Dangerous driving: what you need to know

General Information

This week, I propose dealing with section 327 of the Highway Safety Code, which is an action, or a speed that may endanger the safety of people or property. The minimum fine is $ 1,000, and four demerit points. The kind of offense that upsets auto insurers.

I suggest that we discuss this because this article has been the subject of several interpretations by the courts. And often, the line is thin between one offense and another. I am thinking, among other things, of the speed that could jeopardize safety. When is it a “speeding ticket”, and at what point can this speed turn into “speed that could jeopardize”?

To answer this question, I suggest a recent decision of our courts in the case “DPCP c. Bolduc “of July 19, 2018. In this case, a man was intercepted by the police after an alleged series of dangerous overtaking on Route 117. The alleged offense was to have led to a speed likely to jeopardize the safety people or property, the officer judging that, according to the accounts of witnesses, the speed of Mr. Bolduc, combined with a few overtaking, jeopardized the security.

For example, a witness testified that he had to brake abruptly to avoid a collision with Mr. Bolduc, who was driving fast between wagons and often “forced” between them. Another witness said he had to brake from 100 km / h to 50 km / h to avoid the collision, as Mr. Bolduc was inserted between two vehicles.

Although, at first sight, Mr. Bolduc’s behavior might seem rash, here is what the prosecution had as a burden of proof, according to the Honorable Justice Claude Bouliane:

A- That it is the defendant who committed the offense in question

In this case, both the identification of the driver, the description of the vehicle and finally the testimony of the defendant putting himself on the spot ensures that this element is proven.

B- That all took place on a public road

In the file, we are talking about Route 117, so this element is also proven.

C- That the speed of the defendant was likely to endanger life or the safety of persons or property

Most of the time it is this third point that needs to be interpreted by the courts. In this case, the judge had to determine whether Mr. Bolduc’s speed was likely to jeopardize safety.

To understand the judge’s progress, you must remember that section 327 of the Highway Safety Code contains two offenses in itself. First of all, that of having led to a speed likely to endanger, and the second, that of having committed an action likely to endanger.

In this case, the police officer chose to hand over a ticket to Mr. Bolduc for driving at a speed that could jeopardize safety.

Here is the judge’s opinion on this:

“After analysis of the evidence, the Tribunal finds that the prosecutor did not discharge his burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant drove at a speed that could endanger the life or safety of persons or of the property. There is no indication that the speed of the defendant’s vehicle was problematic from the perspective of a reasonable teleported person in the same situation. “

The judge continues:

“On the other hand, after analyzing all of the evidence presented, including that of the defendant himself, the Tribunal notes that the offense under section 348 of the Highway Safety Code is clearly established, and that is out of the question. reasonable doubt in the circumstances. “

(Art 348. No one may exceed the following conditions:

1. the driver of a vehicle coming from behind has already indicated his intention to overtake or has already started this maneuver;

2. the visibility is insufficient to enable the other part of the carriageway to be safely engaged;

3. on a two-way traffic carriageway, where the other part of the carriageway is not clear for a sufficient distance to safely overtake and return to the right.

The driver of a road vehicle may also overtake in these other cases:

1. on a two-way roadway, when a group of participants in an exceptional event, event or sports competition is traveling in front of it, escorted by vehicles, unless a peace officer authorizes the overtaking;

2. on a carriageway with two or more lanes of traffic in both directions, when a group of participants in an exceptional event, an event or a sports competition, escorted by vehicles, is traveling in front of it, unless it reduces the number of participants the speed of his vehicle and take another route in the same direction as it

Finally, to the extent that the judge is satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Bolduc has committed excesses prohibited under section 348 of the Highway Safety Code, he convicts him of what is known as a “lesser” offense. included “, which will be the subject of an upcoming column.

In the meantime, be vigilant and remember that a moment of impulsiveness, impatience or even aggression could cause you a bunch of useless problems. Leave the music before you start and ride with confidence!

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