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Behind the Wheel - How to Identify the Driver

Last week I explained to you that the police only require the license plate number of the offending vehicle in order to investigate your driving complaint. Of course, any information that you can provide in addition to this is a bonus and makes your complaint that much more credible. However, it is not necessary to be able to pick the driver out of a lineup or be able to tell the officer who they are.

The Motor Vehicle Act gives the police tools to investigate and gather information on the identity of the driver at the relevant time. Your complaint provides reason to believe that the vehicle involved was in breach of certain transportation related acts, regulations or bylaws. Registered owner information from I.C.B.C. records then gives the officer a person to inquire with.

When this is explained to the registered owner and the identity of the driver at the relevant time and place is demanded, the owner must do all in their power to identify the driver to the investigator. This holds true even when the driver is the registered owner. Failure to do this or giving false information about this is an offence.

The officer now has the driver to interview. I used to explain the gist of the complaint to them and ask if they wanted to respond. They could choose to remain silent if they wished because the explanation could become evidence against them but it was a chance to explain and possibly avoid charges. Occasionally I did decide not to write after listening to their side of the story.

If the owner of the vehicle fails or refuses to identify the driver, in addition to the possibility of being charged for this, they may also be charged for the offence that gave rise to the complaint.

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