visit www.mto.gov.on.ca.