CASE LAW - R v Dassylva

BC Courts Coat of ArmsIn response to complaints of commercial vehicles failing to follow regulatory requirements in the District of McKenzie the police began to operate compliance check stops. A Kenworth tractor without a trailer was observed traveling northbound on Highway 39 near the causeway outside Mackenzie. The officer followed the vehicle for some kilometers before stopping it and interviewing the driver.

The driver, Richard Dassylva was not able to produce a current log or trip inspection report. Cst. Sallis issued three violation tickets following his investigation: keeping inaccurate logs, failure to possess a daily log for the current day and not having a trip inspection report.

Mr. Dasylva claimed in his defence that he had not been operating on a public highway and as such was not required to maintain a log book or complete written trip inspection reports. Further, he had contacted the Department of Transport and was advised that as he only crossed a public highway in his travels in order to obtain fuel, this did not trigger the reporting requirement either.

Judge C.P. Malfair examined the requirements for these reports as set out in the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations. He dismissed the count of keeping inaccurate logs but convicted Mr. Dassylva on the counts of failure to possess a daily log for the current day and not having a trip inspection report.


I was impressed with the rationale for the reasons for judgment, seemed entirely fair under the law. And, it's all about documentation - for all we know, the truck driver ensured that he was rested and that he checked out his rig while operating for two weeks in the bush (he'd be foolish not to) but he just didn't bother documenting anything. In a general sense, you get the impression that he totally knew the rules about documentation but didn't feel compelled to follow them in this circumstance.

We're safer sharing the roads with truckers who are in fact diligent, than those who just 'check all the boxes' on the forms.