A disagreement over the validity of Chinese driverís licences has led to daily headaches for Richmond Mounties who are ticketing and sometimes towing immigrants who donít realize theyíre not legally allowed to be behind the wheel.
ICBC and the RCMP donít agree on what licences are allowed in the province, leaving drivers who have been told they can drive shocked when the police tell them they canít.
ICBC said it tells immigrant drivers from China that they have up to three months to upgrade to a local licence after moving here and their licences are good for up to six months as tourists.
Adam Grossman of ICBC also said students donít need the licence at all.
ďAn official driverís licence, issued by the Peopleís Republic of China or any other country, is also acceptable for any full-time student in B.C. studying at a recognized institution,Ē said Grossman.
He referenced B.C. driving regulations to support his argument.
But Cpl. Stephanie Ashton of the RCMP said thatís not the case.
ďThat only applies to countries that are recognized under the UN conventions of international driving regulations,Ē Ashton said. ďThereís a number of countries that canít legally drive here without obtaining a B.C. licence.Ē
According to Ashton, drivers are being pulled over ďmore than once a dayĒ and warned or ticketed for not having what the RCMP consider to be a valid licence.
Since officers cannot let them drive after being pulled over, if there isnít a passenger in the car with a valid licence, they must call a cab.
Ashton also said officers need to be able to look at a licence and determine it is valid and an actual licence, which is difficult if itís in a language the officer doesnít understand.
She said that could lead to tickets being thrown out of court. Chinese drivers ticketed in licence dispute | Vancouver 24 hrs
I guess that's why we see people not knowing how to drive around Richmond