Driving schools get defensive

Terry Roberts
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Local operator accuses competitor of misleading statements

The owner of a St. John's driving school wants one of his competitors - a franchise of Young Drivers of Canada - to yield after reading an advertisement that appeared in a free monthly newspaper that specializes in photography.

Frank Haynes of Learn Right Driver Training on Ricketts Road is accusing Janet Kent of Young Drivers of Canada of misleading the public with statements contained in the March edition of SNAP St. John's.

Left, Janet Kent. Right, Frank Haynes.

Controversy -

The owner of a St. John's driving school wants one of his competitors - a franchise of Young Drivers of Canada - to yield after reading an advertisement that appeared in a free monthly newspaper that specializes in photography.

Frank Haynes of Learn Right Driver Training on Ricketts Road is accusing Janet Kent of Young Drivers of Canada of misleading the public with statements contained in the March edition of SNAP St. John's.

Kent denies this. She says everything she wrote can be backed up with facts and statistics.

It's not quite road rage, but it's symbolic of the competitive nature of the driver training industry, where a half-dozen or so schools in the St. John's region are bumper to bumper in a bid to attract customers.

This latest fender bender got revved up after Haynes wrote a letter to Kent, and later contacted The Telegram to complain about the ad in SNAP.

"It's very misleading to the public," Haynes said.

In the ad, Kent refers to "trick questions" from driver examination officers, says research shows graduates of Young Drivers are "50 per cent more likely to pass their road test," and states that insurers such as Liberty Mutual and Hallmark offers discounts that are "much greater" than those who graduate from other programs.

Haynes said there are no trick questions during the driver exam, and described such a statement as a step backwards.

"You spend years trying to get rid of that myth, then a regional director of Young Drivers of Canada tells you it's happening," Haynes added.

As for the claim about pass rates, Haynes said this is "totally false," and disputes the declaration by Kent that Young Drivers graduates in this province get a larger discount from auto-insurance companies. He said the two companies referenced by Kent don't even do business in this province.

"If you're going to put something in a local magazine that only local people are going to read, why would you be quoting statistics from Vancouver or Toronto or wherever she's getting these statistics?" Haynes asked.

Haynes said the "only real difference in my course and the Young Drivers course is the price," with new drivers paying roughly $250 less to complete a course at Learn Right.

"She's trying to lead people to believe that if you take a Young Driver's course you are taking a better course than what's offered by anybody else. That is so not true," he said. "As for content, they are essentially the same."

When contacted for her side of the story, Kent said she was "shocked" by Haynes' allegation, and said her No. 1 priority is the education of students.

"I'm unsure of how he's thinking we would ever attempt to misjudge that or misrepresent that," Kent said.

Kent said driver examiners will challenge students with questions, no different than a teacher in a classroom, and her instructors do their best to prepare students for this.

She believes Haynes misunderstood her reference to pass rates, and explained "We are providing (students) with the tools to be able to increase their chances by 50 per cent."

She said this is backed up by third party research.

She said it's impossible to say whether the pass rate for Young Drivers is higher than Learn Right because these statistics are not made available by the motor registration division.

But she said it's not uncommon for students to enrol at Young Drivers "because they haven't been successful" at other schools.

As for receiving larger discounts on car insurance rates, Kent acknowledged she hadn't checked with local companies, but emphasized this was the case on a national level.

She defended the rates charged by Young Drivers, noting that "you get what you pay for," and refuted claims by Haynes that his program is essentially the same.

"When they say they're just like Young Drivers, they're not," she said. "All of our material is trademarked and we spend millions keeping our program up-to-date."

She said there is extensive and ongoing instructor training and recertification, above and beyond what the province requires.

"I don't know of any other driving school that could provide you with that information," she said.

Kent pointed out that her company, FOCUS Driver Training Inc., is ISO 9001 certified, and was recognized recently by Young Drivers for leading the country in growth in 2008, and was also named the new centre of the year for 2008.

Kent took over the business after her father passed away in July 2007. The company has centres in St. John's, Mount Pearl, Conception Bay North, Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor.

troberts@thetelegram.com

Organizations: The Telegram

Geographic location: St. John's, Canada, Ricketts Road Vancouver Toronto Mount Pearl Conception Bay

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Recent comments

  • Hilary
    February 22, 2013 - 17:27

    Thanks so much for this awesome post! I have been looking for a really good driving school in vancouver for my daughter... Hopefully we can find her somewhere awesome to learn how to drive!

  • Heidi
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    As a 5 year grad of young drivers I have to agree in saying you get what you pay for. Yes it is more expensive, however, it is the best and most comprehensive program in the city. I had no one to teach me to drive so I had to go to driving school. People who have made comments here saying you learn to drive from absorbing other drivers habits, that's pretty much the worst way to learn how to drive you pick up the good as well as the bad habits. Young drivers is constantly retraining the drivers I'm sure no other school in the city can make that claim. And if you want to complain about the cost of the road test go complain to the province because that has nothing to do with the driving schools. 5 years out and I have had no accidents and great insurance discounts I am a happy YD grad and have recommended it to many people!

