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Beginner Driver Education Curriculum Improved

Archived News Release

Beginner Driver Education Curriculum Improved

McGuinty Government Sets Tougher Standards For Driving Students and Schools

Ministry of Transportation

Ontario is raising the bar for driver training with the introduction of new curriculum standards for Beginner Driver Education.

The Ministry of Transportation partnered with the Canadian Standards Association, which worked with the industry to create new curriculum requirements that reflect Ontario's high expectations for driver education, raising minimum requirements for both in-class and in-vehicle learning.

Beginner driver courses will place a stronger focus on improving problem attitudes and behaviours such as aggressive driving and speeding.

Other key improvements include:

  • Increasing instruction time from 35 to 40 hours
  • A new focus on learning needs of young and high-risk drivers, such as:
    • Dealing with driver distraction - Identifying dangerous situations and responding effectively
    • Sharing the road with other drivers
    • Understanding the risks of impaired driving and making responsible choices.
Ontario will audit and monitor driving schools to make sure they meet the new standards, which will be mandatory on April 17, 2009. Any new programs approved after April 17, 2008 will have to meet these standards.

During the 12-month transitional period, course providers may continue to use their existing ministry-approved course curriculum.

Quick Facts

  • To meet the new standards, driving schools will have until April 17, 2009 to make the necessary changes to their course curriculum.
  • Ontario's Beginner Driver Education program is designed to teachnovice drivers good driving habits and keep our roads safe. Since 2005, the McGuinty government has made a number of improvements to support this program, including:
    • Regulating all schools offering Beginner Driver Education courses
    • Creating tough new standards for driving instructors
    • Establishing a rigorous monitoring and audit program to ensure schools are meeting Ontario's standards, including the use of "undercover shoppers"
  • More than 100,000 students graduate from a ministry-approved Beginner Driver Education course each year.

Additional Resources

Quotes

“We want our novice drivers to learn the skills they need to stay safe on the road. With these new Beginner Driver Education Program standards, we are making sure our novice drivers get the best start possible.”

Jim Bradley

Minister of Transportation

“Making sure Ontario's novice drivers benefit from quality driver training is important - not only for their own safety, but for the safety of everyone on the road.”

Robert Tremblay

Insurance Bureau of Canada and chaired the Beginner Driver Education Standards Development Advisory Committee

“The focus on safety - especially those skills and attitudes young drivers need to reduce their collision risk in today's driving environment - is really what makes Ontario's program stand out.”

Brian Patterson

President, Ontario Safety League

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