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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 11-21-2010, 01:45 PM   #1
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No Seatbelt ticket.... So many things wrong here.

Ok so here's the story

Friend of mine was driving 4 of us across the parking lot over to mcdonalds after a night at the bar. We did no go on any public roads, however there were 4 of us in the backseat of his car. I personally had my seatbelt on when we did it, the other 3 did not. When we pulled up and stopped the car we we about to get out so I was taking my seatbelt off and then a police car came up behind up and flashed his lights. Long story short all 4 of us were given "Failure to wear a seatbelt" ticket. When he was giving them back to us he gave me the wrong person's ticket also! I signed the wrong one. How do I go about disputing this if I have the wrong ticket?
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:31 PM   #2
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Sounds like an easy dispute. I agree the cop was out of line with something to prove. If he wanted to ticket you, the least he could've done was wait for you guys to pull out of the parking lot (I understand you guys weren't planning on doing so, but just making a point here) onto a public road. As much respect as I have for cops, pre-emptive arresting is not cool.

That reminds me of a time my friends got busted for sitting in the back of a pickup truck (stopped) inside a parking lot. Some cop happened to drive by and freaked at them. They didn't get tickets though.

Last edited by slammer111; 11-21-2010 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:03 PM   #3
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if the parking lot you were in is publicly accessible, the same laws apply. Sure you can say you're just going to McD's, but how does the police officer know you weren't driving like that for the past hour? And for that matter - the Judge might say that you guys could've switched your tickets, rather than the police officer giving it to the wrong person. Signing it means nothing as well.

just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:13 PM   #4
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Parking lots are no different than highway 1 according to the Motor Vehicle Act. If you do not have a ticket with your name issued then you are probably okay with not having to pay your friends ticket. If a friend received your ticket and gave it to you then you can dispute it if you wish.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slammer111 View Post
Sounds like an easy dispute. I agree the cop was out of line with something to prove. If he wanted to ticket you, the least he could've done was wait for you guys to pull out of the parking lot (I understand you guys weren't planning on doing so, but just making a point here) onto a public road. As much respect as I have for cops, pre-emptive arresting is not cool.
I'd rather they preemptively arrest drunks than wait for them to drive out onto a road and possibly hit something.

Seat belts in a parking lot sounds a bit extreme though. My older brother was ticketed for the same leaving my elementary school, he usually buckled up while driving across the parking lot - and was caught before he buckled up. Crap ticket.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:38 AM   #6
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were u guys already parked when the cop put his lights on??

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Old 11-22-2010, 10:52 AM   #7
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I thought parking lots were considered to be private property, and therefore not all of the MVA could be applied. Also with the signature, doesnt it represent that you received the ticket? So if your friend signed the ticket, doesnt that kind of void the ticket since they received it and not you?

Both of my points are likely wrong, but just thinking out loud
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:03 AM   #8
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Yes, we were literally stopped and in a parking stall when the police car came up behind us and threw on his lights. He said to us "Don't bother disputing the ticket either guys, we have you all on camera" Ok, great you have us on camera, but you're camera cannot see through the car to see whether or not we had belts on? I mean, I had a witness outside the car and inside the car that can attest that I had my belt on.


I think he was just disgruntled about something, I think he was really trying to hope to find a DUI in our driver but he did not drink that night so he decided to give us all tickets. Pretty sad....
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:45 AM   #9
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the MVA applies to anywhere that is publicly accessible - parking lots all count. Unless you're in an area that is gated off and not publicly accessible - such as race tracks, or private ranches, etc - but then your insurance won't cover anything.

The officer does seem like a jerk though; was the back meant for 4 seats or 3?
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:11 PM   #10
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Only 3, we were only cramming into to just get across the parking lot as it was snowing pretty hard. I had my belt on, the rest didn't.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:47 PM   #11
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Camera, Shamera

If anything, it should HELP your case, as it will provide the direct line of visual sight that the officer had when viewing the vehicle's occupants.

You did say the lights were activated correct? We they activated immediately while you were still driving or after you parked?

In fact, I would be requesting this camera footage if you decide to dispute it. Don't wait until you receive a court date to do this though, off the top of my head I am not sure what the preservation requirements are for in-car video, but I can't image it would stick around for the 1yr.+ current court delays.


As you stated, it was in the evening, there was snow, you were squished in the back, and I would definitely be calling into question the officer's ability to properly obverse the vehicle occupants and the positioning of their seat belts in such conditions. Obviously I don't know the distance from the vehicle, or the size of the windows the seat belts etc.

It also kind of depends on where you were sitting. If you were the middle rear occupant, and the vehicle had only a cross waist restraint - I don't see any reasonable method by which an officer would have been able to determine whether a belt was being worn or not.

May not be a bad idea to find out exactly where the officer was positioned, take you and your friends out, and attempt to replicate the scenario as best as possible - same time of night etc. - filming it wouldn't be a bad idea (this time wearing your seat belts), and see if can extract reasonable doubt into the ability to observe yourself wearing or not wearing a seat belt from the officer's vantage point.
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:28 PM   #12
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Sorry for the thread jack... but isn't there a law against driving more people than the car can hold?