    • Mike
      November 27, 2013 - 16:18

      Ok, but did you do training at another school? The question is not whether young drivers is good, they are. But are they significantly better than other schools. If you have been to more than one a comparitive argument would be appreciated.

  • New-ish Driver
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    I have been driving 10 years. I took Young Drivers.

    I WAS a good driver, used blinkers, mirror checks, blind spot checks, took few chances, kept off people's bumber at a stop light, stopping at the sign not past the sign, breaking early, knowning what a yellow light is, not speeding (too much in bad conditions), merge correctly, etc....

    BUT, over time these good habbits were thrown to one side and I became like most other drivers on the road who act as if they don't know how to drive. They know how to opperate a car, but they do not know how to drive.

    My bad habbits developed because as I was being a good driver, I got two cars written off by bad drivers causing accidents, one did a bad merge and one never stoped at a stop sign properly.

    I honestly think that the best drivers on the road are the new drivers, not the ones that have been on the road a long time. New drivers try to do the right things. Old drivers either never learned the right things or simply do not care anymore.

    People say that new drivers are in more accidents. This is probally because, as in my two cases, they were struck by old drivers before being really aware of how bad the other drivers on the roads are.

    Most old drivers on the road would not pass the drivers' test.

    To keep the roads safe, I honestly think that drivers must get retested every 10 years. If they fail they loose their licence. Yes, bad drivers will loose their licence if they get too many tickets, but the number of tickets you get may not correlate with the number of accidents you cause or come close to causing.

    (By old drivers I don't mean age, I mean length of time driving. Since some old drivers may be new and some new drivers may be old. )

  • L
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    I do not believe in the drivers ed programs. The morning of my road test, the lady before me was with young drivers and failed her road test, however I passed mine. I never took drivers ed classes and I like to think I am a good driver. I notice too many driver disobeying signs and have almost been hit numerous times by other drives because of this. Further more to this discount on your insurance, my sister took a drivers ed course here in the city 6 years ago, and she has yet to recieve a discount on her insurance. What's up with that!!!!

  • Brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Why is it when people are turning left on a green arrow they go to the outside lane, should you go to the closest lane an signal to get into the other lane...because this is rarely done, traffic approaching the other way and wanting to turn right gotta wait, becasue the people with the green arrow will be on their behind in the outside lane....
    Do people here know what MERGE means?? I lived in three other provinces and merging here is terrible

  • dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Ahh that is such nonsense.Recently my son did a drivers ed program,all were looked at and YD was the most expensive so therefore not a choice.All of his driving habits were absorbed from observation of the people he drove with.The school was done only for the supposed insurance recognition of the drivers ed program.He was an excellent driver before and continues to be so.He keeps his speeds down,does three count stops at all areas requiring stopping,always keeps enough distance between him and the car in front of him.Detests cars that at lights,especially on hills,that come up tight behind him,he drives a standard and is still concerned about rollback.Most of the bad driving habits out there, from observation are not the kids although a few are involved but people with five or more years experience driving,cell phone use is through the roof,speeding is the norm,rolling stops are common.My kids call me the municipal pace car as I always drive the speed limit,much to the dismay of those behind me but that is the way that I drive,carefully and defensively.Driving the speed limit allows a much better flow of traffic,running red lights is not as possible ,although can still happen and damages sustained in accident is considerably less.Other drivers can pull into traffic from parking lots and such easier, as can those waiting to cross over the traffic to enter other roads or parking lots.The posted speed limits do work.And for anyone who gets behind me,I am sorry,but I assure you you will not be any later getting to where you are going because of me,so just relax and fall in behind the municipal pace car.Driving across the parkway from Blackmarsh to the Confederation Building cars pass me ,go from lane to lane,run red lights but yet I am the car behind them at the lights on P.cove Rd and if they are turning left ,then I will be passing them as they are stuck in the holding lane waiting to turn.Driving schools may work for some but there are a few out there that would not need such if insurance was based on the actual driving examination test instead of having gone to a driving school.The police should enforce the speeds in this city and also the cell phone use while driving.One can stop at any light in town,which is only on average 45 seconds and watch the other cars pass in front of you,many of which are chatting on cell phones.Driving schools do work for some but they are over priced,I cannot help but feel that my sons road test and initial licence should have been included in what I paid for the program.Happy motoring.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    One of my daughters took driving lessons from YDC in St. John's. I don't think YDC did her any good at all. In fact they probably did her a disservice by making her believe that because she had taken their course, her driving skills were somehow superior to other drivers. I agree with other posters that there is too much emphasis on passing the test and not enough on actual driving skills.

  • William
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    The parallel parking part of test isnt just for the sake of if you can park, it gives the examiner an indication of whether you know your vehicle and aware of how well you judge distances around it, because if you cant make proper judgment in the parking lot, well i need go any further.......

