Case Law

Driving related decisions by the courts.

CASE LAW - R v Grzelak

BC Courts Coat of ArmsPatrick Grzelak has a habit of driving while wearing earbuds that are attached to his iPhone because they help block out the drone of the highway. He was stopped by police and issued a violation ticket for using an electronic device while driving. A dispute of that traffic ticket was not successful so he appealed his conviction to the supreme court of BC.

CASE LAW - R v Seraji

BC Courts Coat of ArmsIt's relatively rare to see a traffic court decision appealed by the Crown. In this case, Aria Seraji was charged with excessive speed and disputed the traffic ticket. After his trial the judicial justice found that Mr. Seraji was not driving at excessive speed and convicted him of the lesser included offence of speeding. Crown appealed the decision.

CASE LAW - Long v Thanas

BC Courts Coat of ArmsKristian Thanas was riding his bicycle southbound in a marked cycling lane on Burrard Street in Vancouver. He noticed a car driven by Joseph Long traveling alongside him with it's right turn signal on as they approached the intersection of Pacific Avenue. Mr. Thanas thought that Mr. Long had neglected to cancel his signal as a right turn at the intersection was not permitted.

CASE LAW - Nikkhah v Batin

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis case involves a Shaw Cablesystems van driven by Mauricio Batin and a motorized wheelchair driven by Najafholi Nikkhah at the intersection of Queens Avenue and 8th Street in New Westminster. Mr. Batin was driving along Queens Avenue to make a right turn at 8th Steet and Mr. Nikkhah was using the marked crosswalk on 8th Avenue to cross Queens Avenue. Mr. Batin did not see Mr. Nikkhah and a collision resulted.

CASE LAW - St. Denis v Turner

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis case arises from a two vehicle collision that occurred at the intersection of 200 Street and 62 Avenue in Surrey. It involves a car driven southbound on 200 Street, turning left onto 62 Avenue and a car driven northbound on 200 Street in the right hand or curb lane. Traffic in the left and middle lanes of 200 Street northbound was at a standstill due to congestion.

CASE LAW - R v Schurman

BC Courts Coat of ArmsJagger Ross Schurman was stopped by police in Vancouver for a number of violations while he was driving his mother's car. "He was under the impression that he would be principally fined but that the tickets would not go on his driving record. He also indicated that he was led into an erroneous understanding about the effect of pleading guilty with respect to the accumulation of points against his driver's licence by the attending officer's roadside statements."

CASE LAW - R v Tang

BC Courts Coat of ArmsHao Bin Tang is a class 7 new driver and as such is prohibited from using an electronic device while driving. He was checked driving over the speed limit, flagged to the side of the road and approached by an officer who found Mr. Tang with both hands on a lit cell phone with his head down. In addition to the speeding ticket, the driver was also issued a ticket for using the electronic device which he disputed.

CASE LAW - McCormick v Plambeck

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis case looks at host liability for a crash on Saltspring Island following a party at the home of Stephen and Lidia Pearson. Ryan Plambeck drove away from the party, left the roadway and crashed into the woods beside the road. He was killed and Calder McCormick, a passenger in the vehicle was seriously injured.

CASE LAW - R v Tannhauser

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThe B.C. Court of Appeal has ruled that having a disabling app on your cell phone cannot form a successful defence. Following an acquittal in traffic court that was upheld by the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal has allowed the Crown's appeal and ordered a new trial.

CASE LAW - R v Rajani

BC Courts Coat of ArmsOn March 15, 2019 Zahir Rajani was issued a violation ticket for using an electronic device while driving. He had been observed by police to be looking down while driving his vehicle. When stopped, it was discovered that Mr. Rajani had a cell phone in his lap, facing up, connected by cord. The constable could not say if the screen was lit or not. Mr. Rajani disputed the ticket.

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