Our Team


Spencer McDonald

SMcDonald Aug2014

President and founder of Thinking Driver, has over 25 years' experience in driver training curriculum design and instructor development. Spencer’s expertise in psychology,education, training and motivation together with instructor trainer qualification in all vehicle types uniquely qualified him to develop the attitude-based Thinking Driver programs.

Mr. McDonald is a bestselling author, has been awarded the 2008 Transport Canada/Transportation Association of Canada Award of Excellence and the 2013 Canadian Society of Safety Engineering Outstanding Achievement Award for his 30 years of leadership in fleet driver safety. He has appeared on national television and radio and is an international keynote speaker on the topics of road safety, aggressive driving, road rage and driver training.

Pamela Peterson

Operations Manager. Pam has over 25 years in administration and logistics. She oversees the Thinking Driver team, ensuring all deliverables are met, if not exceeded, and presented to the highest quality, to the right people, on time. She handles the preparation of quotes and proposals, product and program development, marketing promotions, tradeshows and conferences, distributor and instructor liaison, instructor development, finance, customer service and more.

Daniel Boyer

Chief Instructor, stationed in Manitoba. Dan has 25 years of experience in law enforcement and training. Dan is fluently bilingual (French and English) and began his career training police officers in all aspects of driving from basic patrol to high-speed pursuit at the RCMP training headquarters in Regina, Canada. As a heavy transport enforcement and compliance specialist, Dan is one of the top fleet safety experts in the country. 

Mike Glas

Chief Instructor. Mike has over 35 years service with the RCMP where he instructed numerous courses at Headquarters and in the field including Radar, Accident Investigation, Air Brakes, TDG, and Advanced Driver Training for enforcement officers. Mike joined Thinking Driver after spending several years training at the Justice Institute of BC where he trained Municipal Police recruits, Firefighters, Corrections workers and other public service employees.

Reid Knutson

Senior Instructor. With over 35 years with the RCMP, Reid brings extensive expertise in Driver Training with the RCMP, Law Enforcement training in New York and California, and most recently with the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Integrated Security Unit. Reid is a gifted trainer and curriculm/program designer. 

Joe McKeown

Senior Instructor. A certified driver training instructor and licensed assessment officer, Joe brings with him a certificate in adult education and wealth of experience in the transportation industry with over 30 years’ experience in the heavy moving industry.

Robert (Bob) Verbree

Instructor. Bob has over 35 years with the RCMP, 33 years in Traffic Services. Bob has extensive experience in Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement, Inspections, logbook audits, Advanced Driver training, Emergency Vehicle Operation and was a CVSA inspector for many years. Bob was the RCMP Commercial Vehicle Coordinator for eight years and a long term member of the BCACP Traffic Enforcement Sub-committee.

Vern Nystedt

Vern Nystedt

Instructor. Stationed in Manitoba, Vern comes to us from the Department of National Defense. With over 40 years as a truck and heavy duty equipment operator, Vern brings with him extensive knowledge and experience in the transportation safety industry.

Dave Williams

DaveW Webpage Cropped

Instructor. Dave has over 35 years' service with the RCMP all in the Province of British Columbia. He dedicated 31 years to Traffic Services (Enforcement and Collision Investigation) with 26 years in the highly specialized field of Forensic Collision Reconstruction. He has instructed numerous Collision Investigation courses at the RCMP’s Regional Training facility in Chilliwack, BC. Dave is also a part time Defect Investigator for a major North American automotive manufacturer.

Kristy Gittens

Training Coordinator. Kristy possesses extensive experience in customer service and administration. She handles the coordination and scheduling of client training, instructor travel, preparation of student materials, handles product inquiries and customer care.

Karen Ryan

Administrative Assistant/Researcher. Karen has extensive experience working in complex regulatory environments. Her expertise in identifying, collecting and interpreting empirical evidence to analyze systems and processes has contributed to five public inquiries in BC and makes her an intuitive and effective administrative team member.


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Latest Tailgate Topic & Tip

  • 21 - BICYCLES
    SAFETY MEETING PLANNER & AGENDA BICYCLES! Meeting Leader: • Prepare in advance to make this meeting effective.Go to the Thinking Driver website for instructions on how to best use this information. (• Print and read over this entire agenda (or download a PDF version here). • Think about how you…

Latest Thinking Driver News

  • The Thinking Driver Newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 55 May 2018
    The Thinking Driver Newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 55  May 2018

    Header May2018

    These Essential Spring Cleaning Tips Will Have Your Car Summer Ready!

