Ridge Meadows RCMP Frequently Asked Questions

The Ridge Meadows RCMP is pleased  to offer this Frequently Asked Question page for you.  We have tried to cover the most commonly asked questions and will add more as questions are posed.  So if you have a question that we have not answered then send us an Email and we will see if wee can answer your traffic related question for you.

What amount of noise is allowed to come from a motorcycle? Does the same limit apply to cars?

The schedule to Division 7 of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations sets out noise levels from vehicles:

These levels are to be tested with a decibel meter in a test facility and are not valid measurements for the roadside. Instead paragraph 27 says that "The opinion of an inspector as to whether the engine and exhaust noise is greater than that made by other vehicles in good condition of comparable size, horsepower, piston displacement or compression ratio shall determine whether exhaust gases are expelled with excessive noise."

Many owners of noisy motorcycles seem to hold the opinion that they must make lots of noise so that other drivers can hear them. This brings the motorcycle to the attention of other drivers and reduces the chance of collision. It's interesting that anti-social behaviour is a justification for road safety!

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Why are right hand wheel drive vehicles allowed on our roads?

There is currently no prohibition against importing or operating a right hand drive vehicle on British Columbia highways. ICBC is studying the crash potential of these vehicles and reports do indicate that there is a higher crash risk. References:

The Safety of Right Hand Drive Vehicles in British Columbia
Vehicle Inspection and Standards Bulletin
Mechanical or Electrical Signal Devices Required on Right Hand Drive Vehicles - Section 172(2) MVA

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Is it illegal to drive while using a cell phone in British Columbia?

Effective January 1, 2010 British Columbia is implementing rules prohibiting the use of hand held communication devices while driving. Please read www.drivesmartbc.ca/equipment/news-cell-phone-amendment-motor-vehicle-act to learn more.

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Are you allowed to tint vehicle windows in British Columbia?

Section 7.05 (1) No person shall drive or operate on a highway a motor vehicle the windshield or any window of which is in such condition that the vision of the driver is impaired.

Section 7.05 (8) No person shall drive or operate on a highway a motor vehicle which has affixed to or placed on the windshield or a window any material that reduces the light transmitted through the windshield or window unless the material is affixed to or placed on
(a) the windshield but not more than 75 mm below the top of the windshield,
(b) a side window that is behind the driver, or
(c) the rear window if the motor vehicle is equipped with outside rear view mirrors on the left and right side of the motor vehicle.
(9) If a motor vehicle contains manufactured glass, tinting contained within the glass must meet the minimum light transmittancy requirements under the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

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Licence plate covers:

Attachment of number plates:

Section 3.011 Number plates issued for a vehicle under the Commercial Transport Act or Motor Vehicle Act must be attached
(a) one plate to the front and one plate to the rear of the vehicle, if 2 number plates are issued for a vehicle, and
(b) to the rear of the vehicle, if a single number plate is issued for a vehicle.

Number plates in horizontal position:

Section 3.02 A number plate shall at all times be securely fastened in a horizontal position to the vehicle for which it is issued.

Plates to be unobstructed:

Section 3.03 A number plate must be kept entirely unobstructed and free from dirt or foreign material, so that the numbers and letters on it may be plainly seen and read at all times and so that the numbers and letters may be accurately photographed using a speed monitoring device or traffic light safety device prescribed under section 83.1 of the Act.  

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When are studded tires allowed in British Columbia?

Studded tires are allowed to be used between October 1 and April 30 each year.

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Is it illegal to drive with bare feet in British Columbia?

There is no law to prohibit this in the province.

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How do I find out how many points I get for a ticket?

Points are assessed for convictions according to Division 28 MVAR and ICBC calculates a Driver Penalty Premium based on them.

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Can I put neon/underglow lighting on my car?

These lights, and many other kinds such as washer nozzle and tire valve LEDs are considered to be "off road" lights and must be covered with an opaque cover at any time when the vehicle is on the highway, parked or being driven. The only common extra lights that can be added are driving and fog lights.

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Am I allowed to drive without doors installed on my vehicle?

