Canadians have a reputation for being extremely polite, but that doesn’t mean they can’t say no. Thunder Bay, Ontario police recently said “no” to a driver who was caught using a lawn chair instead of a seat that was properly attached to the vehicle, according to a press release.
— Thunder Bay Police (@tbpsmedia) April 24, 2018
The truck was initially pulled over for having license plates that didn’t appear to match it. (That’s happened to me, too, though in my case the police had a right to be confused.) Upon approaching the vehicle, officers immediately noticed something out of place—specifically, a missing driver’s seat that had been replaced with an ordinary lawn chair.
There have been occasions when I, too, have substituted an alternative seating surface for the one the factory intended while working on a car. But in every case, the car was stationary at the time I did it, so safety was not an issue. For driving down the road, it’s pretty important that the seat is physically attached to the car, not just for safety during a crash but simply to make sure you don’t tip over during a gentle turn. A seat belt would not have helped in this case, either. There weren’t any.
But he wouldn’t have fallen out the driver’s door. The handle was broken, forcing the driver to enter and exit through the window, Dukes of Hazzard style. Also, the windshield was cracked, and the load in the bed of the truck was not secure. To top it all off, the driver had no insurance and was driving with a suspended license.
The Thunder Bay Police Service was polite enough to not arrest the driver for these numerous offenses. But it did issue the driver numerous citations, as well as impound the truck. Being polite doesn’t mean you can’t enforce the law effectively, in this case for the driver’s own good.