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Charged With Fail To Wear Seatbelt Despite Having A Doctor’s Note

Question:  

I have a doctor’s note indicating that I am not to wear a seatbelt and yet I received a ticket

Response:  

I’m sorry to hear about the unfortunate situation that you find yourself in with this matter.  The reality of your matter is that you have been charged with an offence and if you are to avoid a conviction being registered against you, your defence must be argued at court.

It is likely that you have been charged under section 106 of the Highway Traffic Act:

106. 
(1) No person shall drive on a highway a motor vehicle in which a seat belt assembly required under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada) at the time that the vehicle was manufactured or imported into Canada has been removed, rendered partly or wholly inoperative, modified so as to reduce its effectiveness or is not operating properly through lack of maintenance.  2006, c. 25, s. 1. Use of seat belt assembly by driver

(2)  Every person who drives on a highway a motor vehicle in which a seat belt assembly is provided for the driver shall wear the complete seat belt assembly as required by subsection (5).  2006, c. 25, s. 1.

Use of seat belt assembly by passenger

(3)  Every person who is at least 16 years old and is a passenger in a motor vehicle on a highway shall,

(a) occupy a seating position for which a seat belt assembly has been provided; and

(b) wear the complete seat belt assembly as required by subsection (5).  2006, c. 25, s. 1.

Driver to ensure young passenger uses seat belt assembly

(4)  No person shall drive on a highway a motor vehicle in which there is a passenger who is under 16 years old unless,

(a) that passenger,

(i) occupies a seating position for which a seat belt assembly has been provided, and  

(ii) is wearing the complete seat belt assembly as required by subsection (5); or

(b) that passenger is required by the regulations to be secured by a child seating system or child restraint system, and is so secured.  2006, c. 25, s. 1.

How to wear seat belt assembly

(5)  A seat belt assembly shall be worn so that,

(a) the pelvic restraint is worn firmly against the body and across the hips;

(b) the torso restraint, if there is one, is worn closely against the body and over the shoulder and across the chest;

(c) the pelvic restraint, and the torso restraint, if there is one, are securely fastened; and

(d) no more than one person is wearing the seat belt assembly at any one time.  2006, c. 25, s. 1.

Depending on what section you been charged under, you are likely facing a 2 demerit point penalty.  The demerit points will be active for two years and the third party visibility  (such as for insurance purposes) will be for 3 years.

I will need to review the content of your doctor’s note to properly evaluate and prepare a defence to the charge laid against you.  The Highway Traffic Act does account for medical exemptions:

(6)  Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply to a person,

(a) who is driving a motor vehicle in reverse;

(b) who holds a certificate signed by a legally qualified medical practitioner certifying that the person is,

(i) for the period stated in the certificate, unable for medical reasons to wear a seat belt assembly, or

(ii) because of the person’s size, build or other physical characteristic, unable to wear a seat belt assembly; or

(c) who is actually engaged in work which requires him or her to alight from and re-enter the motor vehicle at frequent intervals and the motor vehicle does not travel at a speed exceeding 40 kilometres per hour.  2006, c. 25, s. 1.

I would be happy to review your case in more detail.  We offer a no cost, no obligation initial consultation to review the basic details of a case and would be happy to speak with your daughter. I would recommend contacting our office as early as possible via our toll-free number 1-844-647-6869 to book an appointment or to review her matter by telephone. We do accept walk-in clients, however booking an appointment in advance will help to avoid any delays in meeting with one of our staff. We can also be reached by email at info@otdlegal.ca.

Posted under Traffic Ticket Defence

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