Q&A - I Was Not Stunting

New Driver Signs 2011I was driving my parents car a few days ago it is a Mustang and I got it impounded for 7 days. The police officer accused me of doing a burnout, revving the engine and fishtailing. Not once did i rev my engine or do a burnout I do admit to fishtailing. The fishtailing was not intentional at all, my traction control and everything was on, it just happened.

When I asked him how I revved he said my rpm went high when the light turned green. I told him that theres nothing wrong with that since all I did was accelerate quickly, I was going 70 in a 50 when that occurred.

He also said I did a burnout but I don't even recall me doing that at any point.

How will I be able to prove that I didnt do a burnout and that the fishtail was not intentional?

He also said that I failed to stop for him but I pulled over as soon as I saw him in my rear view mirror.

In conclusion, I got fined for 144(1)(a) and 73(1) and impounded for stunting. How will i be able to fight these charges I guess I only did one thing wrong which is fishtailing, it was unintentional though.

I have had my class 7 for 8 months.

Comments

Answer

I've never tried a burnout with traction control, but it looks like it can be done. You could even sort of fishtail if the car's rear end slides down the crown on the road. I guess that's bourne out by you suggesting that you did not fishtail on purpose. I wasn't there but I suspect that something did happen as we have a light turning green, a fishtail and 70 in the 50 zone prior to police intervention. Whatever it was, or wasn't, this is what the police officer thought was appropriate:

Careless driving prohibited

144  (1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a highway

(a) without due care and attention

Failing to stop and state name

73  (1) A peace officer may require the driver of a motor vehicle to stop and the driver of a motor vehicle, when signalled or requested to stop by a peace officer who is readily identifiable as a peace officer, must immediately come to a safe stop.

(2) When requested by a peace officer, the driver of a motor vehicle or the person in charge of a motor vehicle on a highway must state correctly his or her name and address and the name and address of the owner of the motor vehicle.

This simplest way to find out what evidence the police are going to give at trial is to request disclosure. Once you know that, you can plan your defence. I suspect that you have some chance of being able to have the Drive Without Due Care and Attention count dismissed, as it is difficult to convict. What chance that may be I can't say as there is not sufficient information to do more than guess.

As for the Failing to Stop count, if you did pull over as soon as you became aware, that's what you need to convince the court of. If you are able to do that, this count will be dismissed.

Yabbut you can't fishtail if the ass end only slides right, eh?

I don't mean to question the veracity of the OP, but 'fishtailing' is usually caused by a high power rear wheel drive car being punched off the line, and due to the differential mechanism sending more power to the faster spinning wheel (or reducing power to the slower spinning wheel, depending on how you look at it), so that the vehicle's back end see-saws back and forth as the driver counter-steers to keep it moving forward.

Great fun, the stuff of American Graffiti.  Also illegal, though.

In a high power rear drive car, a serious effort by the driver to accelerate briskly may well allow a burnout even with the traction control engaged (normally the default when the car is started).  And I guess the driver might not be aware of the burnout if they were stone deaf, or aurally overwhelmed by headphones or a seriously loud stereo.

But seriously?  You're telling us that you did not disengage the traction control / vehicle stability system or whatever that car was manufactured with?  And you weren't revving that car up and launching it hard?  And that although you were fishtailing, it somehow didn't involve audacious behaviour on the part of yourself, the driver?  And that somehow or other this fishtailing didn't involve deliberately provoked rear end tire-spinnning (that's what they mean by 'burnout')?

Sorry man, but I think you're hooped.  I reckon the chances of your maintaining your license without undergoing suspension are slim to none - that's what graduated licensing is about, and after only eight months as an 'N' driver you have blown it big time.  The cost will not only be the 6 demerit points, but the fine that accompanies, and that will reappear after a year as a further charge as an additional penalty another year on.  Whenever your license is reinstated - probably if you're lucky after six months (assuming you haven't had any other issues) your two-year probationary period will recommence.