  • Drivin For Years
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    This is all nuts............. What ever happen to the day of the parent teaching the child, (new driver), my father taught me, I taught my wife, sister inlaw, and I can asure you, I will teach my children, when the time comes. The problem here I believe is that new drivers want their licence overnight, rather then lerning over time. Who can dispute this comment, you dont learn to drive until you get your licence . i firmly believe this. that why so many new drivers are wrecking thier parents cars, because they pass a driving course, and the parents automatically assume that they are good drivers. i will determine when my child is ready to drive, based on their ability, maturity, and i will also determine when their ready to be tested. After all, they will be driving the roads in my vehicle. ITS TIME FOR THE PARENTS TO TAKE CONTROL. You taught your child to walk, talk, swim, fish, ride bike, but you wanna pay some to teach then to drive. i dont get, some one has to educate me.

  • Dianna
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    One thing that bothers me about these school is the price! I did full driving training (in class and in car) but wasn't able to take my test. Although I can drive, I just wanted a few extra lessons here before I take the test, and the cheapest I can get them for is $40 an hour. Are you kidding me? I already know how to drive! I just want to make sure it is perfect before the test. And that was the cheapest! The other in car lessons ranged from 50-80 an hour! Insane!

  • hey B
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Hey B from mt. pearl-- I think backing in to a place is the ONE OF most important things to learn. If you can't control a car enough to back in, what r u going to do at 100KM/H!. A lot of companies in town REQUIRE that company vehicles be backed into parking spots because of the danger of backing out. Did you know if you cause an accident backing out of a space or your driveway the blame of the accident is on YOU.

    Young drivers or any driving school is a great way for young people to learn good habits for driving instead of your parents bad habits (who would probably teach you if you did not attend driving school). It's cocky teens with attitudes like yours that i worry about when i take to the road.

    Licensed driver of ten years.

  • S
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    B - I think your attitude is great. Forget testing the real world things that have been decided are important by years and years of previously testing drivers and only test what a 50+ little old lady thinks is important. Driving head on into a parking space, not having someone blow their horn at you for trying to be safe, and (most iportantly) that it is not your fault if you look behind your car before getting into it and hit a moving vehicle when u try to pull out of your driveway in reverse.

  • Annoyed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    B, you have got to be joking right? You should be allowed to pull in head on? You think because you looked around the vehicle before getting in, that nothing can come down the road once you get in the car? And who would take the chance of backing between two vehicles ? God i hope you never have to park anywhere near my car!!

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    I did YDC 30 years ago. Found it great and have often thought everyone should be forced to go through a course, but not really feasible. Others here make me wonder if they are working at all. I guess it comes to the driver. I still use all the same things I was taught. The only time I tailgate is when someone drives way under the speed limit and I'm trying to wake them up. Which brings me to my point. Try to know the speed limits. I meet so many cars along the Parkway driving 50-55 or maybe up to 60. I'm sure many don't realize the limit is 70 from Kilbride to just before the Holiday Inn and by going 60 they think they are actually speeding. Most of these end up passing me back going along MacDonald Drive. Especially people going by MUN seem to feel that section is slower. Also I noted people complaining of cars entering the Ring road were not yeilding to the cars already on the road. Obviously they don't understand what a merge is and that both have the same right-of-way; car even slightly ahead can move over and the other car behind has to give way, but in general both have to work it out so that the merge goes smooth.

  • Ivan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    I can see why they can spend millions, they charge an arm and a leg for their school. Nothing wrong with sending a kid to learn to drive at Young Drivers, but when it costs two mortgage payments to do so, it's a bit much.

  • Cann
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Training at YDC will not get you a discount on your insurance, trust me on that one. As for bad drivers, I think it has more to do with the driver themselves rather than who taught them to drive. Too many people in too much of a rush, driving like they own the road and not the car. Also, I took exception to the comment from Kent about teachers. Perhaps I misunderstood, but it seems as if she accuses teachers of asking trick questions like the examination officers. I can't speak for the examination officers, but as a teacher, I for one have never asked a child a trick question and I'm sure many other teachers can say that too.

  • Ryan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    As for receiving larger discounts on car insurance rates, Kent acknowledged she hadn't checked with local companies, but emphasized this was the case on a national level.

    So Kent pretty much reiterated what Mr Haynes said. Why would you throw out national 'statistics' numbers in a strictly local publication? Pretty scummy if you ask me.

  • Lisa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Now Bob, we all know its not just the new drivers making these mistakes....

  • T
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I don't think one driver ed is better than the other. All instructors are pretty much the same, the only benefit YD has is the compact cars. Most others, like Learn Right, have full sized sedans. What 17 year old student can learn to park an Intrepid? WAY TO BIG. I know from experience through Learn Right.

