Seatbelt Exemption for Delivery Drivers

Q&A ImageQuestion: I have a question regarding the seatbelt exemption sometimes referred to as the "Milkman Exemption." My understanding is that it applies to drivers who make multiple vehicle stops and exits within a confined area (i.e. one street or a bay or boulevard) as they are not in general traffic and never get going very fast (exemption requires speeds of 40 km/h or lower).

An example would be the old milk delivery or garbage collection truck drivers. However, it appears that UPS and similar type drivers believe it applies to them, even though they are interacting with regular traffic flow (at least potentially) and would be blocking traffic flow if they actually complied with the 40 km/h limit.

Is there case law or a legislative briefing note from when the regulation was enacted that I can take to traffic court?

image of seatbelt warning light

Seatbelt Exemption for Delivery Drivers

The exemption that you are referring to is this one:

220 (4) A person in a motor vehicle being driven or operated on a highway must, if the motor vehicle has properly attached to it a seat belt assembly for the seating position occupied by that person, wear the complete seat belt assembly in a properly adjusted and securely fastened manner.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply to a person

(c) who is actually engaged in work that requires him or her to alight from and re-enter the motor vehicle at frequent intervals and who, while engaged in that work, does not drive or travel in that vehicle at a speed exceeding 40 km/h,

The exemption that you speak of does not apply only to delivery drivers, but to any worker mentioned in paragraph (c). There is no mention of any confined area, just "frequent intervals."

Case Law

The only case law on the subject that I am aware of is R v Stein, a decision by Judicial Justice Gordon:

[35] I conclude that frequent intervals mean intervals of less than a minute or two and within a short distance, such as within a block, or from one block to another.  Anything greater in time or distance would defeat the object of section 220.

Traffic Court Experience

My experience in traffic court is that frequent intervals would be just that, a requirement to stop and alight within each city block or less, but it was far more likely that the driver was exceeding that 40 km/h than not making frequent stops while travelling at 40 km/h or less.

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IMO, there should be no exception to the seatbelt rule. Period.

Jimmy NG would've been alive today if it was manatory for everyone, including peace officers to buckle in while driving. 

In reply to by Google (not verified)

It IS mandatory for peace officers to wear their seatbelts unless they can justify it due to operational need. About the only instances that I can think of quickly are transporting a prisoner in a car without a shield between the front and rear seats and the final immediate approach to a serious incident of some sort.