Drivesmart: Violation ticket defects

One of the first responses people have after receiving a traffic ticket is to find a defect, real or imagined

Judging by the traffic ticket section of the DriveSmartBC forum, one of the first responses people have after receiving a traffic ticket is to find a defect, real or imagined, as a justification for not having to pay or to justify a dispute in traffic court.

Contrary to what you might think, an officer may make a number of errors or omissions without causing the ticket to be null and void.

Right above the officer’s signature blank on a violation ticket is the advice: “Shaded areas of this ticket are not part of the offence charged.”

These shaded areas contain information such as your driver’s licence number, address, birth date, vehicle licence number, vehicle type and the name of the registered owner. There are only two critical shaded boxes on the ticket and they are the dispute address and provincial court hearing location.

As long as they are completed correctly the ticket could be held to be valid.

Before we get to traffic court, the final opportunity for the officer to correct a problem with the ticket is to track you down and issue you an amended copy. They have up to one year from the date of the alleged offence to do this.

The Offence Act allows for amendments to the ticket in court.

The first method is for the officer to ask the court to amend the ticket prior to accepting a plea from the accused.

The second is for the officer to ask that the ticket be amended to conform to the evidence at the conclusion of the Crown’s evidence.

In either case it is up to the presiding justice do decide whether to allow this or not.

In my experience, I’ve found that they are generally reluctant to do this.

Even clerical and spelling errors may be excused. Unless you can convince the justice that the ticket does not sufficiently identify you, a transposition or mistake in the spelling of your name could be overlooked.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Business notes: CVRD sponsoring Green Business category at Black Tie Awards

The Cowichan Valley Regional District is once again partnering with the Duncan… Continue reading

Brentwood jr. girls playing at B.C. hoops championship

Brentwood College School’s junior girls basketball team is making history this week.… Continue reading

Lake Cowichan, Duncan to host Masters Curling Championship

Begining next Tuesday and running until March 8

North Cowichan to seek suggestions from First Nation in renaming street

Section of Humbird Street in Chemainus was to be renamed MacMillan Street

Cowichan’s Mikrogiannakis a finalist for BCHL MVP and top defenceman

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Dimitri Mikrogiannakis is a B.C. Hockey League all-star,… Continue reading

VIDEO: Reconciliation is dead: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Nanaimo woman to compete in new season of ‘Big Brother Canada’

Carol Rosher, a cancer survivor, is one of 16 houseguests appearing on reality TV show

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Blockade reroutes traffic on Pat Bay Highway

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Most Read