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    i went through young drivers its a scam, if you tell me.two weekends of learning about nothing much. i was told i would get 1000.00 of my insurance. an hour and a half of 7 lessons on the road dont make you a good driver, what i paid for was in the book of new drivers. except defensive driving if you come upon a situation, common sense tells you what to do there, and there was not enough about parrell parking or backing in a stall. tell me how many places in st johns where there is parrell parking and who wants to take the chance of backing in between to cars. i failed my road test becuse i hit the post, if i had to go front in i would have passed. you only get one chance if you hit the post.it should be up to the driver which way they want to park on a parking lot. what have that got to do with road driving. a big fat zero thats what. its a money scam from goverment, to get 60.00 everytime you fail parking. you dont even get a chance to go on the road. shouldnt the parking part of the exam be last, and not first. out on the road is where your skills are, everyone is going to take the easy parking stall, come on change the rules.its all a money making racket to scam more money. makes be sick i paid 750.00 for young drivers, what a crock

  • William
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    [Quote] Bob from St. John's, NL writes: Whatever the dispute between these schools, someone is NOT teaching new drivers how to drive. 8 out of 10 drivers don't turn into the proper lane. 9 out of 10 drivers don't make a proper stop at stop signs, in fact, many look both ways and cruise through. They do the same when turning right on a red light. These are complete stop areas. Many, many, don't use signals, or put them on once they are turning, it's too late then. They seem to have no idea what a solid line means. And no idea of the large solid stop line at corners. Tailgating, tailgating, and tailgating. Who is teaching these drivers???? I really think they are teaching them to pass the driving test, not to drive!!![/qoute] this pretty much sums it all up for a lot of drivers these days.

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    for one thing i dont work for any big company or drive big trucks. i am talking about a car. as for backing in your driveway. that up to the condition at the time traffic behind you, a mountain of snow on either side of you, see how many irate drivers if you stop to back in your driveway look out for the blowing of horns. and before you get in your car you are suppose to walk around it first to make sure nothing is in your way, front wards, back wards its up to the person. when your out and about see how many cars you see backed in. and i am not a cocky teen, i am over 50 but i bet your a cocky under thirty teen. who think they own the road, for us that go the speed limit like we were taught, when we go the speed limit we are little old ladies that you cant wait to pass

  • Not Steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I'm sure Mount Pearl MHA Steve Kent appreciates the writer not mentioning that this is his wife.

  • Jo
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I went to YDC over 20 years ago and if I was an adult back then I would have complained to head office about the service. I don't know how much it has changed since then but I learned how to parallell park and back in by the following Turn the wheel one and 1/2 turns to the right until the post is on the 2nd groove in the seat cover.... . On my road time the driver I had used to stop at his house most days he had me out and get a lunch cutting into my driving time. I did get a rebate on my insurance though.. and I did pass the first time unlike some of my friends who went to other driving schools. It was very pricy back then I can only imagine how much it costs now!

  • Hey B
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    No B I am NOT a cocky under 30 teen! I got my license later in life because I depended on public transit for city travel.

    As for only big companies and big trucks only needed to be backed in that's not true. I currently work for a mid size company with a company car. The company and many others I deal with around the city have rules stating that company vehicles MUST be backed into a parking place. It's in their OSH regs.

    And that whole traffic dependancy on backing into your driveway is a crock. If it's that hard traffic wise to back in what's it like backing out into the same problem. Snow bank in your way to get in? It's still there when you get out! More than likely obstructing your view immensely. I heard the same argument from a guy who backed into me a few winters ago. He blamed the snowbank too! But guess what the police deemed it his fault because he backed into traffic.

    And i'm sorry to ask but if you went through young drivers and your over 50, exactly how old were you when you got your license?? your previous post came across more like a p'd off teenager than a grown man

  • newfie lady
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    The number one reason these young drivers go to driving school is to get thier licence 4 months earlier.

  • Rob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Not sure where you drive, but it is not only new drivers that are bad. Age has nothing to do with it. I see poor driving habits daily from all drivers. Everyone from the little old lady, to the successful business type, to taxi drivers, and even RNC officers.

    Most driving schools put too much emphasis on passing the drivers test and not on safe driving. I have looked at the Young Drivers material and I don't think anyone can argue the fact, they put most of their time and effort into safe driving habits. I would put content and what is learned as a priority ahead of price any day....

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    He said, she said. Change the names and you have Danny Williams and Debbie Forward. At the end of the day it is two people that do not play well with others. Maybe put a little blame on the department as well, since they are the ones that issue the license to either parties students.

  • Randall
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I think its a waste of time and money to go to these schools. What do they really accomplish other than make money for themselves? Its better for a parent to take the time and effort to teach their own children how to drive. That way, they save money and spend some quality time together. No matter who teaches someone how to drive, they still have to pass the motor vehicle department written and road test before they get their licence.

  • Roxanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    My son did the driver training course 2 years ago, not with either school mentioned in this article. I agree with Bob, not enough emphasis is put on tailgating, signal lights and stop signs.

