CASE LAW - R v Sipes

BC Courts Coat of ArmsDonald Sipes crossed Chesterfield Avenue in North Vancouver as a pedestrian. He did not use a crosswalk and was approached by police who intended to warn him for jaywalking. A conversation ensued after which the warning turned into a ticket and the officer demanded to know Mr. Sipes name and residential address. Mr. Sipes did provide his name, but refused to provide his residential address and so was arrested for obstructing a peace officer.

At trial Mr. Sipes was convicted of obstruction.



Glad never caught when Younger

I worked downtown Vacouver,and always J-walked and at the time my Big Plan was NOT to give my Name if caught,,,but instead refuse to give my name to force the officer to either let me go or Haul me in and make them Figure out who I was.  I had no Idea I was risking getting a Nice CRIMINAL RECORD,that would follow me for LIFE,,and that I would have Never  been allowed to LEAVE CANADA AGAIN.

I made sure I never made a vehical slow for me,always waited for a break and Ran if nessasary,but was still j-walking,Lucky ME I never got caught.

This judge's ruling is unfortunately incorrect

The obstruction of justice ruling is contingent on the officer enforcing section 133.

However, the judge erred in his interpretation of section 133.  

Section 133(a) says that if a traffic control signal at an intersection permits a pedestrian to cross a road, he or she must cross the road at the marked or unmarked crosswalk.

Section 133(b) says that if a traffic control signal not an intersection but with a marked crosswalk in the vicinity (i.e. a mid road flashing green pedestrian crosswalk) permits a pedestrian to cross a road, the pedestrian must cross the road at the crosswalk.

Section 133 does NOT say that a pedestrian must go over to a crosswalk to cross a road and it does NOT say if there is a crosswalk "in the vicinity", a pedestrian must use it.

The Motor Vehicle Act is explicit under section 124(1)(n) in leaving it up to Municipal governments to make the determination if pedestrians must cross roads at crosswalks.

I understand the overall point of this article, which is essentially saying: if you commit an offense, you must give your name and address to an officer, but in this specific case no offense was committed or the wrong offense was reasoned and the judge's ruling is wrong.


Here is the law you are speaking of:

Pedestrian controlled signal

133 Where a pedestrian is instructed or permitted by a traffic control signal to enter or to proceed across a roadway, he or she must do so

(a) at an intersection, only in a marked or unmarked crosswalk, and

(b) at a place other than an intersection, in the vicinity of which there is a marked crosswalk, only in the crosswalk.

It does seem to say to me that where controls are in place, that's where you must cross. The vicinity is in relation to the traffic control signal in (b), not the pedestrian.

Municipalities can create bylaws to control where you cross when signals are not in place, as you say, using section 124.

Chances are good

that Chesterfield ave,south of upperlevels anyway,,where I am assuming Mr Sipes was,,I can,t see the officer writing a ticket in the Residential area,,North of Upper levels,,Is only one block off Lonsdale,and Pretty much a CITY SETTING,,and Yes every block Should be Crossed at the Intersection.

Concidering a Vast Majority of Police officers are Intelegant and Not Unreasanable,,I also am assuming he crossed,when traffic was fairly busy,,and Mr, Sipes Slowed or Impeaded Traffic in some way.

I J-walked in the middle of the block in Vancouver,,many times,but because I never Impeaded Traffic in any Way,the Officers that saw me     Never Gave Me a Ticket,Never even questioned me.

The officers Downtown Vancouver at that time,I am sure they had No Idea that there Boss was my Uncle Either,so If I had Impeaded traffic in some way,,I am sure I would have been caught at least once.

My Opinion Anyway,had I slowed traffic in any way,,I probablly would have co-operated if caught.

Misinterpretation by the Officer

The case doesn't mention that Mr Sipes impeded traffic, so it is unlike that that was the case.  North Vancouver has a jaywalking law for Business Districts, but this law does not apply for residential districts.  The area he crossed was not a business district as defined under the Motor Vehicle Act (i.e. a 200m portion of highway which has more than 100m business frontage).

I wouldn't suspect that the officer was malicious in issuing a ticket under section 133 of the Motor Vehicle Act, but made a misinterpretation of the law.  It happens and that is a reason we have a court system.

At the end of the day, the moral of the story is to cross at a crosswalk for your own personal safety and give the officer your address if requested and leave the ticket fighting for the court room instead of the street.



You Missed something here

He was on Chesterfield in North Van,It does,nt say he was,nt in the City Section. (chances are he was)

Officer Misinterpitation of the LAW??   The Officer stopped him to WARN HIM!!

Mr Sipes sounds like he had a chip on his shoulder,,and took it out on the NICE OFFICER,,,So that NICE OFFICER changed his WARNING to a TICKET,,,So it is MORE THAN LIKELY HE DID IMPEAD TRAFFIC!!!!!

How do You come across the facts this was,nt in the Buissness District?,,You Ever Been to North Vancouver?  UM it fits a Buissness District to a T,,I think it,s YOUR INTERPITATION is WRONG.

Not Missing Anything

The officer was stopping to warn him of a law that is not applicable to the situation, which was jaywalking in a Residential District.  The City of North Vancouver does not have a jaywalking restriction for its Residential Districts.  Also Section 133 of the MVA is not applicable in this circumstance described in the case even if the disputed fact of distance to the sidewalk is taken into account.

A Business District is defined as 200m portion of highway which has more than 100m of business frontage.  The only business in the area described in the case is the 7-11 convience store and it doesn't have 100m of frontage on Chesterfield Ave.

Maybe me

But I just personally don,t see this area as a Residential area,I know it pretty well,,to me thats more of a city setting with a multi lane road in all 4 directios at 3rd and Chesterfield and bike lanes.I was thinking Reidential was more like a 2 lane road with Houses,not downtown North Van.

So I guess I better check that to see if I am wrong,along with the nice officers and judge, at least I will be in good company.

So is there any obligation to

So is there any obligation to stop for a cyclist riding a bike (not walking a bike) that wants to cross at a crosswalk?


Yes, one has an obligation not to collide with them, but other than that, you do not have to yield unless they have the right of way. Cyclists are not supposed to ride in crosswalks.

Google Ads