Rebelling against the 'N'

New drivers must display the N - Auren Ruvinsky photo
New drivers must display the N
— image credit: Auren Ruvinsky photo

Throughout the year, every year, there is a surplus of new, inexperienced drivers on the road. For some this is a time of excitement, for others it is a time of nerve wracking fear. For many it is a time for extra rebellion against the law and license restrictions. How far people push the rebellion boundaries in our area? 

A poll was taken from 37 new drivers in Grade 12 at Kwalikum Secondary School. One hundred per cent said they had sped. Eighty-one per cent said they had texted while they were driving. Seventy per cent said they had exceeded their passenger limit of one person. Twenty-seven per cent said they had driven while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

ICBC introduced the Graduated License Program in 1998. In 2003, improvements were introduced as to heighten the safety of new drivers and others on the road. By adding the GLP it has dropped the rate of accidents by 28 per cent and there have been 4,000 fewer accidents with injuries.

With technology being such a large part of our modern society, it is expected that the population in Oceanside less than 30 years of age would make up the majority of the tickets given for violating the handheld devices ban. However, Cpl. Mike Elston of the Central Island Traffic Services said the majority of tickets given out for handheld devices are given to the people over 30. However, since cell phone use has increased and texting was introduced, the amount of accidents has gone up due to distracted driving. The public is reminded to keep their cell phones safely tucked away while in the driver’s seat and to pay full attention to the road. 

The most common ticket that is given to Novice drivers is the failure to display the “N” on the back of their vehicle. When you receive your novice license you are given a green magnetic “N” that must be visible from the rear end of your vehicle. Failure to display this sign, replace a missing sign, or altering the colour, size or shape of your sign will result in a $167 ticket. New drivers, remember always to display your “N.”

Novice drivers are trying to get accustomed to the road and the rules. Though most experienced drivers may get annoyed by new drivers, all drivers must follow the rules of the road so that everyone, can get where they need to be safely.

— Kjylagh Gaschler and Vicky Hayward-Wrench are students at Kwalikum Secondary School.


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