    As for Young Drivers, I feel the only difference in their school and the other schools, is the $$$ only bcause they are recognized nationally. My son paid considerably less to get to a local driving school, and (knock on wood) he has not had any accidents and was taught to drive defensively. I know people who did the course with Young Drivers, and had an accident almost immediately. I really dont think any school is better than the other.

    Learning to drive is learning to drive, and these kids really dont give much heed to what they learn in class or even on the road as long as they get their licence.

    As for a discount, my son is insured with a company in town and he got a bit of a discount, (approx $200/yr) but like all insurances you have to shop around.

    As for Young Drivers, the price is outrageous.

  • Sue
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Driving is a life skill that carries great risks on the road and your safety is on the line every time you hit the pavement. We are so ready to be trained for sports, music, work and yet when it comes to driving, some people still don't get how important training is. I'm glad I'm a YD grad. I've been accident free for 20+ years and can safely say that now as I drive my kids around, I feel confident because of being trained. This is just a story about a competitor trying to discount the other. Silly - just do your job and keep people safe on the road.

  • Ryan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    @Jim: who cares? you must be new to the internet

  • jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    dribble...... who really cares? Can't you find something more important to write about?

  • Bob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Whatever the dispute between these schools, someone is NOT teaching new drivers how to drive. 8 out of 10 drivers don't turn into the proper lane. 9 out of 10 drivers don't make a proper stop at stop signs, in fact, many look both ways and cruise through. They do the same when turning right on a red light. These are complete stop areas. Many, many, don't use signals, or put them on once they are turning, it's too late then. They seem to have no idea what a solid line means. And no idea of the large solid stop line at corners. Tailgating, tailgating, and tailgating. Who is teaching these drivers???? I really think they are teaching them to pass the driving test, not to drive!!!

  • Al
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    I totally agree with the tailgating and lack of proper signaling. I took a driving course many years ago and it was honestly so I could have an automatic car provided for me during the driving test.

    I learned a lot from my instructor, not just about parking, but actual driving. I don't think there is any need of attacking smaller businesses providing the same quality.

    Honestly, I believe it depends on the individual taking the course.

  • Rodger
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    I have to agree with Bob. Maybe not with his stats but we can ask Ms Kent for her interpretation on that. What they should include in their courses is what to do at an interestion with flashing reds or no lights at all. My mother would be pleased to hear how wll I can pray when I encounter these situations from time to time on the Crosstown.

  • Heidi
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    As a 5 year grad of young drivers I have to agree in saying you get what you pay for. Yes it is more expensive, however, it is the best and most comprehensive program in the city. I had no one to teach me to drive so I had to go to driving school. People who have made comments here saying you learn to drive from absorbing other drivers habits, that's pretty much the worst way to learn how to drive you pick up the good as well as the bad habits. Young drivers is constantly retraining the drivers I'm sure no other school in the city can make that claim. And if you want to complain about the cost of the road test go complain to the province because that has nothing to do with the driving schools. 5 years out and I have had no accidents and great insurance discounts I am a happy YD grad and have recommended it to many people!

  • New-ish Driver
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    I have been driving 10 years. I took Young Drivers.

    I WAS a good driver, used blinkers, mirror checks, blind spot checks, took few chances, kept off people's bumber at a stop light, stopping at the sign not past the sign, breaking early, knowning what a yellow light is, not speeding (too much in bad conditions), merge correctly, etc....

    BUT, over time these good habbits were thrown to one side and I became like most other drivers on the road who act as if they don't know how to drive. They know how to opperate a car, but they do not know how to drive.

    My bad habbits developed because as I was being a good driver, I got two cars written off by bad drivers causing accidents, one did a bad merge and one never stoped at a stop sign properly.

    I honestly think that the best drivers on the road are the new drivers, not the ones that have been on the road a long time. New drivers try to do the right things. Old drivers either never learned the right things or simply do not care anymore.

    People say that new drivers are in more accidents. This is probally because, as in my two cases, they were struck by old drivers before being really aware of how bad the other drivers on the roads are.

    Most old drivers on the road would not pass the drivers' test.

    To keep the roads safe, I honestly think that drivers must get retested every 10 years. If they fail they loose their licence. Yes, bad drivers will loose their licence if they get too many tickets, but the number of tickets you get may not correlate with the number of accidents you cause or come close to causing.

    (By old drivers I don't mean age, I mean length of time driving. Since some old drivers may be new and some new drivers may be old. )

  • L
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    I do not believe in the drivers ed programs. The morning of my road test, the lady before me was with young drivers and failed her road test, however I passed mine. I never took drivers ed classes and I like to think I am a good driver. I notice too many driver disobeying signs and have almost been hit numerous times by other drives because of this. Further more to this discount on your insurance, my sister took a drivers ed course here in the city 6 years ago, and she has yet to recieve a discount on her insurance. What's up with that!!!!

