Seatbelt Exemption for Delivery Drivers

Q&A ImageI 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 40kmh or lower).

An example would be the old Milk Delivery Drivers or Garbage Collection Trucks, 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 40kmh limit.

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

Comments

Answer

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."

I searched seat belt exemption frequent stops on CanLII's British Columbia database and was not able to find anything useful to you.

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 traveling at 40 km/h or less.

 

Ridiculous exemption

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

Seatbelt exemption case law

It was recently brought to my attention that there is case law regarding the Seatbelt exemptions under s.220(5) MVA from a Judicail Justice, which, while a junior court, is applicable in courts of the same precedence where traffic violations are generally tried.  The decision is R. v. STEIN, 2013 BCPC 70 (available through CanLII).  In part, the decision by JJ Gordon refers to the exemption applying only to a person whose work requires them to alight from and re-enter the motor vehicle at frequent intervals and the decision reads "...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."

This interpretation seems pretty logical to me and combined with the "not exceeding 40km/h" seems to strike a reasonable balance between not impeding the work of milkman type delivery drivers and not endangering the safety of others who should be wearing their seatblets.

Hope that sharing this information will reduce pointless disputes.

 

Insane

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

Peace Officers

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.

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