163139
160257
Behind-the-Wheel

Perpetuating mediocrity

I once stopped a vehicle being driven at 96 km/h in a posted 50 km/h construction zone.

Approaching the passenger side, I spoke with the woman in the front seat and the young lady driving.

When I explained why I stopped them, the woman suggested that she was unable to get the driver to slow down, and maybe I could do something about it.

The driver produced a learner driver's licence and no L sign was displayed on the vehicle.

To me, the solution was simple.

  • The woman should have denied her daughter access to the vehicle unless she was willing to follow the traffic rules.

The conversation told me that this was a known issue rather than a one-time lapse on the part of the driver.

After they had departed and I sat doing the notes for the violation ticket I had issued, I wondered if maybe it wasn't so simple.

Perhaps this woman should not have been given the privilege of teaching her daughter to drive. If the teacher is ill equipped to teach, the new driver will not learn what is necessary to drive correctly and safely.

Do parents read the Tuning Up for Drivers guide that their teen receives in the package with their new learner's licence?

The book contains 20 lessons to prepare for the Class 7 road test presented in order for good skill development.

We all tend to think that we are better than average drivers, but I occasionally find myself in conversations with parents who tell me that their teen taught them about things that they were doing wrong when driving.

Yes, ICBC does test new drivers to see if they meet standards as they progress through the Graduated Licensing Program. These standards are much more stringent than they were when I took my driver's test 30 years ago.

The trouble is, attitude can easily be hidden for the duration of a test, but put back on as soon as the driver hits the highway alone.

Perhaps this young lady would be better off taking the complete GLP package at a driving school. She will receive instruction in both the mechanics and the ethics of being a good driver that she might not be getting at home.

Currently Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan require a new driver to take formal training in order to get a full privilege driver's licence.

Given the level of complexity facing a learner driver today presented by both the vehicle and the driving environment, perhaps formal training should be mandatory in all provinces.

Story URL: https://www.drivesmartbc.ca/behaviour/perpetuating-mediocrity

COMMENTS WELCOME

Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.



More Behind the Wheel articles

163464
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



163277
The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories