The charges your son faces are very serious, and it will be in your best interest to seek counsel (paralegal/lawyer) who's familiar with pocket-bike charges.The Province maintains that pocket bikes are not permitted to be operated on roadways as they do not meet the safety standards, both federal and provincial, for vehicles that may be used on public roads. In particular, subsection 7(1) of the HTA provides that no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway without a currently valid permit and plates issued in accordance with the HTA and its regulations. Since the MTO will not currently issue a permit or plates for pocket bikes, they may not legally operate on a highway (including sidewalks within the road allowance). As well, there is no class of drivers license that covers pocket bikes.
An individual who uses a pocket bike on a public road or highway may be charged with provincial offences under both the HTA and the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (CAIA).
The HTA contains several potential offences that might be relevant to the operation of pocket bikes on public roads, including: driving on a highway without a license for that class of vehicle, driving a vehicle without a VIN on a highway, and driving a vehicle on a highway without a permit and license plates.
The CAIA applies to all motor vehicles, as defined in the HTA. The most serious offence that may be relevant to pocket bike users is contained in subsection 2(1), which provides that no owner or lessee of a motor vehicle shall operate a motor vehicle or permit a motor vehicle to be operated on a highway unless the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance. Subsection 2(7) of the Act provides that where a person is convicted of operating a vehicle without insurance, the vehicle may be seized and impounded, for a maximum of three months.
Even if your son had a fully graduated M-class drivers license, i believe drive without correct license may apply... because there are no class of license that covers pocket bikes; no insurance company would insure a pocket-bike for road-use, so that would apply as well.
I think the investigating police officer could have thrown the book, because it appears much more HTA charges should have applied.
Careless Driving is one of the most serious charges in the HTA; your son should not have been on the road at all, so it opens a whole can of worms as to whether he can exercise "due diligence" regardless of whether the other driver is partially at-fault.
Again, in your best interest to seek counsel.
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