RCMP cracks down on new P.E.I. drivers

The RCMP says it's cracking down on new drivers breaking the Graduated Drivers Licensing Program's restiction on P.E.I.

New drivers see restrictions as guidelines not laws, says sergeant

RCMP are cracking down on new drivers who ignore the restrictions of the province's Graduated Drivers Licensing Program.

Drivers who don't abide by the program's restrictions will be ticketed and could lose their license, said RCMP Sgt. Andrew Blackadar. First-time offenders will get a 30-day driving suspension, followed by a 90-day suspension for a second offense.

Drivers with a Graduated License are not allowed to drive past curfew, or have any alcohol in their system. As well, the number of passengers they drive with is limited to mostly family members.

However, young drivers told CBC News they find the rules excessive.

"Sometimes your friends are like can I get a ride? And you feel bad if you don't take them so you're like if we get stopped by a cop, you're my sister," one teen told the CBC.

RCMP said they're frustrated too many drivers see these rules as guidelines, and not the law.

"We've been seeing a lot of young people on the Graduated Drivers Licence Program who've been not following the rules. They've been driving with too many non-family members in the car, they've been out past their curfew, they've been doing a number of other things that we've had to issue tickets," said Blackadar.

"It's causing us some concerns, it's causing us some public safety concerns for the highway."

The department of transportation says the program helps keep the public safer on the roads. Since it started in 2008, the number of fatal accidents involving licenced teens has been cut in half.