New ICBC Regulations
Changes to the Approved Course Time Reduction
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What changes are being made to the GLP
A. Currently, drivers who complete a voluntary Graduated Licensing Program approved driver education course are eligible to exit the Learner stage three months early (after nine months rather than 12 months). On March 31, 2007 the time reduction in the Learner stage will be removed. After March 31, all new drivers must obtain 12 months of Learner stage driving experience. A new Novice time reduction at the end of the Novice stage will be offered to new drivers who start an approved course after March 31, 2007.
Q. Why are the changes being made?
A. Research from B.C. and other jurisdictions has shown that the best road safety outcomes result when new drivers stay in a highly restricted Learner stage for as long as possible. The more supervised learning time the better.
Q. How will the Novice stage reduction work?
A. Any driver who completes the first lesson of an approved course after March 31, 2007 will receive a six month Novice stage time reduction if they successfully complete the course and stay free of violations and crashes for the first 18 months of the Novice stage. (Note: an atfault crash is one where the driver is found to be 50 per cent or more responsible for a crash.
Q. When will the changes take effect?
A. For drivers starting an approved driver training course after March 31, 2007, the three month time reduction in the Learner stage will no longer apply, and the new time reduction incentive will be available for eligible drivers in the Novice stage.
Q. Will the changes apply immediately to all drivers now in GLP?
A. No, drivers who complete their first lesson of an approved driver training course on or before March 31, 2007 and complete their course by March 31, 2008 will not be affected by the new rules.
Q. Do all the other rules stay the same for the Learner stage?
A. Yes, Learners under the new rules must also display an official L sign, must have no alcohol in their body, must not drive between midnight and 5 a.m., and are allowed only two passengers – one of whom must be an adult supervisor (25 years of age or older) with a valid Class 15 licence.
Q. Are any changes being made to the course or when it can be taken?
A. No changes have been made at this time to the curriculum or requirements of the approved course. The course is designed to be taken in the Learner stage as preparation for the Class 7 road test.
Q. Is still working?
A. Yes, in its first three years, GLP reduced the new driver crash rate by 16 per cent. However, in 2005, new drivers (drivers with less than four years experience) were still more likely to be involved in crashes than more experienced drivers.
Q. What is ICBC doing to address new drivers who are involved in crashes, even though they may have formal training?
A. ICBC research shows that Novice drivers are at the greatest risk of crashing at the start of the Novice stage when they are no longer required to be accompanied by an adult (25 years of age or older with a valid Class 15 licence while driving. Those crash rates decrease and level out as Novice drivers mature and gain experience. Requiring new drivers to remain in the supervised Learner stage for the full 12 months before moving to the Novice stage will help to address this issue.
Q. Why is ICBC providing an incentive for new drivers to take driver training?
A. Driver training schools provide a valuable option for improving the basic driving skills of new drivers and allowing them to gain experience on the road. B.C. research shows that drivers who take an approved course are more likely to pass the basic skills focused Class 7 (Learners) road test on their first attempt than other new drivers. Drivers who pass on their first or second attempt are less likely to crash than those who take three or more attempts. Driver training schools also provide options for parents and help to reduce the passing on of questionable driving habits.
Q. Why is ICBC offering a Novice stage time reduction?
A. We know new drivers need both safe driving attitudes and skills to stay out of crashes. Road safety and BC research show driver training to be effective in new driver skill development. The six month Novice stage reduction is reward for completing comprehensive training and demonstrating safe driving attitudes and behaviours by staying out of crashes and following the rules of the road.
Q. Where can I get more information about the approved course time reduction changes?
A. You can check out ICBC’s website at www.ICBC.com.
Q. Where do I get a copy of Learn to drive smart?
Click here for a downloadable version of Learn to drive smart.