New drivers: what do we expect?

News item: Teen learner driver causes a head on crash that kills two other youths. Both GLP drivers involved were driving contrary to the conditions of their drivers licences and should not have been on the road. It's a tragedy, but should we be surprised?

Look around you the next time you are out on the highway. Do the adults out there provide a good example for our new drivers? I'm sorry to say that in my view most of them do not. Almost no one follows the speed limit and the rest of the rules hold until they become inconvenient.

"Haven't you got anything better to do?" or "You're nothing but a tax collector!" were sentiments that I heard many, many times in my traffic law enforcement career. Do you think that the children listening to this in the back seat got the idea that following the traffic rules was something that was a high priority?

I've written before about teaching youth to drive in an article titled "Perpetuating Mediocrity". Very few of us have the driving skills and knowledge necessary to teach new drivers completely. Parents with bad driving attitudes produce young drivers with bad attitudes and their matching driving histories tell that tale.

Should we really be surprised when the young drivers fail to follow the rules?

The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit www.drivesmartbc.ca.

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

To comment, please email

To learn more, visit DriveSmartBC

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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