Coquitlam: On February 2, at 1:30 p.m., a Coquitlam RCMP Traffic Enforcement officer who stopped a car for running a stop sign got more than he expected.

The 44-year-old Coquitlam man who was driving, and who subsequently failed a roadside sobriety test, was a driving student who was in the middle of a lesson.

This may be a funny story, but we’re serious about keeping our community safe, says Corporal Michael McLaughlin with Coquitlam RCMP. 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.

The student had his learner’s licence suspended for 90 days and received a ticket for failing to stop for the stop sign. The driving instructor had his car impounded for 30 days. Both the driver and the driving school could face a review from ICBC.

Driving schools are one of the best ways to learn defensive driving, but there are some best practices:


  • Research the driving school and get the best school you can afford,
  • Know your driving materials and the rules of the road,
  • Always have your licence and identification with you while driving,
  • Only drive while well-rested, sober and totally focussed on driving (no cell phones or other distractions).

Driving instructors:

  • Know your materials, keep your certification and licencing current,
  • Keep your vehicle in good repair,
  • Carefully evaluate your students at all times. If they are not safe to drive, don’t let them on the road,
  • Teach defensive driving and driving skills. Don’t just teach to ‘pass the test.’

The instructors, students and the people who pay for lessons should all be doing due diligence, says Corporal McLaughlin. It’s not often we tow a car with two steering wheels, but impaired is impaired. Everyone must be safe on the road.