CASE LAW - R v Brownson

BC Courts Coat of ArmsNadia Brownson was driving her pickup truck on First Avenue, within a 50 km/h speed zone, in Prince George on a rainy, autumn night. Scotty Bryan and Tony Shubert had been dropped off near the Dominion Street intersection and were crossing First Avenue from north to south near a nightclub. They saw Ms. Brownson approaching but thought that they had sufficient time to cross. They were incorrect. Ms. Brownson's vehicle struck them, killing Mr. Bryan and seriously injuring Mr. Shubert.

Ms. Brownson was travelling at about 55 km/h by her own admission. An investigation conducted by an RCMP collision analyst suggested that her speed could have been as high as 69 km/h while a report from an engineering firm estimated her speed at 52 to 64 km/h. She was initially charged with driving without due care and attention and speed relative to conditions. Ultimately she pled guilty to speed relative to conditions under section 144(1)(c) of the Motor Vehicle Act and was sentenced to a fine of $1,600 by Judge Brecknell, who declined to impose a one year driving prohibition requested by Crown Counsel.

Of interest in this case is a discussion of the application of the law regarding driving at a speed that is unsafe relative to road, weather or traffic conditions.