Action of off-duty Saanich officer in traffic incident not a criminal offence, IIO report says

Action of off-duty Saanich officer in traffic incident not a criminal offence, IIO report says

File photo.

File photo.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) says it will not ask prosecutors to reconsider a traffic incident involving a Saanich police officer in April.

That’s the conclusion of a report by Chief Civilian Director Ronald J. MacDonald, along with General Counsel Clinton J. Sadlemyer.

The IIO looked into an April 23 incident involving an off-duty officer driving his own vehicle who was ticketed for making a right-hand turn that cut off a person riding a bicycle.

In avoiding a collision with the officer’s vehicle, the cyclist was thrown from the bike and suffered a broken collarbone.

In his decision, MacDonald said it was clear the officer made a driving error that led to the cyclist’s injuries, but it was a momentary error and does not constitute a criminal offence.

The IIO report also pointed to the individual immediately taking responsibility, immediately paid the $84 violation ticket fine and accepted three demerit points to his driving record, which was given by another officer that arrived at the scene following the cyclist’s crash.

The report says the injured cyclist told police he was riding in the bike lane and as he approached the intersection, a vehicle driven by the officer was close in front.

The rider says the vehicle made a sudden turn right in front of him without the use of a turn signal and forced the cyclist to brake hard and ended up losing control.

The bike did not make contact with the car, but one of the witnesses said the cyclist broke so hard the rear wheel came off the ground and he flipped over the bike in the air.

The off-duty officer drove away but turned around after he was made aware of what had happened by another cyclist who caught up to his vehicle. The off-duty officer was issued a violation ticket for an improper right turn, which includes three demerit points.

The report says other offences could have been charged, including failure to yield to a vehicle or failure to give an appropriate signal prior to turning, which carry two demerit point deductions, but given the serious consequences to the cyclist, MacDonald agreed with the three demerit penalty.


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