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For franchise information please call 519-725-1603.

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Driving school School, Kitchener Waterloo Ontario - KW driving School School

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Sara's K-W Driving School is a Kitchener Waterloo, Cambridge Ontario (ON) and surrounding area pioneering in:

G1 and G2 Road Test Preparation

Here at Kitchener Waterloo (Sara's KW) Driving School School we strongly believe that regular inspection and proper maintenance of your car can save you money and, more importantly, may save your life. We teach our students proper driving techniques that will help novice drivers to become safe road users and also reduce fuel consumption. Respect for the environment, pollution awareness and fuel efficiency constitute a big part Kitchener and Waterloo of Kitchener Waterloo (Sara's KW) Driving School School’s driver education program.

We teach our driver trainee students to regularly check their tire pressure, watch for oil level and decide on when to change it, inspect fluid, battery, belts and other check points on their cars. Presently law requires regular maintenance and inspection of trucks. In fact truck drivers are frequently stopped for roadside inspections. When the vehicle passes the test, it receives a dated decal, which has to be attached to the side of the truck. In addition, trucks must undergo periodic inspections. Ministry of Transportation officers regularly conduct on-site compliance audits of safety and maintenance programs at trucking company terminals.
We believe the same restrictions and regular annual inspections should also apply to passenger cars that are older than two years.
There is a lot of valuable information in your car owner’s manual. Please make sure to read it, Keep in safe accessible pace in your car so that you can refer to it if  you need to do simple tasks such as changing tires or doing oils change. If you have any questions regarding these or more complicated issues, talk with a licensed mechanic. Remember dirty oil damages the engine. Dirty air filters or misfiring sparkplugs can increase you fuel consumption.
Have your car serviced regularly. Check the air pressures of your tires regularly, and pay attention to the information in your manual about the difference between winter and summer tire pressure requirements. If you feel that your car is off balance and pulls to one side, check your tire pressure first.
Check the depth of the tread on your tires at regular intervals. Lack of tread, particularly in slippery conditions, can be fatal for you and yours. Make sure your brakes are always in good working condition and your wheels properly aligned to prevent uneven tire wear and steering difficulties.
Kitchener Waterloo (Sara's KW) driving school academy is committed to teaching safe and defensive driving to its students using the latest driving techniques and material. We constantly update our own knowledge and training resources. The aim of these pages is to provide you with as much information as you may need about our driver education courses. Kitchener-Waterloo (Sara's KW) Driving School strongly believes that informed decision is the first important step when it comes to choosing a driving training school.  For answers to any questions that have not been answered here, please contact Sara's K-W driving School at 519-725-1603 or visit us www.kwdriving.ca and our web sites other pages. Benefits of taking Beginner Driver Education (BDE) lessons at a Kitchener Waterloo area driving schools such as Sara's K-W Driving School

  • Flexible time. Evenings and weekend classes
  • We are Pioneers in Pick up and drop off for out of town in-car training sessions. Sara's KW Driving School School is an MTO-approved driving school course provider for Beginner Driver Education Courses in Kitchener Waterloo area. G1 license holders may qualify for a four month reduction in the 12 month minimum G1 licensing waiting period as well as may benefit form reduced car insurance.  Our full course price includes: Classroom and assignment materials, MTO Certificate fee. 20 hours in car and 10 hours of in-car training. Location and time: please visit our website at: www.kwdriving.ca. How long do I have to complete the entire course? 12 months. Failing to finish all course requirements by the due date can cost you additional fees. What happens if I am not able to take the course or miss a class after I have registered? Please contact Sara's Kitchener-Waterloo (Sara's K-W) Driving School at 519-725-1603 at least 24 hours before start of your session for rescheduling Methods of payment: We accept Cash, Cheques payable to Sara's KW Driving School, Debit and credit cards. Class size: Minimum five and maximum 20 students per class New to Canada Drivers If you are planning on moving to Canada and will be driving your self most places instead of utilizing public transportation you will want to familiarize your self with all of the applicable driving laws. You may also be interested in taking your automobile with you to Canada. Before taking that step you will need to get it approved Driving in Canada should not be much different than driving in your home country. Canada has an extensive network of highways that criss cross through the country. In order to legally drive a vehicle in Canada you will need to have a valid driver's license. And then you can drive any car that you have rented, owned or imported into the country,

New to Canada Drivers:

  • If you have an international driver's license from another country you are able to use that to drive in Canada. In you plan on staying in Canada less than a year you will not need to transition to a Canadian driver's license. But if you plan on staying for several years or if you aim to get permanent residency then you will need to get your self a Canadian driver's license.

