144(1)(b) issued by non-witness officer - citizen complaint leads to major violation
The colours of the dawn sky are magnificent as the sun rises over the mountainous mainland, the blue ocean below, the fresh morning air on your face, nothin’ but open road ahead - no cars to be seen, spreadeagled-reclined-on your Harley, not a care in the world, slowly cruising on the mountain pass highway. Beauty. Perfection.
Now add this to the picture:
It is early morning commute, and there is a near endless line of vehicles behind you as you travel leisurely along, at a rate below (in an inactive construction zone) the lowered speed limit of 60km.
I was the car directly behind.
Then, when the highway wide and multi laned and the road offered a safe view ahead, and with no vehicles to beseen ahead on the road - I quickly and with a wide berth went safely around the slow moving motorcycle.
Yesterday, a month later, an officer (on behalf of the issuing officer in another detachment) delivered to my home a Violation Ticket, to the Registered Owner (RO), Driving Without Consideration 144(1)(b). The delivering officer stated he had no knowledge of the particulars other than stating that on this date and time my car crossed/passed double yellow. I admitted nothing, i was/am naive and was more incredulous that a ticket can be issued in this way.
So here I am wondering what to do and trying to remember that morning. I believe I passed the motorcycle in an inactive construction zone where the lanes had been altered with no double yellow visible.
The law is the law and I went around him, I probably just pay the fine and be thankful there are no loss of points involved (RO).
But there is something here that is… hmm..off-putting…?
The blissful biker turned into a raging biker as he realized I was going around him. Yelling, cursing, honking franticly. But he stayed at his slow stubborn pace and soon he, and the long line behind him, disappeared.
I drove at, or slightly above, the posted speed limits for the next 7-10 minutes. During this time I had glimpses of the headlight snake far, far back. The curves of the one lane highway widened to two and all of a sudden the irate motorcyclist was beside me gesturing wildly with his middle finger…yelling…verbally assaulting…threatening me…he work’s at ICBC and that he’s gonna get the cops. How is it a vehicle a km or two behind can catch up in an instant?
Well; he’s good to his word! Does working for ICBC give him ‘privilege’? Is he able to use his position to access my identity, address, driving record (which is clean), etc, or give him influence with the RCMP or the issuing officer? Possibly being in the same community, are the officer and motorcyclist known to each other?
I argue who is the one really driving without consideration? The person seemingly-intentionally driving slow, holding back the flow of commuter traffic? And then speeds excessively to catch up so he can rage at me?
I am now aware that an officer can issue a ticket even though he/she wasn’t present to witness the alleged offence, basing it on one person’s testimony/complaint. Maybe there is more evidence, but from the laws point of view isn’t this a case of ‘he said, she said’? Is this how law and ticket offences work?
I’m reading and learning what my options are going forward. I can dispute the ticket and ask the issuing officer for a disclosure, copy of the other drivers statement, any other evidence, a copy of whatever certified document they intend to use to prove I’m the Registered Owner. If this went to court, I am positive the ‘witness’ would appear to offer testimony. Can the Violation Ticket be changed from ‘RO’ to ‘Driver’ at court because the motorcyclist may recognize me as the one behind the wheel? Would both officers have to appear in court? Is there anything abnormal about how/why this ticket was issued to me? Due to the long period between the alleged infraction and receiving the ticket, I am unable to recover video footage/evidence as my dash cam has since recorded over.
Again, I don’t dispute what I did was wrong in the eyes of the law. It was a ticketable offence if an officer had been witness. (What if the motorcycle was a slow moving tractor?) Believe this or not - I’m not aggressive towards other drivers - this is the second time I’ve let impatience, frustration, and yes - even common sense dictate my decision making. In some countries what I did is very acceptable, common practice. But here in Canada, it is not. Here an aggravated connected citizen - who may or may not be out for vengeance and ‘justice’ and feeling… what exactly?! I don’t know, can’t say - here a single complaint can lead to a big ticket!