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Hidden cameras catch driving instructors cheating the system | Marketplace

Apr 12, 2024
♪ Bad drivers everywhere. Are they

cheating

to get to the roads? We enter the world of driver training. Where there are no lessons. But cash is king and documents are forged. Come here, come here, come here. Public safety is at stake. The risks are that we have drivers on the road who are not properly trained or certified. This is your Market. What is your government doing to take action? We are in a parking lot with a large flock of pigeons and a handful of

hidden

cameras

, waiting for an instructor from a

driving

school. He is paid to teach the rules of the road.
hidden cameras catch driving instructors cheating the system marketplace
But this guy is willing to break some rules to help us cheat in driver training. He's here to sell us a certificate that says we've completed a driver's education course, even though we haven't taken a single lesson. He wants us to go with him to a nearby

driving

school to sign some forged documents. The forms, he says, will be registered with the Ministry of Transportation. And then, we will get our certificate. It's illegal, but it will surely save us a lot of time and money. The certificate it sells is called BDE, which stands for Beginner Driver Education.
hidden cameras catch driving instructors cheating the system marketplace

More Interesting Facts About,

hidden cameras catch driving instructors cheating the system marketplace...

A BDE helps new drivers get discounts on car insurance and allows them to take their driving test sooner. The provincial government has known for years that people buy and sell fraudulent BDEs. In 2007, the Auditor General calls for action. So the province changed the certification test from paper to online, but has it helped? We're on our way to London, Ontario to learn more about what beginner driving training is supposed to be like. -Hello Ashley. -Hello. -Ready for your lesson? -Yeah. We'll take a walk with Ashley Griffith and her instructor, Puneet Chadha. -You are excited? -Yes I am.
hidden cameras catch driving instructors cheating the system marketplace
I am very excited. -It's my first lesson. -Wow. The provincial government sets the rules for driver's education and that means at least 10 hours of lessons like this in the car. So when you're ready, let's get it going for me. And go to that stop sign. Ashley is also taking 20 hours of theory to learn the rules of the road. How are your nerves, Ashley? I've only driven with my parents. Well. There are another 10 hours of homework, either in class or in the car, depending on what can help the most. So remember, always keep your hands on the wheel, at all times. -Oh yeah.
hidden cameras catch driving instructors cheating the system marketplace
So in case we ever get hit, you'll want to be able to control the car. The total cost of Ashley's BDE certification? About $750. And yet, here we are, with no driver training, and we can buy a certificate for half that price. While the instructor tells us how they use false documents to deceive the online

system

created by the MTO. That's the Ministry of Transportation. But he's not the only one who does this kind of thing. Websites like Kijiji and Facebook are full of ads. Instructors who promise low prices, near-perfect pass rates, early bookings for practical exams, and those coveted insurance discount certificates they're not even supposed to advertise.
We called them. Twenty

instructors

, to see what they can do for us. -Well. - Fourteen offer to sell us BDE certification, no questions asked. And is there any test I should do for BDE, or of course... Another call, another BDE? This one is even cheaper and faster. Okay, so if I transfer you electronically... How much? $150? And can I pass it today? Tens of thousands of new drivers seek real lessons each year across Canada. But training is only mandatory in four provinces: Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. In Ontario, lessons are entirely up to you.
Unless you want to get tested sooner and cheaper insurance. So, you need a BDE. And that's what brings us here. Make it clear that we have nothing to worry about. Yes, that would be... He tells us that, like most

instructors

, he works for many schools, but he will take us to one nearby to complete the deal and paperwork. The truth is that we have no intention of making a transaction that surely seems illegal, so we tell you that we should think about it. As we walk away from the deal, the instructor becomes threatening. He gets into his car and chases us into the parking lot.
We take refuge in a supermarket while he parks in front. He sits in his car for a good hour. He sends a threatening text message. "You won't like how this ends," he says. But he eventually leaves, leaving us with a lesson about the dangers of trying to game the

system

. Later, we asked that instructor to appear on camera. To get his perspective on why he attempted to sell a BDE certificate to our colleagues. We refresh his memory with details of that day and he says he was just trying to be helpful. What does it mean to negotiate then?
What does it mean to negotiate? From what I understand, that is absolutely against the rules. No, You can not. Not if you take this... Not if you take... Not if you take this program. You can not. You're not supposed to do it. That's the problem here. I mean, that's a job as an instructor or in driving school. Yes, that's what they're paying for. The instructor refuses a formal interview and then sends another threatening text message that is too graphic to share. We

