Disobeying Traffic Control Device Ticket

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThe case of R v Robinson involves a traffic ticket for disobeying a traffic control device. Kevin Robinson was issued the ticket for disobeying a speed sign in Abbotsford instead of a ticket for speeding against highway sign which was more expensive.

Disobeying a Traffic Control Device

Mr. Robinson disputed the ticket saying that the wording disobey traffic control device shown on the ticket was  not sufficient. More information about the device was needed to defend himself against the charge. The traffic court justice disagreed and convicted him.

image of a Speed Sign that is a traffic control device

Appeal to the Supreme Court

Mr. Robinson appealed his conviction  the the Supreme Court. Mr. Justice Groves agreed with him and set aside that conviction, saying that there were many kinds of traffic control devices on BC highways.

Mr. Robinson was not given, in the information provided in the violation ticket, any indication as to what exactly or even the general nature of what type of traffic control device it was alleged he failed to comply with.

BC Court of Appeal

The Crown appealed the Supreme Court Decision.

Madam Justice Fenlon agreed that the ticket alone did not contain a sufficient description of the offence. However, she noted that the Judicial Justice reasoned that

The officer also gave evidence that he explained what this ticket was for, that he exercised roadside discretion in giving this ticket for fail to obey traffic control device under 125, rather than under s. 146 (1) for speeding, giving a break to Mr. Robinson in respect of points and/or fine amount.

She concluded:

I would find that the description on the ticket met the requirements of s. 96 (3) of the Offence Act given the particulars provided to Mr. Robinson by the officer when he issued the ticket. I would also find that, even if the details were insufficient, it was open to the JJP to amend the ticket, and to grant an adjournment if that were necessary to avoid prejudice to Mr. Robinson. That being so, the JJPā€™s error in concluding that the ticket was sufficient on its face was a harmless one, and his decision should not have been set aside by the SCAJ.

Mr. Robinson's conviction for disobeying a traffic control device was restored.