    The rules for qualifying for a driver's license in Canada tend to vary by province. In most of the provinces you will find a graduated licensing system. Under this you will have to take three tests over a period of two years to get three levels of license in order for you to get a full driver's license. Three parts are usually broken down into a written test, a city street test and a city and highway test. You have to go to the Ministry of Transportation in your province to get the process started.

    If you are from the United States and have had an American driver’s license from at least two years you do not need to go through the process just described. Instead, you just need to swap your American driver's license for a Canadian driver's license.

DRIVING

Importing your car & driving in Ontario and Canada has a large network of highways that unite the large majority of the population. In order to drive a motor vehicle in Canadian highways, you need a valid drivers’ license, a vehicle that can be owned, rented, imported, etc.
An International Drivers License obtained in a foreign country can be used in Canada to drive. If you are spending under a year in Canada, an International Drivers License is sufficient. If you intend to obtain permanent residency in Canada or stay for several years, you need to get a Canadian driver’s license. There are different rules for getting a drivers license in different provinces. In most provinces, there is a Graduated Licensing System, where 3 tests have to be done over a certain time period (usually 2 years) to obtain 3 levels of license in order to qualify for the full driver privilege. For instance, in Ontario, there are G1, G2 and G levels for automobile drivers. G1 is the written test, G2 is the 15 minute (approximately) tests on the city streets and G is the final, city streets and highway test that lasts approximately 45 minutes. There is also a time limit during which a full G license must be obtained. It is 5 years in Ontario (other provinces it may vary). To obtain any level of license, you should go to a provincial MTO. If you come from the USA and have held a full driver license (not for minors) for a period of two years, you may be eligible to swap your USA license for a Canadian one. Note that in this case, you will need to surrender your American license in order to obtain a Canadian one.
If you are from another country, you may be eligible for an automatic G1 or G2 license depending on the Ministry of Transportation policy. In Ontario, contact the Ministry of Transportation, for more information.

Cars

Canada is a large country so, residential and commercial areas tend to be spread out over relatively large distances. For many areas outside of the centre of town, it is likely that you will require a car to travel to and from wherever you want to go. Before purchasing or renting one, consider other transportation options and evaluate your budget in order to determine how much you can spend.

Renting

Sometimes renting a car can be an option that is worth considering. There are several large national rent-a-car companies with a wide range of vehicles to choose from. In addition there are also smaller companies, local rental companies that are generally cheaper, but usually have older vehicles.
If you rent a vehicle, ensure that you inspect the vehicle for any damage prior to renting it. Check the mileage corresponds to what is on the contract that you will have to sign. Get insurance, driving a rent-a-car without insurance places the burden of liability on the renter.

An e-mail from a friend

I was driving a U.S. plated rental car into Canada as a landed permanent resident, as I know there is some confusion about this. I landed in February, but returned to the U.S. in preparation to move in September. I made a trip up to Canada last weekend via rental car to meet with a real estate agent. About an hour from the border, I remembered the issue of driving a U.S. car in Canada as a PR and thought there may be a problem crossing, so I called the border and asked. There response was that even though I am a landed permanent resident in Canada, I can still drive a U.S. plated car into the country as long as I have not "established a residence in Canada." In other words, if the answer to the question "Where do you live?" is still somewhere in the United States, you can drive a U.S. plated car in Canada. I subsequently arrived at the border and had no problems entering with the car. This is just my personal experience, but I thought others might benefit from it.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle

There are several different options for buying a car: new/used, for cash or leased. You can purchase from a private seller, a dealer, an auction, or from companies selling vehicles form their fleet. To purchase a new car, go to a major dealer (i.e. VW, Toyota, Acura, GM) and find the car you like, negotiate the price, buy then register it. A dealer will usually register and deliver a car to you for a fee (around C$1,000 – expensive, consider picking up and registering yourself). You can pay for cash, get finance, lease or lease buy-back (a form of rental that allows the lessee to purchase the car after the lease contract expires for a predetermined value). Dealers offer flexible financing terms for new vehicle purchases. Recent university and college graduates can get discounts on the purchase price of C$500 and up if the dealer has a Graduate Discount program.

