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B.C. driving schools concerned over foreign license policy




[caption id="attachment_83151" align="aligncenter" width="620"]RCMP and ICBC have resolved concerns regarding the legality of driving with a Chinese-issued licence on B.C.'s roads. (CBC) RCMP and ICBC have resolved concerns regarding the legality of driving with a Chinese-issued licence on B.C.'s roads. (CBC)
[/caption]Driving schools in Canada have raised some questions about a new policy that stops police officers from giving tickets to drivers who have foreign licenses. Prior to the change in law, Mounties cited Chinese drivers for not holding a Canadian license because the characters on a Chinese license did not allow them to check the license legitimacy. The change in policy includes all non-Canadian drivers. Those drivers will not have to obtain a Canadian license for six months.

The Regional Manager of Education said that Canadians have road standards and the practice of allowing foreigners to drive without the same standards expected of Canadians was dangerous. One of the biggest problems was the fact that many people from foreign countries are able to purchase licenses rather than going through the proper channels. Those drivers often do not possess the skills to safely navigate the roadways.

At least six foreign drivers were suspected of possessing illegitimate licenses that were purchased in various countries including Taiwan, China, the Philippines and South Korea. The information was obtained via one of approximately 30 driver instructors in the area. A sting operation by police officers revealed that approximately 10,000 drivers had obtained fake Canadian licenses in a bribery scheme.

The scheme nabbed six Motor Vehicle Branch examiners and several dozen driving schools. A previous sting in 2007 nabbed a trucking school in Surrey that was running a false licensing scheme. Some of the driving schools said that even those who have gone through the proper channels and obtained legitimate licenses often do not possess the same high standards that Canadians require to drive on their roads.

An emphasis on Chinese drivers was added, some driving schools stating that the licensing laws in those countries is so far below standard that in their country, the rules of the road do not apply creating a hazardous situation for everyone.


Sean is a London (Ontario) based writer, and has been writing full-time for eCanadaNow since May of 2005, covering Canadian topics and world issues. Since 2009, Sean has been the lead editor for eCanadaNow. Prior to his work writing and editing for the eCanadaNow, he worked as a freelancer for several Canadian newspapers.. You can contact Sean at {Sean at] Google


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