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Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 09-21-2012, 11:24 PM   #1
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Do I have a valid argument to dispute my charges?

A couple nights ago i got pulled over and ticketed for having illegal mods (fender eliminator) on my motorcycle.

On my violation ticket it says i have an offense for improper display of plate which is section 3.02 of the mva and the fine is $230. But according to the VIOLATION TICKET ADMINISTRATION AND FINES REGULATION (source: Violation Ticket Administration and Fines Regulation) the fine amount should be $196. Unless cops have the discretion to write any amount they want? Does anyone know if cops have to go by the amount specified on the above website?



Also section 3.02 of the mva reads (source: Motor Vehicle Act Regulations)



If you look at the picture of my license plate it meets the requirement of section 3.02. It's securely fastened in a horizontal position.


So with this info do you guys believe I have a valid argument to dispute my charges?
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Last edited by yelnats8; 09-21-2012 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:10 AM   #2
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dispute it, might get a 5050 chance of winning/losing.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:00 AM   #3
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Personally I would have either given you a mandatory inspection which would require you to reinstall the fender extention, red rear reflector, side reflectors and separate turn signals that are required...or a VT for 3.03 for obstructed plate.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:17 AM   #4
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From this thread: http://www.revscene.net/forums/52527...ml#post8036247

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Originally Posted by yelnats8 View Post
Apparently all fender eliminators are illegal because they do not meet DOT standards. Here's a pic showing the back of my bike



Officer said I had improper rear signal lights, missing license plate lamp, missing rear fender and reflector, and my license plate is mounted improperly (its too tucked in).

I got two tickets, one for improper display of plate $230 and one for defective vehicle $109. I also got a notice and order to bring my bike back to stock and have it inspected within 30 days.

I was pretty much really unlucky to get caught. I wasn't speeding or doing anything stupid. I saw a cop on a bike going the opposite direction, we looked at each other and i saw him ride by but i guess he made a u turn somewhere and caught up to me at a stop light and told me to pull over. If it was a cop in a cop car i probably would not have gotten busted. Since this guy was riding too he was probably out looking for riders will illegal mods or what not. I tried to get him to let me off with a warning but he said he was already being lenient with me because technically the rear mods i had were sufficient enough that he could have taken my bike off the road right then and there and gotten it towed and the fine would have been much more.



yeah that was me. i was standing by the side of the road for a while, cop took his sweet time to write me the tickets.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by zulutango View Post
Personally I would have either given you a mandatory inspection which would require you to reinstall the fender extention, red rear reflector, side reflectors and separate turn signals that are required...or a VT for 3.03 for obstructed plate.
Hi zulutango, i was hoping you would chime in. Yes i did get a notice and order to bring my bike back to stock and have it inspected within 30 days, which i am going to comply with and put the stock license plate mount, signals, and reflectors back on.

My gripe is not with the mandatory inspection, it is with the VT i received and the fine. Aside from getting a ticket for section 3.02, i also got a VT for defective vehicle section 219(1) and the fine is $109. However, I rather not have to pay the $230 fine for section 3.02 if i have a valid argument about my bike satisfying the requirements for it (which from the initial feedback of other posters, i do have a valid argument).

I'm also still curious if the officer has to follow the fine amount according to Violation Ticket Administration and Fines Regulation or whether officers have the discretion to issue a fine greater than what is posted on the website.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:33 PM   #6
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If the fine on the VT is not the correct one then the ticket processing folks normally bounce them back to the issuing Member. Unless fines have changed then the $196 would be the correct one for an obstructed plate. I'm not sure where the $230 came from? Cops have to follow the fine schedule. JPs or Judges can and have raised them at times up to the $2000 max under the Offence Act.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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The fine was raised this summer from $196 to $230. I would have thought that BCLaws would update their information, but then again, that looks like a government run site, which would explain the delay.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:14 AM   #8
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I guess that's what happens when my cheater is the 2008 volume...and the website is not updated. Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:38 AM   #9
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Things like wrong section, wrong license plate, wrong bike colour, etc., on the ticket can be labeled a "clerical error" and brushed off as of no consequence. There used to be times when such things were enough to get the ticket dismissed, but those times are long gone.
Is this true?
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:42 AM   #10
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When you put your bike back to stock and show it to the officer, you can always ask the officer if he's willing to drop the tickets as you have complied and brought it back to stock. It may or may not work depending on how your attitude was at the time he gave you the ticket. If you were polite and the officer remembers, he may cut you a break if you ask.

