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Thread: Can an officer search my vehicle?

  1. #1
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    Can an officer search my vehicle?

    If I'm pulled over, say for speeding, what conditions must be met for an officer to search my vehicle or do / demand a safety inspection to be done?
    ....-Noltz
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    good one noltz
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    on the same note, can any cop pull your plates and make you get a safety, or do they have to have mechanical training? as a mechanic(non automotive) i find it insulting that a cop can decide they wanna play mechanic and say your vehicle is unsafe, as a mechanic im not given the right to play cop and start pulling speeders over or handing out tickets to people....

    sorry for the rant this topic hits a real soft spot with me....
    and thanx for the awesome job your doing here on jk! your answering alot of awesome questions
    If its a mechanical device i can fix it

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    There are obviously 2 parts to this question.

    1) You ask what is required of an Officer to search your vehicle. There are many authorities, under many different acts both Provincial and Federal, which would allow a Police Officer to search a vehicle. As you can imagine, each and every circumstance is going to be different, and an Officer must rely on his training to the best of his/her abilities, acting in good faith, and apply these authorities where it is necessary. There is no way I can comment on every one, or possibly come up with every circumstance where one of these authorities might come in to play.

    At the end of the day, if there is any question as to whether or not the Officer in each particular case was acting correctly under the authority granted in law, it is up to a Court to decide. Cases you hear about going all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada many times involve questions regarding Charter arguments. In these cases, it is sometimes a question surrounding the particular authority granted in that law, and whether or not is written in such a way that there becomes a Charter violation.

    2) A safety inspection. I think that some of you might be confusing this with an inspection for a safety standards certificate? As some of my friends know, I am DEFINITELY no mechanic. There are some things that I can look at though, and know that they are not safe. No emergency brake? I don't need a mechanics licence to determine that. Suspension held on to the frame with a bear clamp? Don't think I need a licence to call that one as being unsafe. In my cases where I have dealt with this, it is usually a vehicle that LOOKED like it needed attention.

    Here is the particular legislation from the Highway Traffic Act for your reading pleasure.


    Inspections, unsafe vehicles

    82. (1) In this section,

    “commercial motor vehicle” has the same meaning as in subsection 16 (1); (“véhicule utilitaire”)

    “operator” means,

    (a) the person directly or indirectly responsible for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle, including the conduct of the driver of, and the carriage of goods or passengers, if any, in, the commercial motor vehicle or combination of vehicles, and

    (b) in the absence of evidence to the contrary, where no CVOR certificate, as defined in subsection 16 (1), or lease applicable to the commercial motor vehicle, is produced, the holder of the plate portion of the permit for the commercial motor vehicle. (“utilisateur”) 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14.

    Examination of vehicle

    (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.

    Same

    (3) Every police officer and every officer appointed for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act may require the owner of a motor vehicle, motor assisted bicycle or vehicle drawn by a motor vehicle and the operator of a commercial motor vehicle to submit the vehicle, together with its equipment and, in the case of a commercial motor vehicle, 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.

    Requirement to bring vehicle into compliance

    (4) Where any vehicle examined or tested under subsection (2) or (3), or any of its equipment, is found not to be in compliance with the requirements of this Act or the regulations, the police officer or officer making the examinations or tests may require the owner or operator of the vehicle to have the vehicle or its equipment repaired and to,

    (a) submit the vehicle for further examinations and tests to satisfy a police officer or officer appointed for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act that the vehicle and its equipment comply with the requirements of this Act and the regulations; or

    (b) submit evidence to the person or office specified by the police officer or officer that the vehicle and its equipment comply with the requirements of this Act and the regulations. 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14.

    Same

    (5) Where any vehicle examined or tested under clause (4) (a), or any of its equipment, is found still not to be in compliance with the requirements of this Act or the regulations, the police officer or officer making the examinations or tests may require the owner or operator of the vehicle to have the vehicle or its equipment repaired and to submit evidence to the person or office specified by the police officer or officer that the vehicle and its equipment comply with the requirements of this Act and the regulations. 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14.

    Notice required

    (6) A police officer or officer appointed for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act shall serve written notice in an approved form of a requirement under subsection (3), (4) or (5). 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14.

    Deemed service

    (7) Service of a notice under subsection (6) to the driver of the vehicle shall be deemed to be service on the owner and operator, if any, of the vehicle. 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14.

    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.

    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

    (b) contravenes an order or prohibition made under subsection (12). 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14.

    Same, commercial motor vehicle

    (10) Despite subsection (9), every person is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $400 and not more than $20,000 who, in respect of a commercial motor vehicle or a vehicle drawn by a commercial motor vehicle,

    (a) refuses or fails to comply with a requirement made under subsection (2), (3), (4), (5), (8) or (12); or

    (b) contravenes an order or prohibition made under subsection (12). 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14.

    Defence if notice not received

    (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). 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14.

    Use of vehicle prohibited

    (12) Where any vehicle examined or tested under subsection (2), (3) or (4), or any of its equipment, is found to have a prescribed defect or to be in a dangerous or unsafe condition, with or without a prescribed defect, the police officer or officer appointed for carrying out the provisions of this Act making the examinations or tests may,

    (a) require the driver, owner or operator of the vehicle to have the prescribed defect repaired and the vehicle and its equipment placed in a safe condition;

    (b) order the vehicle to be removed from the highway; and

    (c) prohibit the operation of the vehicle on the highway until the prescribed defect has been repaired and the vehicle and its equipment are in a safe condition. 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14.

    Seizure of plates, vehicle inspection sticker

    (13) Where the operation of a vehicle has been prohibited under subsection (12), the police officer or officer may,

    (a) seize the number plates of the vehicle; and

    (b) remove the vehicle inspection sticker, or comparable device issued by another jurisdiction, from the vehicle. 1999, c. 12, Sched. R, s. 14.

    (14) Repealed: 2008, c. 17, s. 41.



    Hope this clears it up.....
    Opinions expressed are those of the author, accuracy of information posted cannot be guaranteed. These opinions in no way represent the OPP, any other Police Department or Police Officer.

  5. #5
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    clear as mud!, will have to take a closer look when im not so tired! thanx for the info! again, your doing an awesome thing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by markr1001 View Post
    clear as mud!, will have to take a closer look when im not so tired! thanx for the info! again, your doing an awesome thing...
    LOL ..... I understand, and I'm happy to help!

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    I actually wrote the same thing but got pulled away before I could post it, but "Clear as mud" was the catch line. Incredibly frustrating when a citizen is trying to conform to the laws of the land, but the laws are so convoluted it takes 2 lawyers and a judge to decipher their meaning.

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