Man has licence revoked without driving conviction
A Nova Scotia man who has had his driver's licence revoked — even though he doesn't have a medical condition or a driving conviction — says the people in charge of the Registry of Motor Vehicles have too much unchecked power.
Lee Wilbur, of East Uniacke, said a woman talking on her cell phone cut him off while he was driving last summer. Wilbur admitted he tailgated her and shined his high beams into her rear-view mirror.
He said she left her car and cursed at him.
"'What do you f-ing think you're doing?' And I laughed at her and said, 'I guess you shouldn't have gone through the intersection in the right hand turn lane talking on your cell phone,'" Wilbur told CBC News on Wednesday.
"I backed up my truck, I went around her — very slowly — and I went home."
Four months later, Wilbur was issued a ticket for failing to remain at the scene of an accident. His driver's licence was revoked.
Wilbur was never convicted. His case was dismissed, but he still can't get his licence back. He said he's been given various reasons by people at the registry about why it can't be returned to him, but is particularly upset about one explanation.
"He told me, 'I took it away because of an independent investigation that we did. We had people come in off the street and make a complaint about you and we investigated it and this is why we're taking your licence away,'" Wilbur recalled.
Wilbur appealed the decision and had to present his case to the same people who took his licence away. He lost.
Now, the East Uniacke man must meet several conditions before the decision will be reconsidered.
"After the department has received and approved your psychiatric report and you have provided proof that you have participated in a defensive driving course, you must successfully complete a driver's re-examination with a driver enhancement officer in your area," said Wilbur, reading a part of his conditions.
Wilbur turned to his MLA, John MacDonell, for help. MacDonell happens to be the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations — the department that oversees the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
"I can see the reasoning behind it but really, the minister has no levers on this regard or no input," MacDonell told CBC News.
He said he is now looking at the registry's powers to revoke licences.
"I think the wording in the act is around 'reason to believe,'" he said.
"I think that probably this cannot be too open ended. It may have to be more prescriptive around, 'This is what the evidence must look like' and so on."
The minister said he hopes to come up with some changes by the fall.