Wrong Location on Traffic Ticket

Ticket WriterOn May 3, 2023 Barry Johnson entered the intersection of West Hastings and Bute Streets in Vancouver. He was issued a traffic ticket for failing to stop at the yellow light. That ticket showed the location of Hastings and Bute Streets which Mr. Johnson told the justice did not exist at his dispute.

Wrong Location

image of the location of hastings and bute streets in vancouver

After hearing the evidence, Judicial Justice Asfar found that the location of Hastings and Bute Streets identified a distinct place in Vancouver and was sufficient description to satisfy the requirements of the Offence Act.

The Appeal

Mr. Johnson appealed the yellow light conviction repeating his argument that the ticket should have said West Hastings Street instead of Hastings Street.

Position of the Crown

Crown counsel made two arguments:

  1. First, the location of an offence is not an essential component such that even if the location set out in the Ticket was wrong, the Crown need only prove that Mr. Johnson failed to stop at a yellow light in British Columbia.
  2. Second, because Bute St. only intersects with Hastings St. at one location in Vancouver, the address was not incorrect. Mr. Johnson suffered no prejudice in his ability to defend himself as there is no prejudice to the accused or his defence as he personally  received the ticket near the location of the violation.


Justice MacNaughton considered the following:

[25]         There is no question that the purpose of including information on a ticket, much like an information or an indictment for an offence under the Criminal Code, is to ensure that an accused person is aware of the case to be made against them so that they are not prejudiced by an unfair trial in which they do not know the case they will have to meet.

[26]         That is not a concern in this case, Mr. Johnson had sufficient notice of the case alleged against him. The location described on the Ticket was not incorrect.

[27]         East and West Hastings are two parts of the same street. Sometimes, and for specific purposes, an address will require a number or the prefix of east or west. For example, there is a difference between a location described as 800 East Hastings and one described as 800 West Hastings, but that does not mean that either location is not on Hastings Street, or that for every purpose, every address on Hastings needs to be so specifically and formalistically named. An ambulance, the police, or a fire truck attending an emergency will require specifics of east or west for Hastings St. and a number. This is not that type of purpose.

[28]         In this case, Mr. Johnson was clearly aware of the location where the offence he was alleged to have committed was alleged to have occurred.


Mr. Johnson's appeal of the traffic ticket conviction was dismissed.

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I had a similar case, but a bit more disputable. Using this example, the ticket showed something like 'Pender and Robson'. They never intersect, however some points of those streets were 'close to' where the offense took place.

I disputed my ticket. I told this to my officer before my hearing. He claimed as long as the street exists within Vancouver, this error doesn't dismiss the ticket. I jokingly recommended writing all of his tickets with Boundary Rd going forward, it'll also validates if the ticket was written in Burnaby!

He decided to dismiss my ticket, so I didn't have any opportunity to argue in front of the judge.