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Behind-the-Wheel

B.C.'s Driver Improvement Program

Driving prohibitions

The Driver Improvement Program sounds like something designed to increase a driver's skills and make them a safer, more accomplished operator of a motor vehicle.

That isn't the case. It is the Superintendent of Motor Vehicle's way of telling you that you are an unsatisfactory driver and a prohibition from driving may be in your future.

According to RoadSafetyBC, you come under scrutiny due to the accumulation of penalty points, Criminal Code convictions for serious driving offences or contact with police.

Factors considered include:

• The number of violations received in a specific time frame

• Repeated violations

• The type and severity of violations

A scan of the policies and guidelines will find a driver in the Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) faces a warning letter, probation and the possibility of a one- to nine-month prohibition if a driver receives between two and six penalty points in a two-year period.

The only exception to this is if they are convicted of any combination of two of the following offences within a one-year period—excessive speed, driving without due care and attention or driving without reasonable consideration for others.

In contrast, an experienced driver faces a warning letter if they receive between nine and 14 points in that same time period. They will face probation and prohibition once they receive between 15 and 19 points.

If you receive a notice of probation from ICBC, your driving privileges remain the same but it serves as a warning that further violations will result in a driving prohibition. Probation may occur before or after a driving prohibition.

Drivers who have been on probation will be monitored more closely for a two-year period following the expiration of the probation.

In most cases you will receive a Notice of Intent to Prohibit and have an opportunity to submit reasons that the prohibition should not occur or should not last as long as specified.

Ignoring the notice will only prolong the agony. There are many ways to implement the prohibition, the most inconvenient of which is likely having police seize your licence at the roadside.

Prohibited drivers must immediately return their driver's licence to ICBC.

Called “service fees,” a driver must pay a $250 licence reinstatement fee and a $31 temporary licence fee to ICBC before they are able to drive again.

A parent I corresponded with expressed the opinion that this was too sudden and too harsh for their teen driver.

While I might sympathize with the teen, I really think it is happening far too late for experienced adult drivers.

Shouldn't they be held to a higher standard and set the example?

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



More Behind the Wheel articles

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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



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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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