Q&A - Officer not Witnessing Violation

Q&A ImageWhen I tried to pass a car on the right in a one lane street, the car I was trying to pass hit my rear bumper on the left side. I called the police and when the police officer arrived he decided to give me a ticket for "pass on the right" section 158 (1), based on the other driver testimony (and according to him someone inside the police station who witnessed the incident, the accident happened in front of the police station).

I explained to the officer that the other driver was tail gating me, earlier, and honking and waving at me to pass and cut in in front of me in a very unsafe manner (basically a road rage case).

When I tried to pass them because of their unsafe driving they didn't leave me a chance and hit my car on purpose.

Also, the officer gave me a file number but, later, when I tried to get a copy of the police report I found out that there was no police report issued because the damage was less than $1000.00.

My question is: is the ticket that I recived valid, considering that the officer did not witness the violation (the witness that he based his decision on are basically the other driver and the mistery witness)?

BTW, I did not sign the ticket because I was never asked to.




There are many instances where an officer may choose to issue a violation ticket based only on information given to them and the ticket will be valid. Your situation could be one of them. This would be the case for almost all witness based driving complaints. If the violator pays the ticket or disputes only the penalty, the matter is finished. If the violator disputes, the witnesses will have to attend court along with the officer to give evidence at trial. The justice hearing the matter will decide if the evidence is reliable and sufficient for a conviction. If so, that will happen, and if not, the ticket will be dismissed.

From what I have read above, it appears that you agree that you passed the other vehicle on the right. This is something that is more often than not illegal in British Columbia.

Passing on right

158(1) The driver of a vehicle must not cause or permit the vehicle to overtake and pass on the right of another vehicle, except

(a) when the vehicle overtaken is making a left turn or its driver has signalled his or her intention to make a left turn,

(b) when on a laned roadway there is one or more than one unobstructed lane on the side of the roadway on which the driver is permitted to drive, or

(c) on a one way street or a highway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement, where the roadway is free from obstructions and is of sufficient width for 2 or more lanes of moving vehicles.

(2) Despite subsection (1), a driver of a vehicle must not cause the vehicle to overtake and pass another vehicle on the right

(a) when the movement cannot be made safely, or

(b) by driving the vehicle off the roadway.

Essentially, there must be more than one available lane for the direction of travel or the vehicle being overtaken is signalling a left turn and you do not have to drive off of the roadway in order to pass.

With the circumstances that you relate, you may consider making a driving complaint of your own against the other driver.

The file number is sufficient for ICBC. The officer is correct, he is not required to complete an MV6020 collision report in the circumstances, although he may do so if he wishes to.

As you will see if you read some of the other articles on the site, there is no need for the officer to have you sign the ticket.

You may also want to request disclosure. Specify that you require copies of the statements made by the witnesses and you will know what they will testify at trial if you decide to dispute the ticket. Use the search blank above to search on the word disclosure for more information.

Thank you!

Thanks a lot for the detailed answer. I think I have enough info to make a decision.

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