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Defective Vehicles

What do you do with a pickup that has only one operating light, a high beam headlight, being driven at night between towns? How about another being driven in the rain with wipers being operated by the passenger who was pushing and pulling on a rope with one end tied to each wiper and run through the passenger compartment via the vent windows? One driver even put black tape over the warning light that would have led him to discover no brake fluid in one reservoir of his master cylinder if he had investigated it.

These examples are just a few of many that I ran into over the course of my career in traffic law enforcement. It's glaringly obvious that these drivers chose to put other road users at risk. What might be less obvious is the dilemma I was in. Now that I had found them I was obligated to do something about it or I would risk liability myself if I were to let them continue.

Once your vehicle is no longer properly equipped for use on the highway you are obligated to remove it immediately. In order to take it to repair you would call a tow truck or other vehicle capable of moving the vehicle safely such as a deck truck. This is the only legal way to move a defective vehicle on the highway.

If you choose not to and are a significant hazard, police will order the vehicle removed immediately, may seize the licence plates and vehicle licence document to return to ICBC. The order will also require that you repair the vehicle and pass inspection at a designated inspection facility prior to driving the vehicle on the highway again. This is commonly known as a notice and order number one.

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