What powers do the military police have to enforce traffic laws? Are they able to write traffic tickets to the public like the regular police do?
Every once in a while someone asks me a question that I am just not prepared for. This is one of them, so I went directly to the experts and consulted the MPs at CFB Comox.
Military Police Jurisdiction
The Military Police have peace officer status to deal with Canadian Forces personnel at all times and all places. In addition, they have jurisdiction over all civilians when the civilian is on a Defence Establishment.
A Defence Establishment is any area under the control of the Minister of Defence.
Ultimately, you could receive a traffic ticket from an MP for an infraction of the Motor Vehicle Act while on military property, but not when you are driving elsewhere in the province.
Criminal Code Offences
There are a number of driving offences in the Criminal Code of Canada, such as impaired, prohibited and dangerous driving or criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle.
In these cases, the Military Police will alert the civilian police responsible for the place where the offence occurs and maintain surveillance until the civilian police can arrive and take over.
If the situation is serious enough, the Military Police will take action in the form of a "citizen's arrest" and turn the offender over when civilian police arrive.
Stopping for Military Police
Yes, you have to stop for the MPs. The definition of emergency vehicle in the Motor Vehicle Act includes a vehicle driven by a member of the police branch of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces in the discharge of his or her duty.
- Section 1 MVA - Definition of Emergency Vehicle
- Paragraph 16 - Violation Ticket Administration and Fines Regulation
- Case Law: R v Hubert