Does a defendant have to prove their intention to set the vehicle in motion to be found guilty of careless driving?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from R. v. Sandhu, 2008 CanLII 59324 (ON SC):

In Ford v. The King (supra), Ritchie J., for the majority, held that the intention to set the vehicle in motion is not an element of the offence. Proof of lack of intention is simply an evidentiary point that rebuts the presumption of care or control of the vehicle established by s. 237(1)(a) [now s. 258(1)(a)]. Ritchie J. said at p. 249: Care or control may be exercised without such intent (to drive the vehicle) where an accused performs some act or series of acts involving the use of the car, its fittings or equipment, such as occurred in this case, whereby the vehicle may unintentionally be set in motion creating the danger the section is designed to prevent.

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