When Terrance John Wojtkiw was pulled over on the Patricia Bay Highway he was wearing a motorcycle helmet while riding his Tag 500 scooter. (Rick Barrett/Unsplash)

Victoria man’s ‘mongrel’ scooter saves him from three charges

Terrance John Wojtkiw had no drivers licence, scooter had no licence plate

A Victoria man dodged three charges relating to lack of insurance, not having a licence and passing on the left side of the road thanks to a scooter that a B.C. judge deemed to be a “mixed breed or mongrel,” in a judgment posted on Monday.

When Terrance John Wojtkiw was pulled over on July 10 while heading northbound on the Patricia Bay Highway, he tried to explain to the officer how in the past four or five years that he’s been driving the Tag 500 he’s been stopped several times but always let go when officers realize it’s a motor assisted cycle.

READ ALSO: Victoria student out $600 for lack of e-bike insurance blames confusing rules

The Crown called into question whether or not the scooter really was a motor assisted cycle due to modifications that had been made to the pedals, turning them 180 degrees. Wojtkiw testified he had made the adjustments because the downward arm would catch on the roadway while making turns.

Another factor that came into play during trial was the speed at which the scooter had been driving when the officer pulled Wojtkiw over. A motor assisted cycle must not be capable of assisting to a speed greater than 32 km/hr, Wojtkiw was noted to be travelling at 48 km/hr.

READ ALSO: Recent collision raises questions about rules of road for personal mobility devices

Wojtkiw presented evidence showing a slight decline at that section of the road that may have caused him to pick up speed.

The judge stated that the scooter met the statutory definition of a motor assisted cycle despite the fact that the device governing speed was either disabled or malfunctioned.

Because the scooter was deemed a motor assisted cycle, the operator is not required to have a valid motor vehicle liability policy nor a drivers licence, tossing out the first two charges. The third charge of passing on the left was also tossed out due to the fact that the law only pertains to vehicles, therefore excluding a motor assisted cycle.

The judge ended the hearing by suggesting the regulations would benefit from a review.



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