Q&A - Tow for Unlicensed Scooter Justified?
It was necessary for me to move my 50cc scooter 3 miles from one storage location to another. It was daylight, the weather was good and there was no other traffic on the road at the time. I made an error of judgment and decided to make this move on my scooter without current tags since I would not be using it for several months. It did not occur to me to think about a day pass.
I was stopped by an officer en route, and my escort, who was to pick me up at the new storage location, arrived shortly afterwards. I was charged with the maximum $600 offence of driving without insurance. Even though we were all safely on the side of the road, parked on a paved shoulder, the officer then insisted that the scooter could only be moved with a tow truck. I requested an alternative solution, either to push it off the roadway area entirely or to remain with it while my escort went to obtain tags for it. Both were refused by the officer and we all were forced to wait over 30 minutes until a giant flatbed tow truck arrived. The tow truck driver even had difficulties stabilizing my small scooter on his large deck. The remaining 2 miles to my new storage location cost me a further $270 for the tow.
I believe that I was within my rights to have my escort obtain tags for me, since we were in a safe location and he could have done so in less time than the tow truck took to arrive? I have a clean driving record. I am a pensioner, so this prosecution to the full extent of the law is a major financial burden.
I will be asking for some leniency from the judge when this goes to court. I will not expect the officer to reduce the charges since he has a reputation in our area for being punitive to the full extent of the law. (Not being bitter, it is a fact). I would like to know if the tow truck was really required? If it was not, would the insistence on the tow have any impact on the ticket charge? There is a lesser charge of driving without tags. Should my plea be guilty or not guilty? Can you plead guilty with extenuating circumstances?