A man convicted of driving a pedal-equipped electric scooter in Surrey without a driver’s licence or insurance has once again lost his case after the Court of Appeal for British Columbia decided to uphold the traffic court’s decision.
Ali Moussa Ghadban was riding a Motorino XMr. near King George SkyTrain Station, with his young son, on July 24, 2018 when a police officer stopped him and demanded his driver’s licence and proof of insurance. Ghadban did not have a driver’s licence or insurance for his ride.
“Mr. Ghadban had done extensive research before purchasing his scooter,” Justice Harvey Groberman noted in his reasons for judgment. “He believed that it fell within the definition of ‘motor assisted cycle,’ in the Motor Vehicle Act and that he could ride it without having a driver’s licence. He even made inquiries about getting insurance, but was, apparently, told that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia does not offer insurance for electric scooters of that type.”
Nevertheless, Ghadman was convicted under the Motor Vehicle Act in provincial traffic court, then appealed his case to B.C. Supreme Court, which upheld the convictions, leading to him turning to the court of appeal for satisfaction.
Groberman, however, was not persuaded the traffic judge made an error in finding the scooter fell outside the definition of a motor-assisted cycle. “I would dismiss the appeal and affirm the convictions,” he concluded.
Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein agreed.
But a third judge, Mary Saunders, did not. She noted the Crown took the “uncommon step” of agreeing with the appellant because the regulation, “correctly interpreted, does not support the conclusion that the Motorino is a motor vehicle.”
She said she would have set aside the convictions and remitted the charges back to the provincial court for “fresh determination” but, “for the reasons of Mr. Justice Groberman, the appeal is dismissed.”