  • Brian
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Why is it when people are turning left on a green arrow they go to the outside lane, should you go to the closest lane an signal to get into the other lane...because this is rarely done, traffic approaching the other way and wanting to turn right gotta wait, becasue the people with the green arrow will be on their behind in the outside lane....
    Do people here know what MERGE means?? I lived in three other provinces and merging here is terrible

  • dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Ahh that is such nonsense.Recently my son did a drivers ed program,all were looked at and YD was the most expensive so therefore not a choice.All of his driving habits were absorbed from observation of the people he drove with.The school was done only for the supposed insurance recognition of the drivers ed program.He was an excellent driver before and continues to be so.He keeps his speeds down,does three count stops at all areas requiring stopping,always keeps enough distance between him and the car in front of him.Detests cars that at lights,especially on hills,that come up tight behind him,he drives a standard and is still concerned about rollback.Most of the bad driving habits out there, from observation are not the kids although a few are involved but people with five or more years experience driving,cell phone use is through the roof,speeding is the norm,rolling stops are common.My kids call me the municipal pace car as I always drive the speed limit,much to the dismay of those behind me but that is the way that I drive,carefully and defensively.Driving the speed limit allows a much better flow of traffic,running red lights is not as possible ,although can still happen and damages sustained in accident is considerably less.Other drivers can pull into traffic from parking lots and such easier, as can those waiting to cross over the traffic to enter other roads or parking lots.The posted speed limits do work.And for anyone who gets behind me,I am sorry,but I assure you you will not be any later getting to where you are going because of me,so just relax and fall in behind the municipal pace car.Driving across the parkway from Blackmarsh to the Confederation Building cars pass me ,go from lane to lane,run red lights but yet I am the car behind them at the lights on P.cove Rd and if they are turning left ,then I will be passing them as they are stuck in the holding lane waiting to turn.Driving schools may work for some but there are a few out there that would not need such if insurance was based on the actual driving examination test instead of having gone to a driving school.The police should enforce the speeds in this city and also the cell phone use while driving.One can stop at any light in town,which is only on average 45 seconds and watch the other cars pass in front of you,many of which are chatting on cell phones.Driving schools do work for some but they are over priced,I cannot help but feel that my sons road test and initial licence should have been included in what I paid for the program.Happy motoring.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    One of my daughters took driving lessons from YDC in St. John's. I don't think YDC did her any good at all. In fact they probably did her a disservice by making her believe that because she had taken their course, her driving skills were somehow superior to other drivers. I agree with other posters that there is too much emphasis on passing the test and not enough on actual driving skills.

  • William
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    The parallel parking part of test isnt just for the sake of if you can park, it gives the examiner an indication of whether you know your vehicle and aware of how well you judge distances around it, because if you cant make proper judgment in the parking lot, well i need go any further.......

  • Drivin For Years
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    This is all nuts............. What ever happen to the day of the parent teaching the child, (new driver), my father taught me, I taught my wife, sister inlaw, and I can asure you, I will teach my children, when the time comes. The problem here I believe is that new drivers want their licence overnight, rather then lerning over time. Who can dispute this comment, you dont learn to drive until you get your licence . i firmly believe this. that why so many new drivers are wrecking thier parents cars, because they pass a driving course, and the parents automatically assume that they are good drivers. i will determine when my child is ready to drive, based on their ability, maturity, and i will also determine when their ready to be tested. After all, they will be driving the roads in my vehicle. ITS TIME FOR THE PARENTS TO TAKE CONTROL. You taught your child to walk, talk, swim, fish, ride bike, but you wanna pay some to teach then to drive. i dont get, some one has to educate me.

  • Dianna
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    One thing that bothers me about these school is the price! I did full driving training (in class and in car) but wasn't able to take my test. Although I can drive, I just wanted a few extra lessons here before I take the test, and the cheapest I can get them for is $40 an hour. Are you kidding me? I already know how to drive! I just want to make sure it is perfect before the test. And that was the cheapest! The other in car lessons ranged from 50-80 an hour! Insane!

  • hey B
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Hey B from mt. pearl-- I think backing in to a place is the ONE OF most important things to learn. If you can't control a car enough to back in, what r u going to do at 100KM/H!. A lot of companies in town REQUIRE that company vehicles be backed into parking spots because of the danger of backing out. Did you know if you cause an accident backing out of a space or your driveway the blame of the accident is on YOU.

    Young drivers or any driving school is a great way for young people to learn good habits for driving instead of your parents bad habits (who would probably teach you if you did not attend driving school). It's cocky teens with attitudes like yours that i worry about when i take to the road.

    Licensed driver of ten years.

  • S
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    B - I think your attitude is great. Forget testing the real world things that have been decided are important by years and years of previously testing drivers and only test what a 50+ little old lady thinks is important. Driving head on into a parking space, not having someone blow their horn at you for trying to be safe, and (most iportantly) that it is not your fault if you look behind your car before getting into it and hit a moving vehicle when u try to pull out of your driveway in reverse.

