Ontario Criminal

Charter Of Rights

Law did not operate in way that undermined accused’s human dignity

Accused appealed conviction for failing to wear approved helmet while operating motorcycle, contrary to s. 104(1) of Highway Traffic Act (Ont.) (“HTA”). Accused was practicing Sikh and did not dispute that he operated motorcycle on highway without helmet. Trial judge concluded that helmets markedly reduced deaths and head injuries experienced by motorcycle riders. Trial judge found nothing in purpose or effect of legislation which was in conflict with s. 15 of Charter. Accused argued trial judge erred in failing to grant application challenging validity and Human Rights Code (Ont.) compliance of s. 104(1) of HTA, which he alleged contravened s. 15 Charter rights. Appeal dismissed. Rational and informed person would understand that law did not operate in way that undermined accused’s human dignity, that it reflected stereotypical approach toward accused for group to which he belonged, or that such individuals were less worthy of recognition or value. No breach of s. 15(1) of Charter.

R. v. Badesha

(May 20, 2011, Ont. C.J., Takach J., File No. 83382604) 95 W.C.B. (2d) 122 (42 pp.).

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