Teen driving school has been shut down by Ontario Transport Ministry
A Toronto teen driving program that was to launch next month was cancelled after the Ontario Transportation Ministry determined it violated its licensing rules.
The teen driving charter was to be run by the Ontario School of Excellence and offered a one-year pilot program for Grade 9-12 students in Toronto.
The ministry said it decided against continuing with the program because of the “significant risk” of serious injuries, including death, and because of concerns that students might be distracted by texting and talking while driving.
The Ontario School for Drivers said in a statement that the program would have allowed the school to offer “the kind of training and knowledge that our students would need to safely navigate the city while safely navigating the city.”
The ministry’s statement was the first time the ministry had publicly said that it had “dismissed” the program.
“In our experience, a number of drivers have fallen into a situation where they can’t stop and make a judgment call, which is why we are concerned about this decision,” the statement said.
The statement added that “our goal has always been to create an environment where our students can learn how to safely operate their vehicles.”
Students were to receive 12 hours of driving instruction, the statement read.
“We were aware that our program would be challenging for students to navigate the streets safely, given the recent events of the past year,” the program said.
“However, as the program had been in the works for a number, we were not aware of any safety concerns, which we are now working to address.
We also understand that some drivers may have been distracted by their cellphones and were therefore not able to consider all the safety factors before they drove, and therefore did not take adequate precautions.”
The teen drivers program was set to launch in September.
A statement from the school said the pilot program was being rolled out as a pilot program with no intention of being rolled into the larger pilot program.
The program was meant to give students an “exposure to the driving and operating habits of other drivers,” it said.
Students were expected to receive six hours of classroom instruction, and a maximum of 12 hours was planned.
The spokesperson said that the school was also considering a number other options, including creating a website that could be used to inform drivers of the regulations and provide tips on driving safely.
“This is an opportunity to have an ongoing dialogue with students and parents about how they can take advantage of this opportunity, and provide information to help our students understand the rules and regulations that govern our city,” the school wrote.
The province is working to ensure that drivers are educated about driving regulations, including how to drive safely and how to maintain a safe distance, the spokesperson said.
In June, Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said he was worried that the province was losing track of the number of people who were texting while driving, and was taking steps to address the issue.
“That’s not a problem for us, it’s a problem that’s going to take a couple of years to fix,” he said.