  • Annoyed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    B, you have got to be joking right? You should be allowed to pull in head on? You think because you looked around the vehicle before getting in, that nothing can come down the road once you get in the car? And who would take the chance of backing between two vehicles ? God i hope you never have to park anywhere near my car!!

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    I did YDC 30 years ago. Found it great and have often thought everyone should be forced to go through a course, but not really feasible. Others here make me wonder if they are working at all. I guess it comes to the driver. I still use all the same things I was taught. The only time I tailgate is when someone drives way under the speed limit and I'm trying to wake them up. Which brings me to my point. Try to know the speed limits. I meet so many cars along the Parkway driving 50-55 or maybe up to 60. I'm sure many don't realize the limit is 70 from Kilbride to just before the Holiday Inn and by going 60 they think they are actually speeding. Most of these end up passing me back going along MacDonald Drive. Especially people going by MUN seem to feel that section is slower. Also I noted people complaining of cars entering the Ring road were not yeilding to the cars already on the road. Obviously they don't understand what a merge is and that both have the same right-of-way; car even slightly ahead can move over and the other car behind has to give way, but in general both have to work it out so that the merge goes smooth.

  • Ivan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    I can see why they can spend millions, they charge an arm and a leg for their school. Nothing wrong with sending a kid to learn to drive at Young Drivers, but when it costs two mortgage payments to do so, it's a bit much.

  • Cann
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Training at YDC will not get you a discount on your insurance, trust me on that one. As for bad drivers, I think it has more to do with the driver themselves rather than who taught them to drive. Too many people in too much of a rush, driving like they own the road and not the car. Also, I took exception to the comment from Kent about teachers. Perhaps I misunderstood, but it seems as if she accuses teachers of asking trick questions like the examination officers. I can't speak for the examination officers, but as a teacher, I for one have never asked a child a trick question and I'm sure many other teachers can say that too.

  • Ryan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    As for receiving larger discounts on car insurance rates, Kent acknowledged she hadn't checked with local companies, but emphasized this was the case on a national level.

    So Kent pretty much reiterated what Mr Haynes said. Why would you throw out national 'statistics' numbers in a strictly local publication? Pretty scummy if you ask me.

  • Lisa
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Now Bob, we all know its not just the new drivers making these mistakes....

  • T
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    I don't think one driver ed is better than the other. All instructors are pretty much the same, the only benefit YD has is the compact cars. Most others, like Learn Right, have full sized sedans. What 17 year old student can learn to park an Intrepid? WAY TO BIG. I know from experience through Learn Right.

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    i went through young drivers its a scam, if you tell me.two weekends of learning about nothing much. i was told i would get 1000.00 of my insurance. an hour and a half of 7 lessons on the road dont make you a good driver, what i paid for was in the book of new drivers. except defensive driving if you come upon a situation, common sense tells you what to do there, and there was not enough about parrell parking or backing in a stall. tell me how many places in st johns where there is parrell parking and who wants to take the chance of backing in between to cars. i failed my road test becuse i hit the post, if i had to go front in i would have passed. you only get one chance if you hit the post.it should be up to the driver which way they want to park on a parking lot. what have that got to do with road driving. a big fat zero thats what. its a money scam from goverment, to get 60.00 everytime you fail parking. you dont even get a chance to go on the road. shouldnt the parking part of the exam be last, and not first. out on the road is where your skills are, everyone is going to take the easy parking stall, come on change the rules.its all a money making racket to scam more money. makes be sick i paid 750.00 for young drivers, what a crock

  • William
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    [Quote] Bob from St. John's, NL writes: Whatever the dispute between these schools, someone is NOT teaching new drivers how to drive. 8 out of 10 drivers don't turn into the proper lane. 9 out of 10 drivers don't make a proper stop at stop signs, in fact, many look both ways and cruise through. They do the same when turning right on a red light. These are complete stop areas. Many, many, don't use signals, or put them on once they are turning, it's too late then. They seem to have no idea what a solid line means. And no idea of the large solid stop line at corners. Tailgating, tailgating, and tailgating. Who is teaching these drivers???? I really think they are teaching them to pass the driving test, not to drive!!![/qoute] this pretty much sums it all up for a lot of drivers these days.

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    for one thing i dont work for any big company or drive big trucks. i am talking about a car. as for backing in your driveway. that up to the condition at the time traffic behind you, a mountain of snow on either side of you, see how many irate drivers if you stop to back in your driveway look out for the blowing of horns. and before you get in your car you are suppose to walk around it first to make sure nothing is in your way, front wards, back wards its up to the person. when your out and about see how many cars you see backed in. and i am not a cocky teen, i am over 50 but i bet your a cocky under thirty teen. who think they own the road, for us that go the speed limit like we were taught, when we go the speed limit we are little old ladies that you cant wait to pass

  • Not Steve
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    I'm sure Mount Pearl MHA Steve Kent appreciates the writer not mentioning that this is his wife.