    May2018 1

    If you're reading this site, there's a pretty good chance you care about your car.  Thanks to Canada's horrid unique climate mix that freezes our cars in the winter and bakes them in the summer, our vehicles tend to suffer a host of hazards that'd terrify even the most professional detailer.

    Over the winter, your car's exterior was assaulted by, well, salt while the interior was bombarded with slush and ice.  That's not to mention the wear and tear caused by Dad's habit of spilling his double-double all over the dashboard on the way home from junior's hockey practice.

    With the calendar now in [May], it's a great time to evacuate all of winter's debris.  The best way to combat permanent damage is through regular cleaning and detailing, of course.  If schedules were jam-packed during the snowy months and one didn't have a chance to hoover out winter's flotsam and jetsam, don't worry.  We've got you covered with a checklist that'll get your ride shining in no time.

    Wash the Car (properly)

    May2018 2

    Take care of the essentials first by giving your car a good wash to rid it of the winter grime.  Head to your favourite automotive department and pick up a couple of wash mitts, soft material towels, proper car wash soap (dish liquid will harm a car's paint), and a few drying cloths.

    When washing, make certain to use the two-bucket methods.  What's that, you ask?  Well, one bucket contains the soap and water mixture while the other is used solely for rinsing the wash mitt.  This way, there is little chance of picking up stray dirt on the wash mitt as might happen if the same bucket is used to both apply the soapy water and rinse the mitt after washing a body panel.

    For an extra dose of paint protection, invest in a plastic guard which fits into the bucket, allowing the dirt thrust into the bucket during a rinse to sink to the bottom and stay there, out of reach.  A good quality microfibre wash mitt is key to avoid damaging the paint on a car.

    Invest In Quality Automotive Specific Products

    May2018 3

    Cleaning tools such as wash mitts, sponges, and towels should be made of soft materials that will not scratch the paint or other surfaces.  When using them, be absolutely certain all these products are free of dirt and grit.  Did you drop that new sponge on the driveway while practicing the two-bucket method?  Wash it thoroughly before using it again.

    The products being used for cleaning a vehicle should be specifically designed for automobiles.  Household cleaners like dish soap do a great job of cutting grease in the kitchen but often contain ingredients that can damage the delicate paint finish on vehicles.  Instead of hitting up the supermarket for car cleaning supplies, head to an automotive retailer who will have the proper soaps, washes, and waxes on the shelf.  Your initial investment might be a bit higher but it will pay off in the long run.

    Don't Forget the Interior

    May2018 4Can you see your reflection in the car's paint yet?  Good, because now it's time to turn your attention to the car's interior.  Vacuuming and glass cleaning might sound like blindingly obvious tasks but they will keep winter's damage at bay, even if your car hasn't seen a vacuum since Halloween.  Be sure to use a good quality wet/dry vacuum to hoover all the dirt and debris out of the carpets and seating surfaces.

    Picking up a can of cleaner especially formulated for your car's cloth or leather seats will go a long way to rejuvenating a winter-worn interior.  Pro tip: be sure to test any interior cleaners in an inconspicuous area before applying it liberally to make sure the product doesn't strip the fabric of its colour.

    Use a soft cloth and appropriate cleaner (water works well in a pinch) to wipe grime from the dashboard.  Don't throw out those old toothbrushes - they're perfect for digging crumbs out of the cup holders and cubbies.  Protect your ride going forward with a good set of rubber mats that will trap dirt and snowy slush before it even has a chance to reach the carpet.

    Doing a thorough job of cleaning one's vehicle is time consuming but the rewards are great.  Whether a person is a gearhead or not, spring cleaning a car will exorcise winter's grit and maybe even boost its resale value a bit at trade-in time.  For us misty-eyed gearheads, it's the equivalent of treating a loved one to a day at the spa.

    20150211 C4728 PHOTO EN 11995Written By: Matthew Guy,

    Posted on April 23, 2018



    For more information on Fleet Driving Safety for your employees, visit



The Thinking Driver Program was created by Spencer McDonald, driver psychology and counseling specialist to improve driver attitudes and reduce aggressive driving and fleet incident rates.

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