Stick It or Ticket

Catherine Crowley

More stories from Catherine Crowley


Catherine Crowley

Red GDL stickers must be clearly visible on the license plates of new drivers


As teenage drivers, we are more likely to get caught breaking rules since probationary drivers have so many. Common traffic violations for new drivers include speeding, not coming to a complete stop, having too many passengers, driving after curfew or even the odd instance of not having red decals on the car. Now this may seem like such a small, unnecessary action, but it is serious enough to send a teenager to court. A court hearing for this offense includes a personal discussion with the judge, as well as an additional fine for the ticket.

As a cautious driver who never fails to follow the rules of the road, I never expected to be pulled over for doing something wrong. However, towards the end of August on a clear summer night, I was pulled over and given a ticket for not having the red probationary decals on my car. As upset and shocked as I was at the time, I respectfully accepted the ticket and went on my way. Eventually, I realized that a court appearance was required for my unlawful action of not having these red stickers on my car.

For me, court was a fascinating thing to be a part of in order to experience a unique setting I had never witnessed before. Luckily, my only consequence was a payable fine with no points on my license, which gave me a sense of relief knowing the judge could have easily been harsher on me.

My personal view on the red decal law is that if it’s so important then these stickers should be given to drivers when they get their license. Some probationary drivers are completely unaware of this law and don’t even know where to get these red stickers, but it is the unlucky ones who are unfortunately pulled over and fined for not having them on. This topic can have two sides in respect to the law and the security of young drivers. Yes, the law does require these stickers on probationary drivers’ cars; however, a young girl may not feel comfortable placing stickers on her car that indicate her age to strangers on the road. On the other hand, these decals are mainly to protect the lives of teenage drivers so it makes traffic officers’ lives easier by pointing out the probationary drivers abusing their restrictions of curfew time and number of passengers. This issue is widely debated, but my advice to you is to ‘Stick It or Ticket’ if you want to avoid a fine and a court date.