CASE LAW - R v Al Farraj

BC Courts Coat of ArmsAbdulrahman Al Farraj is a Saudi Arabian national attending school full time in British Columbia. He was checked by police and produced a Kingdom of Saudi Arabia driver's licence that contained a few words of English and the balance in Arabic. Cst. Hildred of the CRD IRSU unit issued a violation ticket to Mr. Al Farraj for failing to produce a driver's licence as he did not produce a translation that would allow determination of what Mr. Al Farraj was licenced for.

Judicial Justice H. W. Gordon dismissed the ticket as the Motor Vehicle Act does not require a driver to produce a translation of their driver's licence for the police.

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licence

I'm wondering why there could be a problem if the offshore visitors understand and follow the BC traffic laws? Many BC residents bend the rules to get there faster and add 10,20, 30, 40, likely  because few get caught.Ten Thousand new drivers in BC and how many new Highway Patrol officers? 

Isn't that the point ?

".... if the offshore visitors understand and follow the BC traffic laws ?"

The whole point of the story was that the "visitor" (student), didn't follow the BC traffic laws.

Not having a provision that a driver must carry a license that describes the required information in one of the two official languages is a hole in the BC MVA, trust me there are many.

ie, why must you signal a lane change no matter if your manoover could affect other traffic, but you only have to signal a turn "if traffic may be affected"

It would have been prudent and reasonable for someone temporarily living and getting an edjucation in Canada while holding a DL from a county where some of the required information on their DL is not in English or French, to go that extra tiny step of obtaining a International Driving Permit. (which is an interpretive document to accompany a foriegn DL [exactly the problem here]).  Oh and yes it would have saved him the time it took to attend court as well.

 

The whole point?

What if the shoe is on the other foot?

I've driven in numerous jurisdictions across this continent and Europe, and rented cars there too, just using my BC Driver License. Regrettably, I'm kind of ignorant as I don't actually speak French, or Irish, but driving in those countries posed no difficulties.

We are surrounded by foreign licensees, at all times. Not just students attending BC schools, but numerous foreign visitors who don't remain long enough to be required to get their BC license. So far as traffic accidents are concerned, it really isn't an issue. Not here. Not there.

Not having a provision that a driver must carry a license that describes the required information in one of the two official languages is a hole in the BC MVA, trust me there are many.

Well, that would be a challenge for BC, which is a Provincial jurisdiction. But the French/English requirement is a Federal issue. (Personally, I think we should have a Federally issued Canadian Driver License rather than letting this be a Provincial issue, but that's a separate subject.)

ie, why must you signal a lane change no matter if your manoover could affect other traffic, but you only have to signal a turn "if traffic may be affected"

What on earth does this have to do with anything? The simple fact is that when the law about signalling turns was written, vehicles were more challenging to drive. Gears had to be shifted, power steering hadn't been invented, and braking systems were pretty hopeless a century ago. Most vehicles didn't even have turn signals. So it would have been entirely unrealistic to demand that drivers signal all their turns, even if there were no other road users around!

Meanwhile, the creation of laned traffic co-incided with electric turn signals. All you had to do was move a lever, projecting from the steering column! And so it only made sense to mandate signalling lane changes, because it had become feasible and easy to do so.

But you know what? I'll bet you at least 9 out of 10 home grown BC drivers have never even given this a moment's thought. So why would we expect our foreign visitors to do so? This makes absolutely no sense.

As for the International Driving Permit, I paid for one once before heading over to Europe, and frankly the only use I could find for it was the sheet of Road Signs used in the UK. These days, thanks to the internet, we can look up that information (along with other jurisdiction's driver manuals) online. 

 

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