"Fail to obey traffic sign" Dispute Options

Q&A ImageI recently recieved ticket claiming a failure to obey traffic sign. No accident resulted, and this is my first ticket.

On the face of the ticket, the officer stated Sec. 161 of the MVA, but did not specify 161a/161b/161c or 161d.

Would this be grounds to have the ticket dismissed? I am not sure which section I allgedly violated, and as such, how could I strategize an appropriate defense if I don't know which requirement I allegedly failed to meet?

Also, "N/A" was written under the registered owner of the vehicle field on the face of the ticket. I was the driver, and I am the registered owner. Should that not be indicated?

As this is my first ticket, and I do not want points added to my abstract, *IF* I was hypothetically proven guilty of the offense what are my options?

Is it possible to request to plead to the ticketed offence as the registered owner of the car and not the driver? In doing so, paying the monetary (or reduced) amount, and not retaining any of the points?  If so, how is this possible if the registered owner's name is not printed on the face of the ticket?

Comments

Answer

You are right, there are 4 sub-sections to worry about:

Obedience to traffic control devices

161 Despite anything in this Act, if on or over a highway there is

(a) one or more traffic control devices indicating the direction vehicles must proceed, a person must not drive a vehicle other than in the direction indicated,

(b) a traffic control device indicating that a certain vehicle movement is prohibited, a person must not drive a vehicle in a movement prohibited by the sign,

(c) one or more traffic control devices indicating that use, access or egress is regulated or restricted on the designated use highway, a person must not drive or operate a vehicle on the designated use highway except as authorized by a regulation under section 209.1 or a bylaw or resolution of the council of a municipality under section 124.2, and

(d) one or more traffic control devices indicating that the use, access or egress is prohibited on the designated use highway, a person must not drive or operate a vehicle on the designated use highway in a manner prohibited by the traffic control device except as authorized by a regulation under section 209.1 or a bylaw or resolution of the council of a municipality under section 124.2.

The recommended wording to use on the ticket is Disobey traffic sign or signal, but something similar such as your Failure to obey traffic sign is acceptable.

Given the nature of the section where each sub-section essentially says if there is a traffic control device visible there that says you can't do it, it's an offence to do it, you probably will not be successful saying that you don't know what to defend against. However, it is an avenue that you can try and see if the justice agrees with you.

Just out of idle curiosity, what traffic sign is the officer saying that you disobeyed?

The N/A is immaterial to this, use site search and look for shaded area for an explanation of that.

It is possible to offer to plead guilty as the registered owner and avoid an entry on your driving record. That will be up to the officer.

Just because no collision resulted is not a good way to view the situation.

Is There a Standard?

No resulting collision does not my reflect my viewpoint on the situation, merely stating what happenend.

As for the sign, it was a no right turn sign, at a 4 way stop controlled via traffic lights. There is a potential for misinterpretation as right turns are legal in BC both on red and green lights (red while an advanced green is NOT active).

Is there a standard spec for where the no right turn has to be placed, and size?

Standards

Yes, there are standards set out in the Manual of Standard Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings.

In general, when things like this are permitted in the Motor Vehicle Act, they are permitted subject to modification by a sign posted giving instructions to the contrary. You will not be successful arguing that because turns are usually permitted, you didn't know whether you could turn or have to follow the sign, so you turned.

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