How to make a career out of driving school
By John Sibolewski-StambeckPublished November 14, 2017 10:34:13A big part of the success of a driving school is being able to make enough money to pay the fees and tuition costs.
It’s a key point for those in the field, who have to work two jobs to cover their living costs.
For some students, the lure of earning cash can make it a tempting option to attend an accredited school.
But there’s a growing movement in Canada and the U.S. to ban driver education programs altogether, arguing that there’s no evidence to support the practice.
That’s a concern for the parents of the people who’ve been making the most money from driving school, including the owners of the three-and-a-half-year-old company, Drivers Academy.
They’ve started to raise the alarm about their son’s driving skills, which they say were put to the test when he got a B licence, but he was unable to pass his driving test because he wasn’t a Canadian.
The school, which has over 1,500 students, is a pilot program that pays students $300 a year.
But it’s been shut down by the Ontario Provincial Police, after a probe into its operation.
In a statement to CBC News, the Police Service of Ontario said it was aware of allegations about the program and had launched an investigation.
The province said it had received no complaint about the drivers academy.
It said it received two complaints about the driving school over a period of four months.
“There was no evidence of any criminal conduct or violations of the Code of Ethics,” the statement said.
The Ontario Provincial police did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Students in the industry who spoke to CBC said they were shocked to hear of the probe.
I didn’t know anything about that,” said Alex Bremner, who was part of a class of about 500 students at Drivers Academy from the University of Toronto, in Ontario.
The students were paying $300 to $500 a month for the classes, but they didn’t realize it was taking away from their school work, he said.
“It’s so hard to make ends meet at this point,” he said, adding he’d have to take on extra jobs.
Students are also upset that there are no rules about how much the program is going to cost the students.
“If I want to work, I have to get a license, which is not cheap,” said Daniel Pritchard, who graduated from Driver Academy in 2017.
“I can’t be the only one doing that.”
Students say the industry is full of scam artists and fraudsters.
In an email to CBC, Drivers said the program does not advertise or advertise the amount of the fee.
“Drivers Academy is a driver education program, offering educational opportunities to students of all ages who are interested in getting a licence to drive,” the company said in an email.
“The program is accredited by the Driver Education Council of Canada (DECOC) and accredited by two of the most prestigious drivers education associations, the Ontario Association of Accredited Driver Educators and the Accreditation Council for Driving Schools.”
The company added that the fees are set by the provincial government.
The company also said there’s nothing illegal about the school or its drivers, nor is there a need for a driver licence.