catch

up again with Puneet Chadha, as he teaches driving theory to high school students in Clinton, Ontario.
Alright, let's do a quick review, first things first. What is the difference between a collision and an accident? Someone knows? It is part of your proper BDE training. Accident statistics show that in 2014 there was a collision every three minutes. He allows us to intervene to share our findings. -It's all yours. -I can take charge. We just want to show you a little bit about an instructor who was trying to sell us a BDE certificate. Once we add the BDE course in the name of it, it will be like this. -Yeah. I mean, yeah, I think it's crazy.
It's not fair at all that they can do that. If they don't know what they are doing, then they will not be safe drivers. It's raising everyone else's insurance, and it's... it just sucks for everyone. Then we took a little test drive of our own, to hear how all this could be hurting Puneet's livelihood. The students came to me and basically admitted that, well, yeah, I just paid the guy and got a certificate. -Actually? -Yeah. Then some students approached him and told him that. They have. And I said, well, why did you do that? Well, I needed to do this faster and faster.
Because he needed to get that job or he needed to save money on that insurance. And I thought, well, what did that get you? They said, nothing, because I failed my first test, because they didn't train me properly. I'm not surprised. Nothing surprises me right now. What you have discovered. It must be frustrating though. It's frustrating because it's affecting our entire business, right? And now those children are traveling, and they are traveling with us, my children and their son. And hurts. It hurts because... An accident and collision can happen at any time. What happens when we walk into a driving school to get a lesson in how to fool the government?
Going up. We are in the world of driver's education for beginners, and the most important lesson we are learning? It's easy to cheat the system. Certificates indicating that you have received hours of instruction can be purchased for little money and without actual training. It starts with phone calls like this to an independent driving instructor looking to make extra money selling driver's education certificates without the education. So I really don't think he needs lessons that much. In fact, I'm more interested in the certificate you can get to get a discount on insurance. Yeah, so what... Oh, okay.
He sends us here, to a driving school north of Toronto. We have an appointment to purchase a BDE certificate for $220.00, with no lessons of any kind. Hello. Looks like a bargain. But we say we are concerned about the forms they want us to sign. He then explains exactly how this scheme works. Well. Oh well. She makes no secret of the fact that this is a trap. - Wow. - Alright. 15 years deceiving the government. She tells us we can think about it if we want. She has others waiting and offers one more detail about the deception. Well.
Yes. If the ministry checks it, everything will look legitimate, just as it must have when government inspectors found no violations at this school four years ago. That is one of the criticisms that is repeated in the latest report from the Auditor General of Ontario. The government is still not doing enough to detect this type of behavior. We met with Auditor General Shelley Spence to compare notes. What are the risks of people

cheating

in the BDE process? The risks are that we have drivers on the road who are not properly trained or certified. We showed you our pictures from that driving school north of Toronto.
And you've done this before, right? Well. Actually. Wow. Your first reaction? That is lack of compliance. Of course, you can see the motivations why people would want to get a certificate cheaper or faster. But that's not why we make these certificates. We are making these certificates to help people learn to drive and drive safely on the roads. -Isn't it worrying? -It's worrying. And that's why one of our recommendations was for the ministry to bring back the mystery shopping component of its compliance work. And I would

catch

this... this type of activity. The Auditor General's Office has its own mystery shops.
Like us, you hire a company to attend 14 high-risk driving schools in Ontario. It is found that 11 of them offered BDE certificates with less than the required 10 hours of in-car training. The auditor says the government hasn't done any mystery shopping since the start of the pandemic because he says they are too expensive. Why do you think the Mystery Shopping program is so important? As you can see, paperwork is easy to falsify and we use that technique a lot in different audits, because it's the citizen-facing experience or the customer-facing experience. You guys also use it a lot in your show to really get at what's going on.
The government cannot say from that paperwork that this occurred. So when will the province really fix things? Public safety is at risk here. Is that worrying? Well, we'll make sure to target... the bad actors. Coming soon, after the break. Bad drivers are everywhere these days, and we're finding out that some of that may have to do with people cheating through driver Ed. We called that school for an explanation. My name is Asha Tomlinson from CBC Marketplace. She tells us that what we document must be a misunderstanding. Well, that's not what you told our colleagues. You actually showed them how they could sign forms, saying they attended lessons and took the training even though they didn't, and you were pretty arrogant about it.
You joked about the fact that they wouldn't have to do any work and would get the BD certificate. Well, we have this on video. We sure thought the insurance industry would want to talk about all of this since they are giving discounts to some drivers... who haven't earned them. But the Insurance Bureau of Canada will only say that it has been in contact with the Ontario government. We have also been in contact for weeks. Thank you very much, Mr. President. Look, this isn't about truckers. But Transport Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria is refusing to meet. So we looked him up on the way to the caucus.
Hello minister. How are you? Asha from CBC Marketplace. People have been buying and selling beginner driver's education certificates without any actual training taking place. Public safety is at risk here. What is your government doing to take action? We have a zero tolerance policy on this and will make sure it is absolutely addressed. CBC Marketplace called for 20 driving instructors. 14 of them were willing to break the rules and cheat the system. That is unacceptable. We are considering increasing penalties for anyone who violates road safety regulations or engages in these types of practices. -Thanks guys. -Just one more question.
When you talk about sanctions, what do you mean? Well, we are always looking... at least we want to make sure that bad actors are punished for any type of behavior that is not in line with the rules and regulations. And so we will have zero tolerance for any event. Until the government keeps a closer eye on things, the hope is that people will learn the rules of the road... You had already passed the point of no return, which is that line. ...People like Ashley Griffith... So you have to see what's the best thing you can do at that moment. -Good? -Well. ...we will drive the straight and narrow road.

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