Shippagan 'fed up' with bad teen driver

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A teenage driver on the Acadian Peninsula has already racked up a long list of motor vehicle violations in his short driving career.

The 19-year-old Shippagan man pleaded guilty in Caraquet this week to 13 motor vehicle offences and two Criminal Code offences after provoking a flood of citizen complaints to police.

The offences include travelling 50 kilometres an hour over the limit in an urban area, operation of an unsafe vehicle, speeding in a school zone, failing to stop for police and obstructing a peace officer, squealing his tires, and operating an unsafe car without proper lights, muffler or exhaust equipment.

'Simply fed up'

Sgt. Marc Beaupré of the Tracadie detachment of the Northeast RCMP said the charges were a long time coming.

RCMP held off laying the charges because police didn't observe the violations personally and because witnesses initially didn't want to press charges.

That changed, and people in Shippagan, a community of about 2,600, ran out of patience, Beaupré said.

"People are simply fed up with that type of behaviour about that individual," he said.

"They'd like him to most likely grow up out of his bad behaviours. … Shippagan is a quiet area, a quiet little town. He's probably the individual who's got the most complaints against him."

Over 50 complaints

Although the force did receive 50 complaints about the teenager this year, they don't reflect the full extent of the problem.

"If we go back to June 2017, we're not doubling that number, but we're almost double," said Beaupré.

Over the past few months, RCMP set up some targeted operations to catch the driver in the act.

The man is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 11 for sentencing.