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Legal Matters

Ways to Increase Your Odds of Being Charged at the Scale

By Mark Reynolds

I

have been asked to run this column again for those who may not have read this before. I will mention a number of different things, all of which I experienced as an MTO officer, that may well have an impact on whether or not you are charged if you are in violation at the scale. This is all tongue in cheek and I don’t actually recommend this type of behaviour.

Start by entering the scale ramp at an excessive rate of speed, ignoring the 40 km per hour speed limit sign. When you are directed to stop on the scale, hit the brakes as hard as you can in an attempt to damage the scale. Ignore the directional lights in front of you, and look at the officer in the scale house for direction. When the officer uses hand signals to encourage you to follow the directions on the sign in front of you, use hand signals back to the officer to communicate that you didn’t understand the officer’s hand signals. When you decide to follow the direction of the signs, respond about 2 seconds late to each direction to ensure that you will

be directed to move forward and back up several times. When you are finally directed to the rear of the scale for an inspection (a near certainty at this point) pull into an inspection lane and look straight ahead, or start updating your log book, but don’t roll down your window. When the officer knocks on the window and gestures to you to roll the window down, roll it down and ask the officer what he or she wants. When asked to produce your documents, say something funny like “gee, I didn’t know I needed a drivers licence”. Hand the officer your documents and roll up your window. Do not open your window again until the officer knocks on

the window and gestures to you to roll the window down, then roll down the window and ask the officer what he or she wants now. The officer will instruct you to release your brakes and turn on all of your lights, and that he or she will want to see your signals and brake lights. The officer will instruct you to remain in the vehicle and follow his or her directions. Nod to the officer to show that you understand and roll up your window. When the officer proceeds to the front or back of your vehicle, exit your vehicle and follow the officer. When the officer explains again, that you need to stay in the vehicle to operate lights etc., nod to show that you understand,

but remain standing beside the officer. Once the officer convinces you that you are to remain in the vehicle, return to the vehicle and look straight ahead. Do not roll down the window. When the officer gives you hand signals to indicate that you should operate the signals and brake lights, exit the vehicle and ask the officer if he or she means that they want you to operate the signals and brake lights. Return to your vehicle and look straight ahead. Do not roll down your window until the officer knocks on the window and gestures to you to roll it down, then roll down the window and ask the officer if the inspection is going okay so far. Engage the

officer in some irrelevant conversation making sure to mention at some point that your taxes pay his or her salary. Be sure to offer opinions and strategies that you feel would assist MTO in running a more efficient enforcement program. The officer will attempt to check your brakes and will realize that you have not released your parking brakes. At this point roll down your window after the officer knocks and gestures for you to do so, and deny that the officer gave you instructions to release your brakes. Assure the officer that there is no need to check the brakes because you would never drive a vehicle with brake problems. When the officer instructs you to ensure the air pressure is between 90 and 100 PSI, ask the officer if that is metric or imperial. When the officer completes his or her inspection, and points out the defects found on the vehicle, explain that none of the defects existed when you checked the vehicle this morning, regardless of how many defects the officer detected or how blatant they may be. Remind the officer that you would never drive a vehicle in the condition the officer suggests and insist on seeing each defect. Upon seeing each defect, tell the officer that you did not know that you were required to check that component, after all you’re not a mechanic, you were in a hurry this morning and it was dark. When the officer hands you your charges, insist that you are being treated unfairly, because this is your bosses fault and point out that, in your opinion, cars are much more dangerous than trucks. Then call me at OTT Legal Services. Mark Reynolds is a licensed paralegal, former truck driver, MTO Enforcement Officer, provincial trainer and Enforcement coordinator. He can be reached at 416.221.6888 or by email at MarkReynolds@ OTTLegal.com.

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June 2011   17

#37 June  

Eastern Trucking News, Issue 37, June 2011

#37 June  

Eastern Trucking News, Issue 37, June 2011