Understanding the Act and Rules of Statutory interpretation
- Defence Paralegal for McDonald
The facts of the case involving the McDonald and the Ontario tractor case is that the owner did not take her tractor to be checked on February as required by the law. Several issues arose concerning the case of McDonald, who was a farmer and an owner of a tractor that can have some exceptions in the application ofOntario Carriage of Persons Act. It is important to note that McDonald was not able to take her tractor to be checked in February as required by law because of some reasons. The first reason is that there was bad weather leading to tractor being ice-locked in the shed throughout February.
The other fact is that McDonald took her tractor for inspection in April when the weather was favourable. The family used the tractor to go for a picnic where they loaded food to the back of the tractor, and the food containers rested on the platform. They did not also put the red flag required by law to show that she was carrying more than eight people and the load. The constable Plod found McDonald to be in breach of Ontario Carriage of Persons Act. The owner of the tractor could not take it for checking because of the various unavoidable circumstances that are exempted by the law. The change in weather prevented McDonald from meeting the deadline for tractor checkup.
The material fact of the case is that McDonald was not in breach of the law because the law states that, the vehicle adopted for the carriage of more than eight people ought to display a red flag at the rear. The objection to this law is that the tractor was not adopted to carry eight people because the tractor is mostly used to carry the load and not people. The owner was not using the tractor to transport people for a long distance, but they were going for a picnic near the river. This shows that McDonald was not using the tractor to carry the passengers, but she loaded the food and her family members in the back of her tractor. The owner was using available space on the back of her tractor, she did not intend to use the tractor as the means of transport, and the family was not travelling far for their picnic.
The second objection on this law is that the Ontario Carriage of Persons Act states that the vehicle should display at the rear the red flag at all times while it is on a public road. In the statement, McDonald drove a few kilometres up the road towards the river where they intended to have the picnic. They had not gone for a long distance before they were stopped. The statement failed to show that McDonald was not driving on the public road; this is because the family had planned to have their picnic near the river. This indicates that they were not far away from their home and were not on the public road.
McDonald was driving in their private road before Constable Plod stopped them. The other argument is based on the fact that there were two persons on the vehicle because others were juveniles according to law. The Ontario Carriage of Persons Act only emphasizes eight persons and does not include minors on board. This means that there were only two persons on board recognized by law; McDonald and her husband. It is therefore clear that McDonald is innocent and did not break the law on the red flag and checking of the vehicle; because of unavoidable circumstances involving weather.
- As Provincial prosecution
The material fact of the law is that McDonald used the tractor to transport her family without attaching the red flag at the back of the tractor. McDonald did not take due diligent by exposing her family to some dangers on the road; this is because she put the whole family and the food on the platform. This shows that her actions were negligent. The red flag is crucial because it is used to warn the other road users coming from the rear in order to approach with caution. Failure to put the red flag on the rear of the tractor was endangering the lives of the people onboard.
The other fact on the case is that McDonald failed to observe the Ontario Carriage of Persons Act by failing to observe the rules of the public road. The law requires that any adopted vehicle for carriage with more than eight people onboard ought to put the red flag on the rear when on a public road. McDonald, therefore, failed to observe the law. She drove the tractor to the place they intended to have a picnic with the family; this shows that McDonald was unable to find the requirements stipulated to guide the motorists on the roads. McDonald also breaks the law by allowing all his family members to stand on the platform behind the driver’s seat; this is not only exposing them to danger but also negligence. This clearly points to the fact that McDonald knew what she was doing, but she did not want to follow the law.
It is also clear that McDonald failed to take his vehicle to be checked during February as stipulated by section 5 of the Ontario Carriage of Persons Act. The reason she was unable to make the tractor for inspection is because of the bad weather which caused the tractor ice-locked in the shed during the entire month. The bad weather prevented the vehicle from inspection throughout February, but the fact that she took the tractor for inspection in the month of April shows that she did not observe the time. She ought to have taken her tractor for inspection in March because the tractor was covered by ice in the whole of February. The law applies to the fact above because ignorance is not a defence in the court of law. The fact that McDonald says that she did not know that it was a requirement to put a flag on the rear of her vehicle shows her ignorance which would not act an excuse to break the law.
The law concludes that McDonald broke the Ontario Carriage of Persons Act by carrying more than eight persons in her tractor without a red flag attached on the rear. This also shows negligence and lack of care because she exposed her children and her husband to dangers by carrying them on the back of the driver’s seat, which is against the law. She was also in breach of the law by endangering the lives of other road users by not putting the red flag on the rear of his vehicle. McDonald was also in violation of section 5 of the law because she failed to present the vehicle for inspection in February as stipulated in the law.
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