Challenging a seatbelt ticket

Yesterday I was driving with my boyfriend in the passenger seat. We got pulled over and my boyfriend got a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt.

We were both wearing seatbelts, and the police officer who was ticketing us seemed like he didn't agree with the ticket being issued. Apparently the officer on the street who radioed for us to be pulled over was adamant my boyfriend wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

So I have two questions stemming from this.

1) what are our chances of successfully disputing this?

2) the officer accidentally ticked the driver box, rather than passenger. My boyfriend doesn't have a valid Canadian drivers license, so there's no way he would have even been driving. Can we get the ticket cancelled for that, or would we be better of going to court to dispute it?

I would challenge this one.

Something to keep in mind is that in BC, it's the responsibility of the driver to ensure that passengers under 16 years of age are properly buckled in - if not, then the driver gets the penalty.

But passengers 16 and older have the responsibility for their seatbelt use.

Incidentally, not having a valid Canadian Driver License doesn't necessarily mean you can't drive here, assuming you have one from another jurisdiction. Heck, I've driven in half a dozen other countries on my BC License. Rented cars and everything!

If you're both certain that you had your seatbelts on the whole time, then absolutely your boyfriend should fight the ticket, because it's wrong. And if he's not successful, he's got nothing to lose.

I'm not sure if the rules of evidence would require both of the police officers to be present in court, but would guess that the one who claimed to have seen your boyfriend in the car without his seatbelt would need to be there to make the ticket stick. (Tim?)

By the way, can you tell us the MVA Section it was written under? That info will be on the ticket.


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