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BC Already Had Laws To Deal with Bad Drivers Being Irresponsible with Cell Phones

Posted by pwl on January 7, 2010

British Columbia already had laws to deal with irresponsible bad drivers with cell phones being reckless or dangerous.

Copyright (c) Queen’s Printer,
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 318
Part 3
Careless driving prohibited
144 (1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a highway
(a) without due care and attention,
(b) without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway, or
(c) at a speed that is excessive relative to the road, traffic, visibility or weather conditions.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) (a) or (b) is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than $100 and, subject to this minimum fine, section 4 of the Offence Act applies.”

“… it’s already against the law to drive without due care and attention OR with undue care and attention.” – RS

The new anti cell phone and device laws were only made to make the life of law enforcement and ICBC biased prosecutors easier.

The problem with the new anti cell phone and device law is that it alters the burden of proof from the prosecutors having to prove that a person was distracted by the use of a phone or other device and assumes that the person is guilty. This is in direct violation of the Canadian Constitution which guarantees every person in Canada the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty (“11(d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty …”).

This cell phone ban attempts to bypass this important constitutional protection and place the burden upon us saying that we are guilty of diminished capacity just because we were using a cell phone.

It assumes that we are guilty without proving it and thus this law is nullified and void.

This fatal flaw in this overbearing law also has implications for law enforcement putting them at risk of being guilty of enforcing unconstitutional laws as that is a form of obstruction of justice. Saying that they were just obeying orders is not a sufficient defense on their part either.

For example this officer, Staff Sergeant Al Dengis, is now potentially guilty of the intention to violate the Canadian Constitution by indicating this intent to enforce these new unconstitutional provisions in the Motor Vehicle Act.

Central Okanagan Traffic Services Staff Sergeant, Al Dengis, says police will be conducting what he calls ‘enforcement education’ during the month of January.

“Those that we find committing the offence will be issued with a written warning advising them of the offence they have committed,” says Dengis.

“As of the first of February, that’s when the charge process will begin.”

Motorists found in violation of the legislation after February 1 will face a fine of $167.

If police are able to prove you were texting or receiving an email through your device, it will also include three demerit points against your driving record.

Dengis says the ban on hand-held devices goes beyond just cell phones.

“Electronic devices are considered to be cell phones, PDAs, Blackberrys, IPods, MP3s or any other electronic device you may hold in your hand while operating a motor vehicle.

He says the exceptions to the new legislation is that drivers may use hands-free or one-touch technology.

Essentially, the legislation bans a driver from holding, operating, communicating or watching the screen of a hand held communication device. They cannot send or receive text messages from those hand held devices.

Dengis adds that the legislation is worded in such a way that police do not have to see a driver using a hand-held device, only holding it in order to issue a ticket.
Going hands free?

They also no longer have to prove that the driver was actually distracted! Whoa!

So Dengis acknowledges that the burden of proof has shifted from proving that the driver was in fact ACTUALLY distracted to simply ASSUMING the driver is GUILTY of being distracted WITHOUT A TRIAL! Thus the provisions of this law are unconstitutional and thus void and henceforth nullified!

To enforce an unconstitutional law makes one guilty of serious offenses including that of obstructing justice.

See the other articles in this series here.

Hats off to RS for the Motor Vehicle Act reference and his wonderful insight.

One Response to “BC Already Had Laws To Deal with Bad Drivers Being Irresponsible with Cell Phones”

  1. bouncy said

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the challenges.
    It was really informative. Your site is useful.
    Thank you for sharing!

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