If your vehicle was manufactured with doors, you must have doors installed when operating your vehicle. It is not enough to state that your model of vehicle could be ordered without doors, you must be able to show that your vehicle was ordered without doors. The correct option code shown on your vehicle's option list sticker is how you would determine this.

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Are radar or laser detectors illegal in British Columbia?

Radar detectors may be used legally in this province. Devices that emit radar signals or infrared light in an attempt to counter speed measurement are illegal and could result in criminal charges being brought against the user.

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Where can I find out about the use of traffic enforcement cameras in B.C.?

The Integrated Traffic Camera Unit web site was shut down when the B.C. government shut down the photo radar program. Although red light cameras continue to be used, there is no official web site for information regarding the program. If you have a question to ask, you can call their toll-free information number at 1-800-772-8120 outside of the Lower Mainland or at 604-952-3318 in the Lower Mainland.

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What are the police allowed to stop a driver for?

Obviously, if the police observe an offence or reasonably expect that the vehicle or occupants have been involved in an offence, the vehicle may be stopped and checked. Otherwise, the police may stop a vehicle at any time to insure that the driver is properly licenced and that the vehicle is roadworthy, properly licenced and insured. Even though it has been ruled a Charter of Rights infringement, police may also operate a roadcheck to stop drinking drivers. The courts have ruled that this infringement is necessary to protect the public.

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Are you allowed to wear headphones or earphones while driving a vehicle in British Columbia?

There is currently no traffic law in BC that explicitly makes this practice illegal. It is not a wise practice however, and a defensive driver would not do so. The music (or podcast) may prevent you from hearing something important or distance you from the task of driving.

Effective January 1, 2010 when using a headset with a hands free cell phone the new legislation says that only one ear may be used, but this does not apply to the operator of a motorcycle.

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Can I get a ticketed fine amount reduced?

City and District bylaw fines already show a reduced fine amount on the face of the ticket if paid within a certain time frame. If the ticket is not paid in that time frame, the fine is increased to a higher amount.

British Columbia Violation Tickets can be reduced at time of payment. If you are charged under the Motor Vehicle Act or Motor Vehicle Act Regulations, and the ticketed amount is over $58.00, you pay $25 less than the amount shown on the front of the ticket.

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When do the Ridge Meadows RCMP attend motor vehicle collisions?

The Ridge Meadows RCMP will attend motor vehicle collisions under the following scenarios:

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When do I have to report a motor vehicle collision?

The driver or operator or any other person in charge of a vehicle that is directly or indirectly involved in an accident on a road or highway must do all of the following:

If a driver collides with an unattended vehicle, or property on or adjacent to a highway, they must stop and do the following:

of the vehicle that struck the unattended vehicle, or leave in a conspicuous place in, or on the vehicle collided with, a notice in writing giving the information referred to above.

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How do I report an unsafe driver or vehicle?

If the driver or vehicle poses an immediate threat to the safety of himself or anyone else, call 9-1-1 right away. ECOMM radio centre will dispatch an officer to address your concern.

If the driver or vehicle does not pose a threat to public safety but you would still like the matter investigated, contact our non-emergency complaint line at 604-463-6251. Examples of non-emergency calls include license reviews for drivers with physical or mental issues that render them unsafe to drive, parked commercial vehicles in a state of disrepair, etc.

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What should I do when I see a police car behind me with it's lights and sirens on?

Two sections of the Motor Vehicle act cover this situation, the first is section 73 (1). This section states :

A peace officer may require the driver of a motor vehicle to stop and the driver of a motor vehicle, when signaled or requested to stop by a peace officer who is readily identifiable as a peace officer, must immediately come to a safe stop.

The second section covering this situation is section 177 which states:

On the immediate approach of an emergency vehicle giving an audible signal by a bell, siren or exhaust whistle, and showing a visible flashing red light, except when otherwise directed by a peace officer, a driver must yield the right of way, and immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the nearest edge or curb of the roadway, clear of an intersection, and stop and remain in that position until the emergency vehicle has passed.

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