Case Law

Driving related decisions by the courts.

CASE LAW - R v Nguyen

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis is a case where a series of bad decisions and defective equipment led to the death of a pedestrian walking on a path beside the highway at Ucluelet. Van Nho Nguyen had performed maintenance on the rear brakes of his truck that resulted in those brakes not functioning correctly. He attached an overloaded boat trailer that had the surge brake removed to the truck and drove from Toquart Bay to Ucluelet. On the way, Mr. Nguyen lost control of the combination. The trailer struck Ms. Lorraine Ennis, who was walking on a pedestrian path beside the highway, dragged her approximately 15 metres, and killed her.

CASE LAW - R v Drake

BC Courts Coat of ArmsOn September 21, 2014 Barry Drake was driving a vehicle on Loughborough Drive in Campbell River, B.C. He was a prohibited driver and had decided to "do doughnuts" in a residential area that is part of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation’s Reserve. The street is marked with a sign that reads “You Are Now Entering Private Land - Please Drive carefully.”

CASE LAW - R v Couldwell

BC Courts Coat of ArmsErin Couldwell was operating his bicycle at the exit of a parking lot onto a lane near the Victoria Police Department headquarters just before 7:00 am on September 25, 2014. His bicycle had neither lights nor reflectors. Constable Horonowitsch had just commenced his dayshift and was approaching the parking lot exit in the lane driving a marked police vehicle with it's normal vehicle lighting on. The constable's view to his right was obscured by shrubbery. Mr. Couldwell collided with the rear of the right front quarter panel of the police car.

CASE LAW - Link v ICBC Appeal

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis is a case from the BC Court of Appeal that upholds a judgement from the Supreme Court. The incident in question occurred when Peter Link was driving his Jaguar in a snowstorm on Highway 99 between the Highway 10 and Highway 91 exits in Richmond. He was driving at a speed between 40 and 60 km/h when he was passed by an SUV that threw a large amount of snow onto his windshield as it passed by. Mr. Link was unable to see as his wipers could not clear the windshield sufficiently quickly. When he braked he lost control of his vehicle and collided with the median barrier.

CASE LAW - R v Jacobson

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThe police must follow the provisions of the Emergency Vehicle Driving Regulation when they intend to employ the exemption from the rules of the road set out in the Motor Vehicle Act. In this case, Constable Jacobson was driving his police vehicle on Highway 97 at Daimler Drive in West Kelowna approaching a red light. Hoping to save a few minutes arriving at a complaint he activated the police vehicles's emergency lights and siren about 4 - 5 vehicle lengths’ back from the beginning of the left turn lane on Highway 97 going south. He attempted to make a left hand turn in the intersection and was struck by a northbound Jetta.

CASE LAW - R v David

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis case was sparked by a driver who felt that he was entitled to be next in line at a Tim Horton's drive through in Mill Bay, B.C. He attempted to assert his place by bumping the tire of the pickup truck he felt that he should be in front of. Giving way because of the size difference, this man caught up to the pickup on the highway after they had exited the drive through. He pulled in front of it and braked suddenly several times, finally coming to a stop in the curb lane. He exited his car with a hammer and began to curse and beat on the truck. A passing motorist noted the incident and recorded the car's licence plate number.

CASE LAW - Little v Einarsen

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis is definitely an odd case! It shows the value of doing regular vehicle maintenance and keeping the receipts to account for it.

Jason Little was walking across the parking lot of a pub in Nanaimo when he was hit from behind by an unoccupied vehicle owned by Lisa Einarsen. Ms. Einarsen had parked the car at the top of the parking lot, set the parking brake, thinks she left it locked and in first gear and went into the pub. Mr. Little sustained significant injury and at the time of the trial some 6 years later could not return to his work because of those injuries.

CASE LAW - Nguyen v British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles)

BC Courts Coat of ArmsOn January 13, 2015 Van Nhut Nguyen was sentenced for failing to produce his driver's licence. The penalty was a $750 fine and one year term of probation during which he was not allowed to operate a motor vehicle between the hours of 7:00 pm and 6:00 am. It would appear that this is the result of an incident of driving while being prohibited from doing so.

BC's IRP Program Survives Another Court Challenge

Counsel for Lee Michael Wilson argued that the Approved Screening Device (ASD) result alone could not provide the officer with the reasonable grounds and that the officer was also required to point to other confirmatory evidence. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that this is not the case and dismissed the appeal of his Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP). The ruling supports the BC Motor Vehicle Act legislation that allows police to quickly and effectively remove impaired drivers from our highways.

CASE LAW - Ferguson v Kennedy

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis case concerns a collision that occurred on a gravel mountain road near Agassiz, BC. Solomon Kennedy had been passed by a pickup truck that raised a cloud of dust as it passed. Mr. Kennedy was travelling into the sun and was unable to see ahead due to the glare in the dust cloud. Connor Ferguson was travelling in the opposite direction as the pickup passed and saw that the Kennedy vehicle was partly on his side of the road. He sounded his horn and braked to a stop but was struck by the Kennedy vehicle.

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