I know of situations where someone's given a ticket for something that the officer tells them they want them to bring the vehicle back to them within 30 days and if they comply with what the officer told them to do, they will cancel the ticket.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:57 AM   #11
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For the notice and order i got the officer didn't give me the option to bring the bike back to stock and then show it to him. He circled the one where i have to bring my bike back to stock and then have it inspected by a designated inspection facility so the cop is not going to see my bike. Maybe when we go to court and i tell him that i complied with the inspection and that my bike is now legal he will drop the charges, but i highly doubt he will. I was polite to him the whole time and we were cool there was no animosity but the cop is fairly young, i'm guess mid to late 20s and it's usually the seasoned cops that are more lenient imo.

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Old 09-24-2012, 10:19 AM   #12
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Also, does a bent license plate fall under section 3.02 or section 3.03?
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:22 AM   #13
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Could be both...depending on how it is secured...stock system had a backing to it, not just held with 2 bolts on a small metal bracket...and obstructed under 3.03 as in the picture. In behind the wheel is not clearly visible at all times...and it is not at the rear of the bike...where the stock setup had placed it.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:17 AM   #14
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So here's an update. Over a year later I finally got a notice in the mail yesterday with my court date set for March to dispute the ticket. I will be disputing section 3.02 (A number plate shall at all times be securely fastened in a horizontal position to the vehicle for which it is issued).

Here is a better picture of what my setup looked like when I got the ticket. Will be showing this photo in court to show that the plate is securely fastened in a horizontal position
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:27 AM   #15
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secured by zapstraps?
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:25 AM   #16
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secured by zapstraps?
Yeah.. really secure. Some people!
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:22 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by yelnats8 View Post
So here's an update. Over a year later I finally got a notice in the mail yesterday with my court date set for March to dispute the ticket. I will be disputing section 3.02 (A number plate shall at all times be securely fastened in a horizontal position to the vehicle for which it is issued).

Here is a better picture of what my setup looked like when I got the ticket. Will be showing this photo in court to show that the plate is securely fastened in a horizontal position

Looking at the picture you have posted I see 2 zap straps on the top corners and an angled plate. One might assume that the plate was not horizontal (blowing upwards and under the seat) when the Cop first saw it and that is why the VT was given to you? Showing a parked bike with nobody on the seat does not give an accurate "picture" of what may have actualy happened when you were riding. One question I believe you may be asked in your trial is why you removed the compliant factory bracket & 2 bolts that "secured the plate in a horizontal" position and replaced them with zap straps the permitted movement and were less secure than the bolts? In law especially, the devil is in the details and it is about hair-splitting. If it wasn't, nobody would need lawyers....maybe that's not a bad thing???
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:25 PM   #18
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Winner winner chicken dinner!

Successfully disputed the charge I got under section 3.02 this morning.

Here's what happened. I met and spoke with the officer 15 minutes before we had to walk into the courtroom. I asked the officer why he think's my license plate is not in a horizontal position and securely fastened and his reasoning was that my license plate was too tucked in, my license plate was bent and that my license plate was attached by zap straps. I then told him that the section only mentions that the plate has to be in a horizontal position and securely fastened, it says nothing about where the plate should be mounted and nothing about bent license plate. Cop kept telling me it doesn't matter and that it was part of the motor vehicle act and that the law defines securely fastened as secured by metal bolts. Officer kept trying to get me to plead guilty and ask the judge for a reduced fine. After hearing the cops explanation I still felt confident about my case because I researched online trying to find a definition for securely fastened and could not find one but the officer kept saying that is how the judge is going to interpret it.

I plead not guilty and we went to trial. Officer provided his evidence saying that my license plate was secured by zap straps and that zap straps are easy to rip apart and that they wear down over time. He mentioned other stuff to the judge that had no relevance to section 3.02 like how my bike was missing the rear reflectors, my plate was bent, too tucked in, missing license plate bulb, and showed the judge pictures he took of my bike and license plate that day.

