In this scenario, a driver in good faith believes that his/her DL has been reinstated, and takes to the wheel with clear conscience. A police spot check later, and the officer shocks you with news of suspension- albeit without prior notice of such suspension.
My anecdotal experience is that peace officers know about this contradictory situation of records. To quote an officer- " We know about it, but we cannot do anything about it".
Despite no intent to drive while suspended, the Driver is ensnared in a bureaucratic trap. Whether it is data entry error at MTO, or a fine paid but not accounted for, or even a fine lined up for payment during one's next pay cycle, the Driver has no notice from MTO of a subsequent suspension, and therefore in essence, the Notice of Reinstatement most recently received is not worth the paper is printed on. The Driver is at risk, unwittingly.
This is a paradox that is been admitted by some officers as common knowledge to them, and that means, the prosecutors know it too. And given MTO's disregard of phone calls and letters sent by mail, one could surmise that they know it too, and are hiding in the weeds about this snag.
A cycnic would come to the conclusion- nice little money-making scam here.
And the traffic court prosecutor has got the gig down pat, chapter and verse:
"... oh yes, MTO notified the Driver of the suspension. Look at this record I've got your Worship. See the suspension. Your Worship, the Court cannot account for why there is no mentioning of the Reinstatement. The fact is that the accused was driving while under suspension, and the officer acted on this information accordingly"...
My question is- Given that this is undoubtedly NOT an isolated experience, how many well-intended drivers out there have been caught in this trap? How does one defend oneself against the elephant in the room: MTO that gives no quarter to the Driver making reasonable inquiry, and provides official (-looking) documentation that sanitizes essentially what is afoot here? Self-protection by the Ministry is an obvious motivation, but to quote a Missouran, you gut gussy up a pig, but a pig is still a pig...
Fair comment & helpful (constructive) feedback appreciated!
The first scenario you describe, non payment of fines, is simply the fault of the driver.
The second scenario, a clerical error on the part of the MTO, could easily be resolved in Court. Simply hold onto all documentation (receipts, notice of reinstatement) and present them. If you can show your fines were paid and the MTO advised you your licence is reinstated, the charge should be withdrawn. Drive suspend is not an absolute liability offence to the best of my knowledge, nor should you be considered suspended if it's simply a clerical error.
that is NOT accurate, all police (OPP and Municipal) obtain the driver information instantly and directly from the MTO database.Groundwheat wrote:There is a situation out there, in plan in recent years and possibly still currrent, whereby a Driver is given a Notice of Reinstatement of DL from MTO, AND YET, the OPP dbase in Orillia has same driver on record as suspended.
agree with Stanton, provided the suspension notice # is the same on both (one officer used at roadside and one confirming paid brought to court). Sometimes there is more than one suspension active to the same personstanton wrote:The second scenario, a clerical error on the part of the MTO, could easily be resolved in Court. Simply hold onto all documentation (receipts, notice of reinstatement) and present them. If you can show your fines were paid and the MTO advised you your licence is reinstated, the charge should be withdrawn
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca