brampton driving school

Cop catches driving instructor making illegal U-turn on Toronto highway

A series of collisions on GTA highways resulted in a slow, messy commute for thousands of people in and around Toronto on Monday.

Fortunately, Ontario Provincial Police were on hand to keep drivers safe, get traffic moving and produce some premium-quality video content for their Twitter followers.

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt was broadcasting live video footage from his phone via Periscope, as he often does when things get chaotic (or cute) on local highways, when a stream of vehicles started making illegal U-turns right in front of his cruiser.

Apparently frustrated with how slowly traffic was moving on the southbound 410, drivers were pulling over to the shoulder of the road and crossing the median to head northbound.

As Schmidt got closer and became visible, the behaviour stopped. He issued a gentle verbal warning to the car at the front of the line and told them to reverse and continue on their way.

Then, not even a kilometre down the same highway, Schmidt approached another open area of the median where a driving school instructor had paused mid-turn upon spotting his car.

"What is this?" says Schmidt in the video as he approaches, laughing as he notices the driving school sign atop the vehicle. "This is hilarious."

The officer proceeds to pull over for "a little chat" with a driving school instructor inside the vehicle. 

"Sorry, not to shame anybody," he says... but "driving school!"

A woman who identifies herself as a driving instructor gets out of the vehicle and promptly tries to remove the sign atop her car. Schmidt tells her to leave it alone.

Schmidt basically grills the woman, in as friendly a demeanour as possible, about what she was doing and why.

The woman explains that she and her student were late for an appointment, hence the attempted U-turn (which, as she eventually concedes to Schmidt, she knew was an illegal move.)

Miraculously, the instructor (who also admits that she directed the student to pull the U-Turn) avoids getting a ticket — though she may very well lose her job at Brampton's New Method Driving School as a result of the now-viral video.

"It's kind of embarrassing to know that this 'new method' of driving schools would give a 'new method' that's actually illegal," says Schmidt, referring to the sign posted atop the car.

"I'm not trying to embarrass you, it's just very disappointing," he says, to which the instructor argues that she only pulled an illegal move because she was running late.

"You know what? There's thousands of people here that are running late as well," counters Schmidt before sending the pair back on their way, in the same direction they were headed before.

"I really don't know what to tell you other than don't take the New Method Driving School's advice of going through the shoulder and breaking the law just because... you're late for an appointment," says the officer as he watches them drive away.

"There's no excuse for that type of behaviour."

Lead photo by

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt

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