Judge then asked me if I would like to question the officer. I said yes and asked the officer from the pictures he provided whether my license plate was in a horizontal position. Cop didn't really know how to answer and said well its horizontal but the bottom of your license plate is bent inwards. I rebutted by saying yes my plate is bent but its still in a horizontal position right? The cop then confirmed and said yes.

I had no other questions so the judge asked me if i wanted to come up and provide my side of the story and any evidence. I brought the exact zap straps that i used to mount my license plate to the court room and went up and said that zap straps are just as strong as metal bolts in securing a license plate. I took a zap strap out and used it and showed the judge how secure it was.

The cop then cross examined me and asked me whether i felt that using zap straps made my license plate easier to come off. I said that a license plate is not heavy and a zap straps would do just as well as securing a license plate as metal bolts. Officer then said don't zap straps wear easily over time, I responded by saying metal bolts can also wear easily over time, they can rust. Cop then asked me if i thought it would be easy to rip a license plate off if it was secured by zap straps, i responded by saying i have no idea unless we did a demonstration and tried to rip a license plate away, i also said that even if my plate was secured by metal bolts, those can be easily taken off with bare hands or with pliers. Cop had no more questions and the judge made his decision.

Judge said that zap straps are commonly used by cops to tie someones hands together in the absence of handcuffs so zap straps are secure. He also said that some people use plastic bolts to secure license plates so they don't have to be metal. He also confirmed what i said earlier that metal bolts can be easily removed by pliers. He said that based on his knowledge of zap straps and their other uses he can't see why zap straps don't constitute securely fastened. Also, since there was no definition of securely fastened in the motor vehicle act and since the officer couldn't provide any case law that securely fastened meant fastened by metal bolts, the cop did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt so therefore the judge said i was not guilty of section 3.02.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:39 PM   #19
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Thanks for the update and good job sticking to your point "was the the plate in horizontal position"
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:28 PM   #20
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Pics of said chicken dinner..?
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:55 AM   #21
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Congrats on the win! Like straight out of Suits :P

Kind of off topic, but doesn't ICBC not cover theft of auto equipment held by zap straps because it's "not securely fastened?"

I wonder if this can be made relevant?
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Old 03-15-2014, 11:23 AM   #22
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As in all court cases...after the legal mumbo jumbo is out of the way, it all comes down to articulation....and charging you with the correct section of the Regs. I would have used 3.03, not the one he chose. It was clearly in violation of that section. He did not and you raised reasonable doubt and the JP went for your defense, not his prosecution.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:38 PM   #23
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You should mention your name and case No. For a precedent agaisnt all other zap-strap related VT's
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:30 AM   #24
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For it to apply in any subsequent cases, the exact situation and evidence would have to have happened and been given in testimony for the JP to reach the same decision. Chances of that happening?? As I said above, 3.03 covers this situation and a conviction would be registered, as was in tickets I issued. All things being equal, articulation is the key to any successful conviction/defense at a trial.

There are ways to show that a zap strapped plate is not as secure as one bolted to the stock missing bracket when the bike is stopped. That was not done according to what was told to us. That is why a conviction was not registered. Other posters here have even indicated some of the ways.

A look at your picture shows that the bottom part of the plate is turned under and is not horizontal. We don't know if the plate could be moved at all..ie...if the straps were tight so no movement at all was possible. We do know that a plate securely bolted to a supporting bracket at the back of a bike would present the plate "horizontally" and with no movement...as opposed to one loosely mounted under the seat. I believe that a pair of bolts, either plastic or metal, would provide better attachment that a set of plastic zap straps that can easily be cut by the sharp edges of the bolt holes on the license plate, specially if the plate moves even a small amount. That kind of thing.

BTW...the "zap straps" Police use as temporary restraining devices have a steel inner band and are much thicker and stronger than the traditional zap straps. There is no way you could use one to hold a license plate on a bike.... in deference the the JP who has likely not worn them or applied them to "clients".

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Old 03-31-2014, 05:31 PM   #25
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Congrats on the win! Like straight out of Suits :P

Kind of off topic, but doesn't ICBC not cover theft of auto equipment held by zap straps because it's "not securely fastened?"

I wonder if this can be made relevant?
Yes, if your equipment is not literally bolted down, ICBC will not cover it.
ICBC is more strict now compared to before.
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