CASE LAW - R v Parmar

BC Courts Coat of ArmsTejveer Parmar was ticketed for speeding on Kittson Parkway in Delta. He testified at trial that another driver had continually pulled in front of his vehicle and braked. He decided that the only opportunity available to him was to exceed the posted speed limit and pass this vehicle in order merge safely into traffic. The traffic court justice convicted him for traveling 81 km/h in the 50 km/h zone.

Mr. Parmar appealed the conviction based on the fact that at his trial the traffic court justice did not listen to his explanations for exceeding the speed limit.

Madam Justice Murray discusses the defence of necessity as it applies to speeding. She found that the justice erred in not considering Mr. Parmar's defence, allowed the appeal, quashed the ticket conviction and acquitted him of speeding.




I have always held out the defense of necessity as something more of an immediate uncontrollable threat to life - like a run-away truck blasting the horns behind you down a steep hill nearing a safety pull-out gravel pit.

On one hand this does make it that the ticket recipient had no bearing over the other driver and that the other driver's actions can be interpreted as life-threatening. But on the other hand (if the road-rager even existed) there were other options aside from stopping - making a u-turn for example, or continuing slowly. Even if the other driver would have eventually tried to stop the ticket recipient for a road-rage induced "chat", cars are generally tougher than drivers who get out, so trampling all over the toes of the would-be road-rager as they got out and closed their door was also a viable option imho.

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