New drivers in New Brunswick will soon have to follow stricter regulations when they get behind the wheel.

Legislation introduced by the Liberal government on Wednesday will amend the province's Motor Vehicle Act, providing firmer rules for its graduated licensing system.

When the new regulations are approved, novice drivers will only be allowed to have three people in the vehicle with them.

"There's a lot of things that distract drivers, and of course, a crowd in a vehicle could distract drivers," said Public Safety Minister John Foran. "We're just trying to make it safer for the people. We want our young people, our novices I should say, to pay attention to their driving."

Drivers entering their first stage of the licensing system will also only be able to be in a vehicle with a licensed driver who has at least three years of experience.

Currently, there are no restrictions on the number of people that can be in the vehicle and although the accompanying passenger must been licensed, there is not a requirement for how many years experience that person must have.

Novice drivers will remain in "stage one" of the system for a minimum of eight months if they successfully complete an approved driver training course or 12 months if they choose not to take the course.

Those still in "stage one" or "stage two" of the graduated system will also not be allowed to drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless they receive special permission to do so or are able to prove that there was an emergency that required them to get behind the wheel.

All drivers under the age of 21 will also not be able to consume any alcohol before driving.

"I am confident that these enhancements will further assist new drivers in developing the skills and good judgment necessary to operate a vehicle safely," Foran said.