The Driver Improvement Program

BC LogoThe 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 however, it is the Superintendent of Motor Vehicle's way of telling you that you are an unsatisfactory driver and that 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

New Drivers

A scan of the Policies and Guidelines will find that a driver in the Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) faces a warning letter, probation and the possibility of a 1 to 9 month prohibition if they receive between 2 and 6 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.

Experienced Drivers

In contrast, an experienced driver faces a warning letter if they receive between 9 and 14 points in that time period. They will face probation and prohibition once they receive between 15 and 19 points.

Being Placed on Probation

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.

You Are Prohibited From Driving

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.

Rear of BC Driver's Licence

Monetary Penalties

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.

Setting an Example

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 that it is happening far too late for experienced adult drivers. Shouldn't they be held to a higher standard and set the example?

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These guys are lucky, when I turned 16 in 1956 my mother signed for me to get my DL,  T. Hadfield was the superintendant of  motor vehicles at the time, ( I'll never forget the nice old guy )  when I got my first speeding ticket, about 2 - 3 weeks later my mother got a letter from good old Mr Hadfield telling her that if I got another speeding ticket, my DL would be suspended.  The magistrate in Nanaimo at that time was Lionel Beevorpots, he was strict no ifs & or buts, if he did'nt like the way you were dressed when you appeared in front of him, GO HOME CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES then come back, if you had long hair, GO GET A HAIRCUT then come back. and that was one magistrate I really admired. If you know any of the Old Timers around there they could verify what I'm telling you. It all went downhill when Pierre Trudeau brought in the charter of rights, even the RCMP & Bus Drivers do not have the protection they used to have.

I can't agree with you more, as I have said in the past most new drivers learn from watching their parents.... Need I say more.

ALL persons who are issued a BC driver's license should be re-tested at designated intervals.  I have no idea how this could be instituted, but after seeing the incompetent, lazy, inattentive, lackadaisical, and just plain stupid drivers that are on our roads, something has to be done.  Every person who takes control of a motor vehicle has a legal and moral responsibility to operate that vehicle in a safe manner.  If a person is not capable of doing so, simply put, they should not be allowed on the road.  There can be NO exceptions.  It seems to be a forgotten fact that having a driver's license is a privelige, not a right. 

Having said all that, I can't help the feeling that commenting here is like writing a letter to the editor.  The people that need to see it, don't read it.