What are driving contracts?
It takes time to learn the skills and gain the experience necessary to be a safe driver. And while BC’s Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) establishes a number of driving rules and restrictions, your family’s driving contract may go even further. Use a contract to help you:
- Establish family driving rules
- Establish consequences for inappropriate behaviour
- Communicate with your teenager about driving.
- Manage your teen’s learning-to-drive process.
The importance of planning ahead
By planning in advance, you and your teenage driver will both be clear on what the rules and responsibilities are and on the consequences for breaking the rules. Many families have found that by establishing a driving contract, they can avoid a rough ride down the road.
Download the appropriate contract for your teenager’s stage of driving:
Develop a driving contract
1. Know the facts and statistics [PDF] before you start.
2. Consider the situations that can increase the driving risk for your new driver — The GLP Learner and Novice driving restrictions as well as the rules of the road are intended to reduce driving risks. You might want to go further by creating additional rules in the following areas:
- passengers and other driving distractions
- where and when your teenager can drive
- consumption of drugs and alcohol
- use of seat belts
- contribution to vehicle upkeep and operating costs
3. Talk to your spouse, partner or co-parent — If you have a spouse, partner or co-parent, it’s important that you talk about and agree on the teenage driving rules.
4. Discuss the family driving rules with your young driver — It’s important that he or she understands your reasons behind each of the rules and agrees to follow them. Be prepared to negotiate but don’t let go of the rules you consider to be the most critical. Your son or daughter’s safety could be at stake.
5. Establish consequences — Talk with your teenage driver about the consequences of breaking the rules. Work together through some possible scenarios and talk about appropriate consequences. They will be more meaningful if you can agree on them. It’s important to follow through on the consequences for breaking any of the rules.
6. Develop a driving contract — Use it to formalize your teenager’s driving rules and clearly lay out your expectations. In a contract, rules are identified for all drivers in the family. This means that parents, too, must agree to certain responsibilities.
Download the appropriate contract:
7. Consider sharing the contract with other parents – It helps when you share a common understanding of the rules, restrictions and progression inherent in learning to drive with other families.
8. Review your family driving rules from time to time — You may want to add a new rule. Or, maybe your confidence in your young driver has grown to the point where you feel you can relax some of the rules. Consider continuing to use the rules even after your teenager has acquired a full–privilege licence.