  • Jo
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    I went to YDC over 20 years ago and if I was an adult back then I would have complained to head office about the service. I don't know how much it has changed since then but I learned how to parallell park and back in by the following Turn the wheel one and 1/2 turns to the right until the post is on the 2nd groove in the seat cover.... . On my road time the driver I had used to stop at his house most days he had me out and get a lunch cutting into my driving time. I did get a rebate on my insurance though.. and I did pass the first time unlike some of my friends who went to other driving schools. It was very pricy back then I can only imagine how much it costs now!

  • Hey B
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    No B I am NOT a cocky under 30 teen! I got my license later in life because I depended on public transit for city travel.

    As for only big companies and big trucks only needed to be backed in that's not true. I currently work for a mid size company with a company car. The company and many others I deal with around the city have rules stating that company vehicles MUST be backed into a parking place. It's in their OSH regs.

    And that whole traffic dependancy on backing into your driveway is a crock. If it's that hard traffic wise to back in what's it like backing out into the same problem. Snow bank in your way to get in? It's still there when you get out! More than likely obstructing your view immensely. I heard the same argument from a guy who backed into me a few winters ago. He blamed the snowbank too! But guess what the police deemed it his fault because he backed into traffic.

    And i'm sorry to ask but if you went through young drivers and your over 50, exactly how old were you when you got your license?? your previous post came across more like a p'd off teenager than a grown man

  • newfie lady
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    The number one reason these young drivers go to driving school is to get thier licence 4 months earlier.

  • Rob
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Not sure where you drive, but it is not only new drivers that are bad. Age has nothing to do with it. I see poor driving habits daily from all drivers. Everyone from the little old lady, to the successful business type, to taxi drivers, and even RNC officers.

    Most driving schools put too much emphasis on passing the drivers test and not on safe driving. I have looked at the Young Drivers material and I don't think anyone can argue the fact, they put most of their time and effort into safe driving habits. I would put content and what is learned as a priority ahead of price any day....

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    He said, she said. Change the names and you have Danny Williams and Debbie Forward. At the end of the day it is two people that do not play well with others. Maybe put a little blame on the department as well, since they are the ones that issue the license to either parties students.

  • Randall
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I think its a waste of time and money to go to these schools. What do they really accomplish other than make money for themselves? Its better for a parent to take the time and effort to teach their own children how to drive. That way, they save money and spend some quality time together. No matter who teaches someone how to drive, they still have to pass the motor vehicle department written and road test before they get their licence.

  • Roxanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    My son did the driver training course 2 years ago, not with either school mentioned in this article. I agree with Bob, not enough emphasis is put on tailgating, signal lights and stop signs.

    As for Young Drivers, I feel the only difference in their school and the other schools, is the $$$ only bcause they are recognized nationally. My son paid considerably less to get to a local driving school, and (knock on wood) he has not had any accidents and was taught to drive defensively. I know people who did the course with Young Drivers, and had an accident almost immediately. I really dont think any school is better than the other.

    Learning to drive is learning to drive, and these kids really dont give much heed to what they learn in class or even on the road as long as they get their licence.

    As for a discount, my son is insured with a company in town and he got a bit of a discount, (approx $200/yr) but like all insurances you have to shop around.

    As for Young Drivers, the price is outrageous.

  • Sue
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Driving is a life skill that carries great risks on the road and your safety is on the line every time you hit the pavement. We are so ready to be trained for sports, music, work and yet when it comes to driving, some people still don't get how important training is. I'm glad I'm a YD grad. I've been accident free for 20+ years and can safely say that now as I drive my kids around, I feel confident because of being trained. This is just a story about a competitor trying to discount the other. Silly - just do your job and keep people safe on the road.

  • Ryan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    @Jim: who cares? you must be new to the internet

  • jim
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    dribble...... who really cares? Can't you find something more important to write about?

  • Bob
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Whatever the dispute between these schools, someone is NOT teaching new drivers how to drive. 8 out of 10 drivers don't turn into the proper lane. 9 out of 10 drivers don't make a proper stop at stop signs, in fact, many look both ways and cruise through. They do the same when turning right on a red light. These are complete stop areas. Many, many, don't use signals, or put them on once they are turning, it's too late then. They seem to have no idea what a solid line means. And no idea of the large solid stop line at corners. Tailgating, tailgating, and tailgating. Who is teaching these drivers???? I really think they are teaching them to pass the driving test, not to drive!!!

  • Al
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    I totally agree with the tailgating and lack of proper signaling. I took a driving course many years ago and it was honestly so I could have an automatic car provided for me during the driving test.

    I learned a lot from my instructor, not just about parking, but actual driving. I don't think there is any need of attacking smaller businesses providing the same quality.

    Honestly, I believe it depends on the individual taking the course.

  • Rodger
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    I have to agree with Bob. Maybe not with his stats but we can ask Ms Kent for her interpretation on that. What they should include in their courses is what to do at an interestion with flashing reds or no lights at all. My mother would be pleased to hear how wll I can pray when I encounter these situations from time to time on the Crosstown.