If you want a used car, you can buy it privately from another individual and save some tax. In Ontario, sales tax on private sales of vehicles is 8%; 15% for dealer sales. However, you will probably need to pay in cash or draft from a private seller, so there are no financing options. You will be able to get finance from most used car dealers (be careful as the interest rate can be very high rates). Local banks also offer car loans and the rates tend to better than what the Dealerships offer.
To register the car you are driving you need the following:
Driver’s license, emissions test (Drive Clean ), safety certification, vehicle ownership, Ontario used vehicle information package, valid car insurance, sales tax @ 8%, license plates, and a validation sticker.
Most dealerships will complete the entire registration process for you, for a fee.

Importing a Car into Canada

If you wish to import a vehicle, first you have to contact the Provincial Ministry of Transportation to find out if the vehicle can be imported into Canada under the current transportation regulations. If you visit the Ministry of Transportation website you will find out more about the importing regulations. Briefly, if you wish to import a vehicle to Canada, it has to be of certain age and it has to conform to the Canadian transportation safety standards. Provincial and Federal sales tax must also be paid.

Car Insurance

Under the Traffic Act, insurance is mandatory for all vehicles. There are strict financial penalties if your vehicle is not insured. In Ontario, the first offense for driving without insurance may result in a penalty of $5000 and more for a second and third offense.
Insurance can be obtained by an Insurance broker, or some other financial institution. Many employees have a group insurance plan. For new immigrants, it is usually more expensive to get insurance as they have not yet established themselves with a Canadian insurance carrier. Sometimes, a letter confirming that you had car insurance previously in another country could help save some money when obtaining insurance in Canada. Not all insurance companies will honor this policy. 

Alcohol levels for Ontario Drivers

Drinking and driving is unacceptable in Canada. Each province has a different alcohol level allowance in the bloodstream. If you are caught driving with your BAC level above the allowance you may end up in jail. To find out more contact the province authorities and or the Canadian Auto club of your preference. The best thing to do is plan to stay the night, have a designated driver, take a taxi, or get someone to drop you off and pick you up.

Driving Guidelines

  • Leave early so that you don’t feel the need to rush on the roadways
  • Obey construction zone signs – slow down
  • Look both ways and slow down at railway crossings
  • Give the right of way
  • Obey traffic laws, signs and Police officers
  • Make proper lane changes signal, check your rear view mirror, and look over your shoulder to see the vehicle your passing
  • Inspect your vehicle for road worthiness
  • Signal, and move out of the way quickly and safely for emergency vehicles
  • Do not tailgate
  • Do not drink, or take any kind of drugs before/while your driving
  • Plan your trip, check weather and road conditions, avoid driving during peak rush hour times
  • When the weather is bad give yourself enough space and time to arrive safely. If possible cancel or wait until the weather clears up.
  • Wear your seatbelt it may save your life
  • Share the road with others: pedestrians, cyclists, etc…
  • Don’t play the road rage war

Keep all windows and mirrors unobstructed for a clear driving view

Winter Driving

Be prepared for winter driving by having your vehicle tuned up by a license mechanic.

