British Columbia

Man wins stop sign battle in B.C. Supreme Court

A Delta man has won his battle over a failing-to-stop ticket in B.C. Supreme Court, after police spotted him rolling a stop line in a Richmond intersection.

B.C. Supreme Court judgment says motorists must stop at painted line only if stop sign is also at intersection

Man wins Richmond stop sign battle

10 years ago
Duration 2:19
He stopped at stop sign, but not the stop line five metres away

A Delta man has won his legal battle over a poorly-designed intersection in Richmond, B.C., where drivers regularly get ticketed for failing to stop at a stop sign.

Richmond RCMP issue half a dozen tickets a day at the corner of Hammersmith and Coppersmith, where the stop sign lies almost five metres away from the stop line, around a curve in the road on Hammersmith.

In June, Myron Kinach appeared before the B.C. Supreme Court to appeal a ticket he received for rolling through the stop line, even though he had come to a full stop at the stop sign just prior.

Kinach has spent much more than the $167 ticket in taking his case all the way to B.C. Supreme Court.

"It's just mainly the principle... I believed I was correct in stopping at the stop sign first," he said.

The police officer who issued the ticket for failing to stop admitted to handing out four or five tickets a day for the same offence at the three-way intersection.

Myron Kinach admitted to rolling the stop line at this intersection in Richmond, B.C. but said that what mattered was that he stopped at the stop sign 16 feet back. A B.C. Supreme Court judge, in this case, agreed. (Google Street View)

In acquitting Kinach, the judge agreed that the stop sign wasn't actually at the intersection at all, and that point was a vital fact.

"It is clear that the presence of a stop sign 'at an intersection' is a condition precedent to the legal requirement to stop at the marked stop line," Justice Silverman wrote in his opinion.

The justice said his decision doesn't mean that motorists can just fly into intersections where signs and lines don't match up, but in this case, the facts of the law and the layout void the ticket.

Kinach, now vindicated, is pleased with the outcome of his legal battle.

"Maybe I read too many John Grisham novels — and that's what was behind the thinking I could do this."

With files from the CBC's Jason Proctor