Q&A - Victoria Parking Ticket Dispute

no parking signHi, I recently received a bylaw parking ticket from the city of Victoria. In the disclosure request, one of the pictures I received shows the commissionaires scooter parked in violation of a yellow line. I looked in the bylaw but did not see specific exemption, similar to what emergency vehicle have in the motor vehicle act, allowing the commissionaires to park in violation of the bylaw. Have you heard of this before?

Second question is the term "driveway" defined in the MVA or case law anywhere.

Comments

Answer

Driveway is not defined in either section 1 or section 119 of the Motor Vehicle Act. The Streets and Traffic Bylaw for Victoria does not define the word either and does refer to including definitions in the Motor Vehicle Act. Since the term is not defined specifically, the dictionary definition is sufficient for the courts.

It does set out an exemption that might apply in 2(2)(e). The bylaw officer (Commissionaire) is designated as a peace officer for the purpose of enforcing the bylaws for the City of Victoria. Parked at the curb doing enforcement work does not require flashing lights and siren sounding in order to be safe. If you are intending to hold up the picture in court and complaining that the bylaw officer is parked in contravention of the law I can tell you to save your breath. The JJP is interested in what you did or did not do, not where the bylaw officer may have parked.

Follow Up by E-Mail

I had looked for the definition of "driveway" and could not find it so it is good to know that the dictionary definition will suffice.

I was not going to make a stink about the parking location of the commissionaire but rather make a request separate from my dispute for a ticket to be issued to him for his violation. I also read the section 2(2)e, although I agree the commissionaire is a peace officer I don't think it fully captures the commissionaire stopping on a yellow line as 2(2)e deals with emergency vehicle and their operation. I surely can't be the first to try and play with them at their own game of parking wars.

I got a ticket for parking in front of a locked gate at my child's school. The sidewalk is graded for a driveway as approx 10 years ago the school had two entrances to the parking lot but subsequently put in a playing field. The principal has given me a letter saying the gate never opens...which of course I know and why I parked there as I would not impede anyone. Get this behind the gate is the children's playground. Another cheap ticket from Victoria
commissionaires.

Thanks for listening to me vent

Answer

You are on the right track with the letter from the principal. In fact, you may wish to deliver a copy to the bylaw officer. If they agree, it is possible to withdraw the ticket before you have to spend time in court for a dispute.

You are going to have to deal with the City, not the court, about the bylaw officer's choice of a place to stop. I suspect that they are going to suggest that the bylaw officer has to stop somewhere relatively convenient to do enforcement and that this section gives them that authority.

Hypocrisy from those in authority?

I've thought about this general issue (how Bylaws officers conduct themselves behind the wheel) before now, and what kind of example they set.

It's not uncommon in the City of North Vancouver to witness jackass behaviour, such as stopping dead in a busy traffic lane (albeit with flashing amber lights activated) in order to plant a ticket on the windshield of some car that's been parked too long, even though there's an available space out of the traffic flow only meters away where they could have situated their own vehicle.

It is uncommon, however, to ever see these officers ticketing vehicles that are parked too far from the curb, or parked on hills without the wheels curbed, or parked too close to a driveway or laneway, thus blocking the view for other motorists.

Is it really too much to hope that the guidelines and instruction given to Bylaws officers would include reasonable and legal behaviour, so far as their own conduct is concerned?

Or is it all just about revenues, and public safety be damned?

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