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Old 03-06-2019, 09:45 PM   #1
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2
Smile No Front Licence Plate - Constitutional Challenge

Good evening.

Set up this account solely for the purpose of this post.

Short version of a longer story: I was ticketed for no front licence plate. I'm inclined to take a swing at having the law struck down on constitutional grounds. The upshot of my pitch is that the law requiring a front licence plate is arbitrary and divorced of any valid interest underlying the regulation of Ontario's highways. Being stopped/detained/charged on the basis of an arbitrary law is in violation of s. 7 and 9 rights to liberty, security of the person and the right not to be arbitrarily detained (i.e. unconstitutional). I've brought a number these applications successfully for non-disclosure and unreasonable delay.

Re arbitrariness: I intend to argue that the law as it stands, among other things, incentivizes and manifests in unsafe front mounting and display practices (thinking of all the guys rolling around with their plates on their dash - essentially a flying knife in event of crash); compounds damage and danger from double the amount of plates/screws/nuts/bushings/brackets/plastic/etc. falling off and littering Ontario highways, doubling the deluge of rusty screws and other hazards, body/windshield/tire damage, etc.; impedes air flow and intake, increasing drag and emissions; and otherwise damaging, depreciating and degrading vehicles aesthetically, technically and literally, without any countervailing benefit, interest or purpose. Among other things.

I'm reaching out on the forums in the interest of putting my best foot forward. To that end, if anyone can point me to one or more authoritative sources or persons who can speak to some or all of these things, arbitrariness (even counter-productivity) of the law, safety, performance, even aesthetics, that would be helpful. Real artists put real effort into automotive design. It's a product of thought, expression and beauty. Requiring tens of millions of motorists to drill an ugly, rusty duplicate plate on top of it serves no valid purpose, and in fact undermines other valid purposes like value, performance, safety, environment, etc. It deprives us all of a little beauty in the world, for no good reason. Note that 9 of 14 provinces/territories don't require a front plate.

Anyway that's my aim here. I don't care about the $85 if I'm convicted. I'm making a Hail Mary attempt at changing the law. And it really is a Hail Mary. Courts are loathe to interfere with legislative intent expressed through statutory language. But I'm willing to go down swinging, and there's a smidgen of a chance I win - in which case we ALL win with a precedent-setting decision applicable throughout the province. Worst case scenario we'll have a bad decision we can send to Doug Ford with a cap-in-hand plea to change the law.

I'm no good at forums. If anyone has any expertise, other ideas or reasons why this law is arbitrary, or other bases of attack, I've set up an email address you can reach me at: NoFrontLicencePlate [at] gmail [dot] com.

Cheers guys, wish me/us luck.
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:47 AM   #2
4th Gear Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 619
I just accepted the way it is, as it’s provincial jurisdiction, and out on the tie hook plate mount.

There is no infringement of liberty for having to display a license plate.

Ironically, in provinces that don’t have that requirement, a vast number display a provincial flag or some other identifier in place of it.

But, good luck!
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:24 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oakville
Posts: 160
I thought the point of the front plate was in case of accidents/hit-and-runs etc witnesses are more likely to get a view of the plate number

I don't use one on my e36 and have yet to get a ticket for it after over 2 years

Seems like something Dougie would get behind though

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Old 03-07-2019, 05:51 PM   #4
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2
Thanks both for your input.

The point about being easier to solve crime is well taken, but: The majority of Canadian jurisdictions are solving crime without it. Second, I'm already identifiable by my make, model, year, colour, VIN and rear plate (not to mention GPS, cellular, photo, video, etc.). Finally, most of us aren't criminals and will never commit any crime. Yet there I was being told by a man with a gun to stop, stay - and pay.

This obviously isn't a"major case" involving criminal questions of liberty, search, seizure and interference that go along with, say, international drug smuggling. It won't make the CBC or Supreme Court. But it's these trivial kinds of overreach - like being pulled over on my way to the carwash for having one plate instead of two - that actually affect most of us.

/end rant!
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:33 PM   #5
6th Gear Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,309
Are you really posting on every forum? How many is that now? It's not an infringement of liberty. You could move to quebec, or don't drive at all and no licence or place to track you. Also don't buy a phone, only pay in cash, compost your own toilet waste like Kim Jong Un, etc.

2002 E46 325ci // 5spd // ISC N1 Coilovers
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:16 PM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 179
Or, you could just man up and pay the ticket.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:41 PM   #7
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Whitehorse
Posts: 1
I feel the OP's pain, but I guess the law is the law in that in the YT they stopped issuing us two plates in the early '90s and people have all manner of custom plates on the front of their vehicles now, vintage YT plates being popular and in my own case, both of my Bimmers have Thai license plates on the front....
maipenrai is offline   Reply With Quote

front, law, licence, plate, ticket

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