Saskatoon Police ticket man with no arms for driving without seatbelt
A two-day traffic blitz has taken centre stage in Saskatoon, after a man with no arms was pulled over and fined for not wearing his seatbelt.
“This should never have happened,” said Steve Simonar.
“Pull me over, say, 'It would be nice if you could wear one,’ but I actually got a ticket for it.”
Twenty-eight years ago Simonar lost his arms in an accident. He said almost 30 years and 15 vehicles later, the ticket he got Apr. 25 on the Sid Buckwold Bridge was the first one he’s seen.
“I’ve been pulled over 20 times for different things and never had an issue, every other officer figured it out,” said Simonar.
From Apr. 24-25, the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS), along with SGI and RCMP conducted its spring Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP).
Alyson Edwards with the SPS said officers were looking for traffic infractions such as speeding, cellphone usage while driving and not wearing seatbelts.
She said the officer who pulled Simonar over for not wearing his seatbelt didn’t know how to act when he saw Simonar’s condition.
“The officer then asked for advice from a supervisor and the man was asked for a copy of a medical exemption that can be provided by SGI and he did not have one,” said Edwards.
“The supervisor directed the officer to issue a ticket.”
Simonar said 28 years ago he had an exemption letter, but he hasn’t had it with him for many years.
Unhappy with the result, Simonar said he’s filed a complaint with the SPS.
“The ironic part of this is they give me a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt and then they let me drive away. That doesn’t make any sense,” said Simonar.
Edwards said Simonar and the SPS will be meeting on Wednesday to discuss the issue further and see how similar incidents could be avoided in the future.
“In this case it didn’t work out… and we’re hoping both parties involved can come away with a better knowledge of how we can go about avoiding these situations in the future,” said Edwards.
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