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Tuesday, 18 October 2016 18:28

Driving school bylaw could ruin business

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            Kawartha Lakes doesn’t need to licence a business that is already well regulated provincially, argues Norm Bailey, the director for the Lindsay, Peterborough, Cobourg and Bowmanville offices of Young Drivers of Canada.

            His biggest problem with the latest draft of the city’s proposed bylaw to licence driving schools is that it would not allow

driving instruction in Lindsay’s downtown area during business hours (Driving school bylaw a mistake, Village Voice, page 4).

            These area and time restrictions will deter students and decimate a significant source of revenue for numerous city businesses, say both Bailey and some of his instructors.

            Bailey took his concerns about the proposed bylaw before the CKL council last Tuesday, even as this issue of The Kawartha Promoter was going to press.

            He told The Promoter that the Lindsay driver-testing centre regularly employs at least 11 examiners to handle the load—and is currently up to 17—while Peterborough, with a much larger population, only needs two examiners.

            And that’s because instructors from the Greater Toronto Area and this end of the Golden Horseshoe often bring their students here for testing—and to practice beforehand—as allowed under Ontario drivers licencing laws, says Young Drivers instructor Ron Pringle, who has been teaching in Lindsay for 15 years.

            Pringle notes that while Lindsay residents may feel they are being inconvenienced by the volume of driver-training vehicles on their streets, they “should consider the positive economic impact of the business before council takes action that will shut it down.”

            He suggests the following negative economic impacts to the City of Kawartha Lakes if the bylaw is implemented as it currently stands:

            According to Pringle, “if the in-car program cannot be delivered in a timely and efficient manner, this will make the classroom portion of our program impractical. What student is going to incur significant expense to purchase a driver-training program only to complete the classroom portion in one city and then travel 45 minutes to a hour (one way) to complete each in-car lesson in another town or city?”

            The Ontario Drive Test Center could just as easily be closed, he suggests, and Lindsay people would be required to go to Haliburton or Peterborough for services.

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