Apparently, new driving rules are coming into effect in the near future in New Brunswick for all drivers UNDER 21. They all have some impact on the graduated license system that New Brunswick (and several other provinces use).
Looking through the changes, I really don't see what the big deal is and why everyone wants to protest the changes. So, let's examine these changes that are taking place ...
As of June, 1st, 2009 the provincial government of New Brunswick will be instituting new driving laws within the province, mainly for those in the graduated license system. These new rules will include:
Level 1 licensees (before road test)
Must be accompanied by a driver who has a Class 5 licence or better, at least three years of driving experience and is seated in the front passenger seat
Cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
Can take their road test after eight months if they complete a licensed driver training course.
Those who do not complete such a course must wait for 12 months to do the test.
hmmm .... these sound pretty familiar so far ... I think my 'waiting' period between getting my permit, taking the course and my road test was 4 months ... although it did wind up being more like 8 as I was away for much of the summer playing field hockey..... that cannot drive between midnight and 5 am is new but was also a rule my parents imposed on me rather than the government - that was the deal. Car is in the driveway by midnight or I was a dead duck. So what's the issue here ... government making decisions to help make the roads safer or the government taking on the roll that a parent should be? Ahem... my mother would like to point out that it was the car that had to be in the drive way by midnight ... not me. All I had to do was drop the car off in the driveway no later than 12:00am and then hop into someone else's car to continue the evening's festivities. Thankfully, this only lasted that first year :-D
Even now as a 27 (almost 28 year old), if I'm driving back or to somewhere's, my goal is to be off of the road by midnight no matter what. After midnight, you're exhausted - you mind isn't as alert and your reflexes are usually pretty shot by then.
Level 2 licensees (after road test)
Cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m., except for education or work purposes, or if they’re accompanied by a driver who has a Class 5 licence or better, and at least three years of driving experienc
Cannot have more than three passengers in the vehicle, and no more than one passenger in the front seat.
All drivers under the age of 21 will be restricted to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of zero.
Wow! OMG! The government is putting restrictions on when 16 year olds can drive! Oh No! Let's stop and think of this. Why would some one between the ages of 16-18 really need to be on the road between 12am and 5am? Uhm .. can we say munchies? Driving around with no purpose? The rules are not saying that you cannot be out driving - what they are saying is that unless you have a valid reason to be on the road (school, work, and you know, they will probably even let emergencies slide) then don't go on the road. Oh no! only three passengers in my car? That's all I could fit in my car (I drove a Neon) ... and yet again, that was also a rule that my parents placed on me as well as a early driver .. come to think of it, I was only allowed one passenger for the first year of my driving unless I asked if it was ok to have more than one first (to which my parents were completely fine with). Oh - and I had to abide by the whole BAC of zero too for the year I was on my G2 .. which coincidentally also was when I was of legal age. But Oh no! My parents stepped in again here ... and said No drinkie you can have car. You go drinkie no car. Common freaking sense. You drink you don't drive. Period.
If any of these laws are broken and you are caught the following penalities are:
More than 3 passengers: 172.50$ + 3 points
Driving after midnight: 172.50$ + 3 points
No accompanying driver: 172.50$ + 3 points
Ok, maybe I find these a little off the wall ... but then again, I'm pretty sure I had a fine system that I had to abide by to .. in particular the accompanying driver (but only while I was under my G1).
I'm all for my government stepping in to make sure that the roads that I drive, bike and walk on are safer. And if these little changes to Driving rules helps, then so be it. Too often I have seen youth driving around recklessly thinking that they are invincible ... until they wind up wrapping themselves around a tree or injuring/killing some one else.
Gee ... I wonder if we could get something like this started up in Nunavut but applied to Skidoos and Honda's driven by my students at reckless speeds at all hours I cringe every time I see one of them go buy as 9/10 the either wipe out, do a 360 or nearly run into someone coming in the opposite direction