Here's something I always wondered about:
I know a commercial truck in most instances is one above 4500 kg but that does not necessarily mean it's a heavy because you can drive any truck up to 11000 kg with a G license.
The question is how is a HEAVY truck defined in relation to a posted NO HEAVY TRUCKS sign on certain streets? Does it only refer to trucks with a Gross registered or actual weight of over 11,000 kg that would require a D license? Or is it subjective?
On streets with a NO TRUCKS sign are there statutory exemptions other than for emergency vehicles or is this a matter or reasonable discretion?
I'm also interested in this, because I've seen what appears to be heavy trucks even dump trucks do U-Turns when they approach 'No Trucks Sign'. I've also seen them pull over with their hazard lights and simulate fake breakdowns as soon as they see police officers. But I've never seen our local police stop these trucks for disobeying the sign.
The bottom line is that there is no definition of "heavy truck" in the HTA. It all depends on what the JP chooses to accept as meeting the definition. On appeal, the court accepted this position in the Boyd decision..
While in that case there WAS a by-law in existence that defined 'heavy truck', I believe the court's justification was wrong. Where there is no by-law in existence, then there is no definition of the term that applies. Accordingly, a prima facie case simply can't be made out and must fail! Besides, if trial courts can simply draw upon their common sense to 'read'
in a definition then it creates ambiguity at law since you could have different definitions applying! Any doubt or ambiguity should always go in the favour of the defendant as per the rules of statutory interpretation. The legislature should simply have defined the term. That's why I suspect the Court of Appeal would likely reverse the Boyd decision if it was appealed further.
Super interesting (for me anyway) it's not too often you see a major hole in the law like this. So in theory anyone facing this charge should be able to successfully appeal if convicted even if they were driving a truck that requires a heavy truck license.
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