Brakes

The brakes must be faultless and equalized so there is no pulling to one side, which could cause skidding.
Cooling System

Have your cooling systems flushed and clean antifreeze put in. Check the belt, hoses, pressure of the caps and the thermostat.
Batteries and Electrical

Cold weather is hard on your batteries start up. Be sure the connectors are clean and tight, for the best possible charge.
Engine

A diagnostic check-up of the engine can be a good pre-winter investment. Faulty wiring, worn spark plugs, sticking choke, or a emissions control device that needs attention, can all lead to hard starting.
Exhaust System

Check the muffler and tail pipe systems for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather when driving with the windows closed.
Fuel System

Make sure there is plenty of gas in the tank at all times. A full tank of gas minimizes condensation, which causes gas line freezing. Add gasoline antifreeze occasionally.
Heaters, Defrosters, and Wipers

Have them checked to make sure they are all operational. Install winter wiper blades and use the cold weather washer fluid for your vehicle to ensure your windshield can give you a clear view of the road and the traffic around you.
Oil and Filters

Dirty air filters, oil, and spark plugs will increase fuel consumption and shorten the life of your engine.
Tires

Snow tires increase traction in soft snow. Install them on all four wheels. All-season tires with good treads are adequate for some regions. Check your tire pressure regularly (at least once a month in winter). For every 5degrees of temperature drop, the tire pressure goes down by one pound. That not visible to the naked eye so be sure to test it with a tire pressure gauge.
Winter Equipment

Keep the following items in your vehicle:
Windshield scrapper, snow brush, lightweight shovel, bag of sand, facial tissue, properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and jack, first aid kit, flashlight, flares, extra oils and fluids for your make and model, and battery jumper cables. For long trips take extra precautions: bring a blanket, candles, lighter or matches, emergency rations, lined winter boots, hats, mittens, warm clothes, and small heating cans.
Drive Defensively

Winter driving demands extra caution. Always be ready for poor driving conditions and unsafe actions of other motorists. Clear all the snow and ice from your vehicle, allow more travel time, leave more distance between you and the other vehicles, and know how to deal with icy conditions.
Use a block heater in winter when the temperature drops to -20C/-4F or below. A block heater keeps your engine oil and coolant warm. That makes the vehicle easier to start and can increase winter fuel economy by 10 percent. Use a timer to switch on the block heater one to two hours before you plan to leave.

Emergency Vehicles

Seconds can save lives.
It is imperative that drivers respond quickly to emergency vehicles. Whether, the emergency vehicles just have the lights on or combination of lights and sirens. It is all our responsibility to get out of their way as safely and quickly as possible.
Ambulance and Fire trucks have red flashing lights. Police vehicles have red, and as of June 2007 now also have blue flashing lights. Motorists are expected to respond to the blue flashing light on a police car the same way they do to the red flashing lights. It is required by law, that all other motorists clear the way for all emergency vehicles.
There are considerable size fines for disobeying emergency vehicles on the first offense plus demerit points. Subsequent offenses can offer jail time, larger fines, and or suspension of the license.

Driving is a privilege and it can be taken away if laws are broken or disobeyed.

Construction Zones

When approaching a construction zone – slow down, have patience, don’t tailgate the car in front of you, and obey all the posted signs.
Road maintenance is essential for our safety and road surface improvements.
Detours, ramp closures, stop/slow, reduced speed limits, uneven road surfaces or worse loose gravel may be just a few of the conditions that could be and usually are to be expected when entering a construction zone.
Having that in mind, plan your trip carefully. Check the road report before departing on your trip for road closures and detours.
Be especially careful when driving past road workers. They are there to do their job.

Railway Crossings

A train with full emergency braking engaged, can take up to two kilometers to come to a full stop.
In 2008 from January to April 14 people had been killed in vehicle - train collisions. That is an increase from previous years.
On public roads in Ontario, railway crossings are marked with a large Red
and, White “X” sign. When you’re approaching a railway crossing, slow down, listen, look both ways down the tracks, then cross with caution if the way is clear. Stop at least 5 meters from the nearest gate, rail, or painted “X” lines on the road when a train is approaching. Do not shift gears on the railway tracks. Never believe you can out run the train. It is illegal to drive through, around, or under a railway barrier while it is being raised or lowered. The conviction is “failing to stop at a railway crossing” along with the conviction there is a fine and demerit points. Stop, look, listen before you cross the railway tracks. It is for your own safety.

Night Driving

Night time driving presents its own challenges as far as visibility is concerned however; Wild animals create serious hazards for drivers after dusk. If involved in a collision with a wild animal serious damage can be done to the vehicle, the individuals in the vehicle, and is usually fatal for the animal.
However, there are two seasons when the risk of a collision is highest: May and June and again during mating season between Oct – Dec.
Mosquitoes in spring drive deer and other wild animals onto our roadways. During sun rise and then again as the sun is setting are the most probable times that animals would bolt onto the roadways.
Some areas of Ontario have a higher proportion of reported wildlife collisions.  Thunder Bay, Simcoe County, Ottawa, Middlesex County, and Lanark County are a few of the areas with higher wildlife/automobile collisions.
Be alert and watch for the yellow warning signs posted by the roadside, take them seriously, and reduce your speed accordingly. The picture graphics on the warning signs are colored black. Deer, Moose, Geese, and turtles are just a few of the different animals you will see posted on the warning signs.
There is a motor vehicle/wild animal collision approximately every 38 minutes.
Animals such as deer, raccoons, and moose will freeze in position from the lights of a vehicle. If you see the glowing of their eyes on or near the road use threshold braking to slow down or stop. Do not try to predict the animal’s next move. There may be more than one animal as some travel in packs or flocks. When the way is clear cautiously drive on.
Avoid swerving to hit a wild animal as it may result in a more serious collision. If hitting a wild animal is unavoidable, remember to stay in control.

Driving at night in the fog can be extremely dangerous. Extra caution needs to be exercised. Reduce your speed and drive with low beam headlights and fog lights if you have them installed on your vehicle. Avoid passing other motorists as oncoming traffic has the same minimal visibility as you have, they can’t see you until its too late. Use pavement markings on the right side of the road as your driving guide. Increase the space between you and the vehicles around you, in case emergency braking techniques need to be used. Keep your front and rear defrosters on to keep windows clear and clean. Four way flashers may be used as an added precaution. Remain calm at all times.
Always check weather conditions before you depart on any trips so that you as the driver can be prepared or are able to make alternate arrangements if necessary. Rain, snow, and fog can all make for extremely dangerous driving conditions.

Seatbelts

A seat belt is a safety harness designed to secure occupants of the vehicle against sudden impact, or hard braking. The seatbelt is intended to prevent the seatbelt wearer from hitting hard interior surfaces and, from being ejected from the vehicle. 
The three - point seatbelt is the most common in vehicles today. It spreads out the impact over a larger surface being the shoulders, chest and pelvis. The precise method to wear a seatbelt is; lap belt as low as possible over the hips, the shoulder belt lies on the chest and over the shoulder. It is not advisable to leave any slack in the belt. Most seatbelts are equipped with an inertia reels that tightens when pulled fast – sudden hard braking. In December 2003 the law became such; every occupant in a motor vehicle in Ontario must wear a seatbelt. There are penalty infractions up to five hundred dollars if convicted plus demerit points. It is the driver’s responsibility for any persons under the age of 16 to be secured into a seatbelt, child restraint or booster seat. Wearing a seatbelt properly increases your chances of survival in a collision.

For children, who have outgrown their car seat but, haven’t met the criteria for a regular seatbelt, must be in a booster seat.
Booster seats are for children under 8 years old, weigh 18 kg to 36 kg, and who are less than 145 cm tall.
Car seats are for toddlers 9 – 18 kg. They should be in a forward facing car seat with a tether strap anchor bolted into the back of the vehicles frame.
Infant car seats are for babies less than 9 kg. The infant car seat must be rear facing.
Always refer to the instructions in the owner’s manual for the correct installation of a child restraint for that vehicle.

It is the vehicle owner who must ensure the seat belts are all in proper working order. Please remember the amount of seatbelts in a vehicle equals the amount of passengers that can be transported in that vehicle at one time.

Air bags

Air bags are safety devices that along with a seatbelt provide protection from frontal and near-frontal collisions, from impact speeds of twenty-three kms/hr. An airbag upon frontal impact can deploy in one-twentieth of a second. That’s faster than blinking an eye. Most air bags have internal tether straps that limit the movement or distance it can inflate to. Small children under the age of 13 should not sit in the front seat where there is an airbag located on the passenger’s side they can be severely injured by it. In high impact collisions, the airbag is designed to deploy quickly to protect the upper body and the head, because of the force in which it inflates it can cause injuries. Adjust the front seats as far to the rear of the vehicle as possible, without interfering with the driving distance that’s comfortable, so that it gives the airbag as much room as possible to inflate.

Cell phones

New foundland and Labrador are the first Canadian jurisdictions to pass a bill to ban the use of hand held cell phones. Motorists in these jurisdictions caught talking on a hands-held cell phone while driving will face a fine up to $180, and will also be assigned four demerit points. Although other Canadian jurisdictions haven’t yet banned the use of cell phone while driving, if they are found to be at fault of a collision then they will be charged with “careless driving”.
Driving a motor vehicle requires all the driver operators’ attention in full. Driver distractions account for 9% of serious collisions.
Your cell phone and the road:
Pull off the road to make your call.
Plan ahead make sure to tell friends and family the approximate time that you will be traveling, so that they don’t phone you needlessly.
Let a passenger answer the phone for you.
If you must talk on the phone while your driving, make it as brief as possible.
Cell phones are great for getting roadside assistance.

Environment

By now almost everyone should know that driving a motor vehicle has a huge negative impact on the environment. Sudden acceleration and braking burns far more fuel. The more fuel we burn the greater emissions being released into the environment. Using the vehicles air conditioning uses more fuel too. What can we do to reduce the harmful emissions that go into the air we breathe?

  • Don’t use fast food drive thru’s
  • If your idling longer than 10 seconds shut off the engine
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated
  • Carpool with friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers if possible
  • Turn off the vehicles air conditioning
  • Refrain from hard acceleration
  • Walk
  • Take the bus
  • Bicycle wherever you need to go

Eco-Friendly Driving Tips

  1. Drive off from cold, the engine will reach its operating temperature – and therefore reach efficiency – more quickly.
  2. Check your RPMs, change up gears before 2,500rpm (petrol) or 2,000rpm (diesel).
  3. Drive smoothly and anticipate road conditions. Avoid sharp acceleration and heavy braking.
  4. Ease off the accelerator when slowing down or driving downhill.
  5. Slow down, optimize speed – driving faster consumes more fuel per KM travelled.
  6. Switch off the engine if you're going to be stationary for more than a minute or two.
  7. Plan ahead. Map your route. Know how to get there before you start.
  8. Avoid short journeys. Walk, bike or take the bus as much as possible.
  9. Ditch anything that adds weight or produces aerodynamic drag, such as roof racks, bike carriers and roof boxes. Be respectful to your center of gravity.
  10. Check tire pressures – under-inflated tires increase fuel consumption.

(Source: Energy Saving Trust)

Do your research, we encourage all our students to find some great links and find out how you can reduce your carbon footprint and help our environment while saving some money along the way.

Here at Sara’s KW Driving School, we like to think we are a little different than other driving schools, as the first and original regional Eco responsible Driving School. We promote alternative driving techniques. Be a friend of the environment, reduce your CO2 footprint.

At Sara’s KW Driving School (KWDA) we care about the environment here in the Kitchener Waterloo, Cambridge Ontario (ON) area, and our goals are clear.

To train our Mature and Young Drivers to a point beyond Ministry test standards, on flexible terms, at a pace that suits every student.  Our methods of teaching include defensive, courteous, safe and Eco responsible driving.

A great majority of our Mature and Young Drivers pass the MTO Road Test in a relatively short period of time on the very first attempt. We encourage all of them to continue to carry forward the methods taught during learning with their personal welfare and safety in mind.

Our commitment to the environment is achieved by way of providing each of our successful pupils with their very own “Plant a tree for life” ensuring that their Carbon footprint is offset for years to come.

Our company commits to being a “500 tree company” with a contribution of a minimum of 500 trees planted annually – for more information regarding our supported organizations contact us.

Because we are a small local driving school we really do go that extra mile to meet our mature and Young Students needs, we tailor your driving lessons to suit your individual needs. We progress through subjects that you may find easier during driving lessons and spending time on areas that may require more work. You won't spend unnecessary time parked up by the side of the road during your driving lessons, you'll be driving.

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