New drivers aren’t telling others they’re new at wheel

Police nab 18 motorists within 45 minutes after staking out high schools

  • Mar. 9, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Ridge Meadows RCMP check N and drivers licences near Thomas Haney secondary on Thursday.

Teen drivers, watch your step. Police have got an eye on you, and if you’re not sticking an ‘N’ on your vehicle to tell people you’re a new driver, you could get a ticket.

After conducting a 45-minute blitz Thursday, Ridge Meadows RCMP dished out 18 tickets, with fines of $109, to motorists who only had a Class 7 driver’s licence.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Alanna Dunlop pointed out that drivers who only have a Class 7 can only carry one passenger in the vehicle, with the exception of family members.

Dunlop didn’t know why kids are not displaying Ns and Ls on their cars.

“They do get stolen off the back of vehicles, I know that happens.”

The tickets were issued near three Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows high schools last Thursday, while another three schools were targeted yesterday.

Dunlop said the police presence nearby got students talking, which is what they intended. The graduated licencing program, in which new drivers move from being considered learners, where they have to display an L, to novice drivers where they have to display an N, to Class 5 is still relatively new, so it may take awhile for people to accept.

“It is important for new drivers with Class 7 licenses to understand the restrictions of their driver’s licenses. Driving a vehicle is a privilege and not a right, and all restrictions and rules of the road must be adhered to,” she said in a news release.

“We’re going to continue to enforce this and we’ll see if there’s any change.”

Police also wrote five other tickets, for no front licence plate, for not following restrictions on a driver’s licence, for no seatbelt, and two for not having a drivers licence.

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