Police orders to drive vehicle to another location. Legal?

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peterboro
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Police orders to drive vehicle to another location. Legal?

Unread post by peterboro on

A question came up at car show this weekend that I was not able to answer for a fellow classic car enthusiast. He owns a 1969 Camaro and a couple weeks ago he was pulled over by a police officer and ordered to attend a municipally owned bus depot about 1 km away. Once there his vehicle was inspected for about 40 minutes by representatives of the MTO and the e-brake was found to be deficient. They removed his plates and he had the car towed home and got it re-certified and new plates.

So his question to me as a fellow gearhead, and former paralegal with some basic HTA experience, was the legality of the initial order to attend another location.

We all know that the police or MTO have the authority to inspect a vehicle. But under what authority do the police have to order a motorist to move themselves or their vehicle anywhere other than safely off the road at a traffic stop? What options does the officer have if you refuse?

1. Place you under arrest for disobey lawful order.
2. Have your vehicle towed and impounded for inspection.
3. Have your vehicle towed to the location of the MTO inspectors.
4. Radio the MTO inspectors to come to the roadside and check the vehicle so thoroughly the plates are guaranteed to be removed (most likely).


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

Safety inspections are covered under section 82 of the Highway Traffic Act. It allows police to make a demand to the operator of a motor vehicle to submit it for a safety inspection at a different location. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $1,000 for a regular vehicle or $20,000 for a commercial motor vehicle. Failure to comply could also result in your plates being seized and your vehicle deemed unfit. Highlights are below:
Inspections, unsafe vehicles
82. (2) Every police officer and every officer appointed for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act may require the driver of any motor vehicle or motor assisted bicycle to stop, move the vehicle to a safe location as directed by the police officer or officer and submit the vehicle, together with its equipment and any vehicle drawn by it, to the examinations and tests that the police officer or officer may consider expedient. 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14.

Offence
(9) Every person is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $1,000 who,
(a) refuses or fails to comply with a requirement made under subsection (2), (3), (4), (5), (8) or (12); or
(11) Despite subsections (9) and (10), a person is not guilty of an offence for refusing or failing to comply with a requirement under subsection (3), (4) or (5) unless the police officer or officer appointed for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act gave the person a written notice as required by subsection (6).


peterboro
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Unread post by peterboro on

Thanks for the reply. I guess the question now is what constitutes "move the vehicle to a safe location" under the legislation. Is a motorist justified in arguing that where they pulled over is safe if for example it is adjacent to a nearby parking lot that they agree to move into for example? To what lengths do motorists have to go to satisfy this section?


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Unread post by hwybear on

think the wording in 82(2) is very clear in..."move the vehicle to a safe location as directed by the police officer", anything other than directed would be disobey an officer.

Sounds like the above is a target of unsafe vehicle day, where the safe location are set up well in advance with whatever parking lot that is going to be used for inspections, there are a multiple reasons to use a particular lot
- surface condition (to roll the creepers to get under vehicles)
- accessibility for multiple vehicles to enter
- ability to set up a safety perimeter (often the whole parking lot) to prevent other vehicles from entering: have inspections in an arena parking lot in summer as opposed to a mall parking lot, too many vehicles/pedestrians all over
- access to washroom facilities on premise
- access to telephone for those to call tows
etc..
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Unread post by Stanton on

Agree, "as directed by police" is the key. I can see you might have an argument if you were stopped in Toronto but directed to North Bay for the testing since it's supposed to be expedient, but I've never heard of Courts finding fault with directions to attend local testing areas. If you read 82(3), you'll also see that you can be served written notice as the vehicle owner to submit your vehicle for testing and that sections makes no mention of location requirements.


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Unread post by Simon Borys on

The officer MUST serve the driver with a notice form pursuant to s. 82(6) before the driver can be charged with failing/refusing to comply with any directions under s. 82 related to moving the vehicle or assisting in the examination. The approved form is the Vehicle Defect Report Notice.
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Unread post by peterboro on

I also find sec 82. (8) interesting as you are required to assist in the examination of your vehicle. This section is in fact enforced as the motorists I have spoken to have reported they were ordered to actually do this for up to an hour. This ordering motorists to travel somewhere and basically detain them just seems bizarre in respect to sec. 9 of the Charter. There may be other examples but I can’t think of any other situations where you are required by law to go with a police officer and assist in potentially incriminating yourself.

"Requirement to assist (8) The driver of a vehicle submitted for examinations and tests as required under subsection (2), (3) or (4) and any other person in charge of the vehicle who is present shall, if directed by a police officer or officer appointed for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this Act, assist with the examinations and tests of the vehicle and of its equipment. 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14."


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Unread post by Stanton on

peterboro wrote: There may be other examples but I can’t think of any other situations where you are required by law to go with a police officer and assist in potentially incriminating yourself.
Impaired driving comes to mind. While criminal, you're still required to attend a testing facility and provide samples of your breath.


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Unread post by Simon Borys on

It may well be considered a s. 9 violation, as the Charter is probably engaged at the time they are detained, but if so, it would be justified under s. 1 of the Charter.
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Unread post by peterboro on

Simon Borys wrote:It may well be considered a s. 9 violation, as the Charter is probably engaged at the time they are detained, but if so, it would be justified under s. 1 of the Charter.
So for arguments sake would this reasonable limit under sec. 1 of the Charter be justified in pulling over vehicles without RPG if they fit a profile for example ricers, antiques or classic cars?

After all this seems to be standard operating procedure on these MTO and Ministry of the Enviroment fishing expiditions in a lot of cases at least around here (Peterborough).


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Unread post by Simon Borys on

R v Ladouceur (1990) Supreme Court decided that random stops are a violation of s. 9 but are a limit prescribed by law (what is now s. 216(1) of the HTA in Ontario) and are justified under s. 1.

Selective stops of vehicles that are committing offences are even more easily justified because there is a specific reason to stop them.

Selective stops of certain TYPES of vehicles, as you have suggested, does not necessarily render the stop an unjustified violation of s. 9 (see Brown v Durham Police Service Board (1998) Ontario Court of Appeal), though that may be the case if the reason for the stop is for some prohibited ground of profiling - i.e. race, gender, etc. But of course the onus is on the person claiming that is the reason they were stopped - not an easy thing to prove.

One more thing I would note is that Brown specifically said that stopping of young or novice drivers is a proper selective style stop, so youth is not a prohibited ground for profiling in this context.
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Unread post by peterboro on

Thanks for the reply and I will read the case law you cited.


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Unread post by The Stig on

Simon Borys wrote:The officer MUST serve the driver with a notice form pursuant to s. 82(6) before the driver can be charged with failing/refusing to comply with any directions under s. 82 related to moving the vehicle or assisting in the examination. The approved form is the Vehicle Defect Report Notice.
Negative on the driver part Simon. The notice in the approved form (as you have mentioned) must be served on the owner (if other than the driver) for reporting "after the fact". Driver at the time of the stop does not require a form notice. Notice only applies to subs 3, 4 and 5. Driver is subsection 2.


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Unread post by Simon Borys on

Yes, I believe you are right. Thank you for correcting that.




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