Innovative kartSTART program introduces teens to driving

Toyota-backed program benefitted 133 Ontario and Quebec youth in 2012

Published: November 6, 2012, 11:00 PM
Updated: June 7, 2015, 10:46 AM


An innovative program called kartSTART has introduced 133 young teens to driving in Ontario and Quebec in 2012 in the safe environment of a go-kart track.

KartSTART is a unique family driver training program designed to give teenagers and their families a true, real world understanding of the physics behind driving a motorized vehicle. 

The one-day kartSTART course gives youngsters, 12 and up, a driving experience in vehicles that fit them: go-karts. Expert instructors give new drivers a clear understanding behind the physics and dynamics of driving a motorized vehicle in a closed course environment.

In addition, the families that attend the kartSTART program are mentored in the latest safety developments in road cars, using vehicles provided by Toyota, which is a program sponsor.

The kartSTART program began in Ontarioo in 2011 and expanded to Quebec in 2012.

The Ontario events were held at Sunset Speedway with 80 participants in 2012.The Quebec events, held at Autodrome St. Eustache, attracted 53 young drivers to the two-day event.

Many participants in both markets had never driven any motorized vehicle and all left with better understanding of control and safety features.

"I couldn’t be happier with the growth the kartSTART program has seen this year," kartSTART administrator Russ Bond said. "The reaction from the kids that drive a motorized vehicle on their own for the first time is something that never gets old – I think I enjoy it as much as the parents."

Chief Instructor Mike Goodyear noted that some parents said that they were "very nervous about sending their kids to regular driving school because they had never navigated anything but a bicycle. One parent, after watching his son’s progress in the karts during his driving sessions, where he could visually see him improving, he now had a better feeling. When we hear parents say that, we know we have done our job."

More information on kartSTART, can be found at