Not What I Implied

Authority RoadSafetyBC (Office of The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles)

Charlie’s car was impounded after his adult son was caught driving the car dangerously, without a licence and without insurance. Charlie understood why impounding the car was necessary but he also expected it to be returned to him.

Charlie appealed to RoadSafetyBC for a review of the vehicle impoundment. In his application, Charlie explained that the driver was using the vehicle without his knowledge or consent. He stated that he had hidden the keys, put a wheel lock on the car and left it uninsured. He further explained that his son did not live at his residence but gained access while Charlie and other occupants were away, found the keys, broke the wheel lock and took the car.

Charlie’s appeal was denied by RoadSafetyBC, who accepted that the vehicle was uninsured and that Charlie’s son did not have explicit consent. However, he noted that Charlie’s application did not explain why his son was not allowed to use the vehicle or explain why the keys were hidden. Further, he noted that the application did not provide evidence that Charlie had discussed with his son any rules or restrictions regarding the use of the vehicle. As such, the adjudicator concluded that Charlie may have implied his son was allowed to use the car.

Charlie contacted us. Given the measures that Charlie had taken to prevent his son from taking the car we questioned the adjudicator’s conclusion.

We investigated, explained the situation as we understood it and asked RoadSafetyBC to confirm and clarify its decision. In response to our first contact, RoadSafetyBC’s adjudication manager reviewed the decision alongside Charlie’s submissions and concluded that Charlie’s evidence did support that the vehicle was taken without his explicit or implied consent. The manager informed us that he did not agree with the adjudicator’s decision. The manager ordered the release of Charlie’s vehicle right away.

Charlie was very happy and relieved to know that his car was released and thanked us for directing his concerns to someone at RoadSafetyBC who could reconsider the original adjudicator’s decision.

Category Driving and Transportation
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2015
Location The North