R. v. BC Transit
|NOTE: The following is copyright of the respective owner(s). SENSE does not assume any liability pertaining to the accuracy of the information presented. Readers are advised to independently verify information they intend to rely upon, and should obtain original copies if they intend to present the following case in court.||The complete and original "Proceedings at Trial" transcript is available for purchase from: J.C. WordAssist Ltd., 111 Skinner Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5E8, Phone: 250-754-7822, Victoria Phone: 250-477-8080.|
Christopher M. Considine
for the Defence
First of all, I have no difficulty in accepting the Crown's case that the vehicle involved was in fact speeding, going forty-one kilometres per hour in a thirty-kilometre-an-hour zone.
The question is: Has the disputant brought itself within subsection (3) of section 83.1 of the Motor Vehicle Act, in that have they exercised reasonable care and diligence entrusting the motor vehicle to the person who was at the time of the contravention in possession of the motor vehicle? The one concern that I had throughout was that the disputant might be saying and putting forward documents and having seminars, saying: Don't speed. Don't speed. Don't speed. And then setting routes that would make it very difficult for a driver to complete the route on time without speeding. My mind was relieved somewhat by the testimony that slack time was allowed and that there was a procedure in place for setting out the timing on the routes.
The Crown has referred me to two cases. The only one that I will deal with at all is Regina and Tilden Car Rental, a 1991 case, the Court of Alberta. On page 7, quoting Wholesale Travel with approval, it said:
Now, I do have to comment further on the apparently absurd result that this entails where an owner, in my understanding, that cannot force a driver to go through the nomination process, to come to court and say: We exercised reasonable care and diligence and there is apparently no way of getting the driver before the court. I don't know whether this is just something that the legislature missed. It is new legislation, after all, and it probably needs some fine-tuning. As I said earlier, it really goes against the grain to interpret a statute so as to create an absurdity, which I think I have done in finding that the disputant corporation is not liable because of this section. And there is no way of bringing the person who actually committed the offence before the court. However, I can't cure that and it is for the legislature to cure, or for a superior court to give me advice in this matter.
So the defence which the corporation has raised, based on section 83.1(3), I give effect to and the charge is accordingly dismissed.
MR. CONSIDINE: Thank you very much, Your Worship.
THE COURT: Thank you. I must say I hope to be given some guidance by the Court of Appeal.
MR. CONSIDINE: I hope the legislature will take it in hand because we were confronted with the problem right from the beginning, Your Worship, and that's been the difficulty.
Thank you very much for your time and all the other people, Your worship.