Student driver runs stop sign, fails roadside sobriety test during lesson, police say
VANCOUVER -- A student and his instructor had a rather unexpected end to a driving lesson after the driver ran through a stop sign before failing a roadside sobriety test.
Mounties in Coquitlam, B.C. said they pulled over a driver's ed vehicle on the afternoon of Feb. 2 after the car went through a stop sign on the Maryhill Bypass. The 44-year-old male driver also failed a roadside sobriety test issued by a traffic enforcement officer.
"This may be a funny story, but we're serious about keeping our community safe," said Cpl. Michael McLaughlin with Coquitlam RCMP in a news release.
"It also shows why traffic stops are one of the most unpredictable things you can do as a police officer. Neither the driving student nor the instructor did their due diligence to be safe on the road. Our officer made sure to deliver immediate consequences."
Not only did the student have his learner's licence suspended for 90 days, he also received a ticket for failing to stop at the stop sign.
RCMP said he had a Class 5 learner’s licence, the kind given to those who hold a drivers' licences in other countries.
"When it comes to something like alcohol, you can’t have any in your system when you’re a brand new student driver," explained McLaughlin.
The instructor also faced consequences and had his car impounded for 90 days.
"The instructors, students and the people who pay for lessons should all be doing due diligence," said McLaughlin. "It's not often we tow a car with two steering wheels, but impaired is impaired. Everyone must be safe on the road."
The incident has driving experts questioning the legitimacy of the school.
"Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you see something weirder and this one really does take the cake," said Curtis Strelau of Young Drivers Canada.
Strelau said the instructor should have checked for signs of impairment before the lesson began. He believes the incident is the result of complacency on the instructor’s part.
"He has a dual brake and apparently in this car, he even had a dual stirring wheel. Where was the instructor? Why didn’t he stop him from going through that stop sign?" said Strelau.
ICBC said impaired driving is a leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C.
"We expect driving schools and instructors to take all road users’ safety into account and ensure that drivers taking lessons are authorized and qualified to drive," said ICBC in a statement.
"We will investigate this further and take the appropriate action."
When choosing a school, students are urged to confirm that it has been licensed by ICBC.
They should also check that each instructor has a professional driver training instructor licence.
RCMP would not reveal the name of the driving school.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Regan Hasegawa