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Old 02-25-2020, 07:32 AM   #1
Nufy
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Default Driving Schools. Who’s good these days.

My 16 year old is looking to get his license this spring.

I need a recommendation for a driving school.

AMA ?

Chinook ?

Others ?


Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:03 AM   #2
Locke
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AMA.

We sent one kid through another school, Chinook I think, the other two went through AMA and it was just better.

I'd stick with them.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:27 AM   #3
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Ama
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I really like bikes and bike related discussions......
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:32 AM   #4
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Just have him read the gear grinder thread. All the education any driver needs.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:02 AM   #5
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AMA.
We put our oldest through it two years ago, and it was top-notch.
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:38 PM   #6
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My wife used some small driving school in the NE 10 years ago. We went based on price and regretted it. When my son was ready we went with AMA. A little more money but worth it in the end.

For example, AMA has a place just out of town with a gravel patch so they can teach how to handle a skid.
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:48 PM   #7
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Our Son just went through AMA last winter. He turned out to be a very good driver.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:10 PM   #8
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Fair warning - AB has a 2/3 failure rate on driver tests, highest in the country. Both my boys had to take the test multiple times. This is despite driving school, and plenty of practice.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calga...-rate-1.935658

And there can be long wait times for test appointments.

https://globalnews.ca/news/5141474/a...system-delays/
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:00 PM   #9
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My daughter just went though driver training @ Proactive Driving School- The in class and in car went without a hitch and she passed first try- Was a little cheaper than the AMA, but solid instruction
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Old 02-25-2020, 06:28 PM   #10
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Is it worth starting at 14 after they pass their learner's test?
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:36 AM   #11
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Is it worth starting at 14 after they pass their learner's test?
Depends on how interested the person is in driving. My daughter got her learners about 6 months after turning 14, and never really showed interest in learning until after she turned 16. She passed but is still pretty tentative behind the wheel IMO- My younger daughter will probably get hers right after turning 14 and I'm sure will be bugging me right away to get behind the wheel.
Completing the course close to when you'll be taking your test is probably the best bet so all the good driving habits and instruction are still fresh in their mind.
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Old 02-28-2020, 04:12 PM   #12
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My wife put getting her drivers license on the side burner for a long time. She went to 2 cheap driving schools much to my chagrin and wasn't feeling any more confident in getting her license. She finally agreed to pay the premium and go through AMA.

She learned more in 45 minutes than she did at both those other places. She's often comments that she poured money down the drain by going to those other schools.

Cheapo schools might be a good way to get some practice in for slightly cheaper... but if you want to learn, it's hands down AMA. HOWEVER, if you go through an AMA driving course and just want more driving time for confidence before going for a test, additional lessons with an instructor are highly discounted if I remember correctly. For this reason, I really don't think it makes any sense to go through a cheapo school if you want to learn correctly. There's probably a few other really good schools, but AMA hands down is consistently good.

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Fair warning - AB has a 2/3 failure rate on driver tests, highest in the country. Both my boys had to take the test multiple times. This is despite driving school, and plenty of practice.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calga...-rate-1.935658

And there can be long wait times for test appointments.

https://globalnews.ca/news/5141474/a...system-delays/
I wonder if the issue is with how militant some of those instructors are. There's a ton of auto fails for certain things and it can be up to the tester to determine how serious the "offense" is for pass/fail. For instance, I failed my learners and GDL once each. I had the same ass of a woman testing me both times I failed (story below).


For my learners, I "ran the stop sign" because I regularly used a limousine breaking technique that was taught to me by my AMA instructor. She said she couldn't feel the jolt when I stopped so she looked to the side, saw the blade of grass move an inch or so she knew I wasn't at a completely full stop even though she admitted I was obviously not moving for at least 3-4 seconds. Semantically she'd compromise that I rolled the stop sign. Auto-fail because I ran a stop sign. Red lights? Gravel was kinda maybe moving for a few inches even though pedestrians were crossing and I obviously had to wait for them to get onto the sidewalk... same thing. Rolled/ran a red light, double auto fail.

I felt like I did worse the second time I was with her, but I somehow passed and got my GDL.

For my GDL, I wasn't happy to see her again at the Bowness/Crowfoot registry area, but OK, whatever. They ask you the hazard questions and whatnot and she made it a point to ask way more questions and interrupt me as I got close to a playground zone which I noticed slightly late due to being momentarily distracted... I slammed on the brakes but according to her, I might have been going 35 kmph at the moment I was parallel to the sign. She wasn't sure, but she was adamant I wasn't slower than the MAXIMUM 30 kmph for the playground zone. Aced everything else, but speeding even 1 kmph in a playground zone? Auto-fail. She also expected me to list every single potential hazard and if I missed one, she'd gleefully interrupt me to state the ones I missed (ie: empty cross walks or kids 10 feet away from the side walk). I wasn't sharp enough to tell her all of them, so she deducted a ton of points for stuff like that too.

We had a family friend who knew a guy who was a tester and he told me to go through him and the route this guy would take me on would be easier... dude told me that the only thing he could imagine dinging me on was that I was stopped at a stop sign slightly too long (doing it on purpose to show I was full stop) and I crept up to 108 kmph merging onto Deerfoot while chatting with him, but I caught myself and hit the brakes to slow back down to speed limit. He was very fair. He wasn't rubber stamping drivers licenses. The route wasn't significantly less difficult, but it had less concentrated "hazard" stuff like the route in Bowness. He commented I obviously drove better than the average person and I was probably doing slightly weird things to compensate for the previous fails.

He asked me who the previous tester was and was both surprised and apologetic I had the misfortune of getting that idiot 3 times. Apparently she had a reputation of failing students the first time for stupid reasons to essentially rake in testing fees for her registry. Many other testers apparently didn't like her.
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Old 02-28-2020, 04:34 PM   #13
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I'd also like to mention that beyond just basic driving school, I've been trying to see if there's a reasonably priced winter performance driving course/class for my wife. I think it would be beneficial for her to improve her skills/capabilities and confidence in inclement weather. I had an AMA instructor that took me to an icy Maxbell parking lot once, throw down pylons and made me do evasive maneuvers at specific speeds and icy conditions. I ran over the last pylons/spun out a few times and kinda freaked out. This until the instructor realized the ground was icier than he realized and the pylons were too close. He ran over the last pylon and spun out himself trying to give me a demonstration.
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