Or does that fall under the "No seatbelt" ticket?
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:40 PM   #13
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What section of the MVA were you charged?

There is a section that states

Quote:
Passenger seating requirement

39.01 A person who is 16 years of age or more and in a vehicle being driven or operated on a highway must

(a) remain seated in a designated seating position, and

(b) be the only occupant of that designated seating position.

[en. B.C. Reg. 110/2007, s. 2.]
http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bcl...2#section39.01

which i think, you can be charged, as you were not the only occupant in your seat, even if you had a seatbelt on...
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:27 PM   #14
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^ So you can carry as many passengers under the age of 16 as you wish legally?


Time to get a white van!
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:07 PM   #15
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If u carry under age of 16, and they have no seat belt on, its the driver who's at fault. IIRC
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cs_729 View Post
I go about disputing this if I have the wrong ticket?
you bring the ticket to icbc, they'll staple your blue ticket recieved from the police officer onto a white paper, "violation ticket notice of dispute." after that, you just play the waiting game for about a year. you have up to 30 days to dispute, any later you're admitting guilt i believe.

the icbc person doesn't care whether you were right or wrong. save your breath for the judge and police officer. hope the officer doesn't show up for an easy win, though if you're confident then whatever. light up the cop, embarass him and win.
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Last edited by Five-Oh; 11-24-2010 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Edited for language in the police forum
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:09 PM   #17
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technically, were they not properly served the ticket?
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:29 PM   #18
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Blame your friends, get them to pay =D
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:01 PM   #19
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Just dispute it.

You guys will all get off of it.

Doesn't sound like the tickets had any real merit. Also. I don't think cop car cameras are THAT advanced. Snowing and in the dark? Kinda hard.

ALSO. If u think about it, he could've charged you guys for having too many ppl in the back. So if he supposedly had it on camera, why didn't he? =0
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:37 AM   #20
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Just dispute it.

You guys will all get off of it.

Doesn't sound like the tickets had any real merit. Also. I don't think cop car cameras are THAT advanced. Snowing and in the dark? Kinda hard.

ALSO. If u think about it, he could've charged you guys for having too many ppl in the back. So if he supposedly had it on camera, why didn't he? =0
Hmm maybe because he was cutting them a break?

This is something I never understood. If you could be charged for more than 1 offence or could be charged for a more severe offence, why do you try to dispute the ticket?
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:00 AM   #21
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No we were only charged with failure to wear seatbelt. As I said before, 4 of us were in the back of the car. I had my belt on, the rest did not. We drove across the parking lot. Pulled into a parking spot, car was turned off, we were about to get out when the police officer came up behind us and threw on his lights. Now say none of us had our seatbelts on, as long as the car is parked and turned off why should we still have our belts on? It just does not make any sense. If were were driving I could totally see this as a valid ticket, but as we were parked and stopped then it just doesn't seem like it's a valid ticket.

Would any PO's be able to chime in here so I can get some more info?
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:48 PM   #22
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You know for a fact that the police officer did not see the car being driven with the 4 of you in the back? Cause if he did see the car being driven to the parking spot, then I think it would be easy for him to conclude that someone didn't have their seatbelt on while it was moving, even though you were already stopped when he turned on his lights.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:38 PM   #23
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Crown would have to be able to convince the JP that the people who got issued VTs for not wearing their seatbelts while the car was in motion, were not wearing them. You would have to raise doubt that this happened. Crown would also have to prove service to you of the VT charging you with the offence. If you never were served with a copy in your name, then you were not served with the VT you were charged with. A parking lot to which the public has access is a "highway' and section 220(4) will apply. if you follow the logic behind the car being stopped means you can't be charged, then you would never get a speeding ticket because the Cop stops you to issue it.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:37 PM   #24
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I would excercise your right to disclosure.

Also, see what angle did the officers film u guys.

Lastly, what kind of car was it? Were the back windows tinted? or smoked from the factory?

And the last poster was correct. So if you got served the wrong tix, it means another friend got served yours by accident. Which both of you can probably get off on.

Get some facts in and see what you can do. But I honestly don't see how this can go through short of you guys pleading guilty. I have one I'm waiting for right now for not wearing a belt while driving. (I had one on). so I'm interested to see how that 1 would turn out.

I'm religious about my belt too. It saved my life twice.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:20 PM   #25
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As long as you don't believe you deserved the ticket, dispute it. That is what the process it there for.

Also, deliver a letter to the officers detachment requesting full disclosure of the evidence the officer intends to present at trial. Request the disclosure as soon as possible to avoid the video being deleted before trial, I'm not sure how long the video is held for in the dash mounted cameras as I have never been in a car with one.

Being in a parking lot and only driving a short distance is not a valid defence to the charge of failing to wear a seat belt. To be convicted of this, the Crown will have to prove to the Justice that you were not wearing a seat belt. It is hard to comment on how this trial will play out with only hearing the one side of this event. Once you receive disclosure, you will be in a better spot to prepare your defence.
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