Also, your parents may not want to lend you their car keys any time in the near future, especially if they have to foot the bill for getting the car out of impound.

So seriously, was it worth it?

Remember, 1) You have a RIGHT

Remember,

1) You have a RIGHT to remain silent, it's not a PRIVILIDGE - one of your many inalienable RIGHTS. It's a RIGHT for a reason. A Supreme Court of BC Judge personally told me in my appeal that "at no time are you obligated to talk to a police officer", especially when there's no breaching of the peace or injury to anyone (civil). My best friend is deaf (hard of hearing) and cannot speak - so how can you compel anyone to do the impossible? Simple driving offences are statutory (summary conviction) and do not imply any criminality. Give the Cop your licence and reg, (or not) shut up and immediately contest the ticket. Don't agree to anything, don't confess to anything, don't hang yourself with your tongue. This should be common knowlegde when dealing with modern day glorified tax collectors. (especially when there's no injured party or breach of peace) But careful, they will use extreme force if you don't handle the situation correctly with knowledge of your RIGHTS.

2) When charged with an "allegation" the onus is NOT on your to disprove their claims. The onus is on THEM (the police) to prove their case. If you take this 'allegation' to traffic kangaroo court, hammer the cop with a barage of cross-examination questions immediately after he testifies his allegations. This is your chance to make him prove his allegations with EVIDENCE. Make a list of relevant questions to test his memory. Start off with simple questions like 'when he started his shift?' and then progressively hammer the details of that moment. Does he have pictures of the tire marks on the road?  If you can make him shaky or catch him in his lie in any way (reasonable doubt), motion to dismiss. I'm serious, make it a 1 hour cross examination, Police hate testifying because they're not trained as Lawyers, their trained as policy enforcers, but they're bound to obey the court. If it's factually true that you did not do a burnout, then that means he's lying - which is common for road "saftey" Police these days. In fact, doing a simple google search will show you tones of cases where the Police lie and twist their stories. Personally I've roasted a couple IRSU cops in traffic court cross-examining their testimony. Corruption is getting worse people!

Finally, Im suspicious if the original post is even a real comment. It sounds fabricated to induse a dead end loss in judgement. Problem, Reaction, Solution. Maybe not...

Caveat

In the context of the Motor Vehicle Act there are a few things that you must answer if required by police:

  1. If you are the driver, you must state your name and address
  2. If you are the passenger and the vehicle is involved in a violation you must identify the driver
  3. If you are the owner or registered owner you must identify the driver entrusted with the vehicle

Dear PStein

Everything you said is correct (with the addition of DriveSmartBC's comment),
and I was pondering whether to provide a similar reply earlier.

I decided to abstain for the following reasons:
- Driver is very new
- Driver is entrusted with a powerful vehicle
- Driver is naive

I've had experience in traffic court, where the officer was not able to provide any evidence and I was free to go,
which proves to a certain extent the "fishing expedition" aspect of traffic enforcement. And considering that I have yet to cause injury or property damage, and that I have taken additional driver training, and that I have the maximum discount on my insurance due to a clean accident record, and that I typically get caught (on avg. once per three years) by unmarked police vehicles, and that I know the rules of the traffic court, and that I do not consider to be doing anything dangerous, and that I maintain my vehicles in good mechanical condition, I do not mind disputing.

Provided I have paid off my share of tickets, most of which were in the first three years of driving, I honestly belive from the OP's post that OP deserves some flak for their actions. Even despite that the charges OP listed are going to be uneasy to stick if OP is well versed in traffic court.

I do not blame the OP for doing what they did, but the fact that they got caught is demonstrative of the lack of observation required to not get caught. And from this perspective, it's best that this particular driver got halted by police, rather than by a pedestrian crossing. You gotta draw a "safety" line somewhere, and while the official line is well into the profiteering territory, if someone wants to test out someone else's powerful ride, they can do it with no cops (and other vehicles) around, where the only thing to watch out for is a random bear running into you.

Sorry if my post is less Outragoeus than usual.

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