Driver gets $155 ticket for licence plate covered with snow

An Edmonton man vows to fight the $155 ticket he got after he was pulled over on one of the coldest days of the year because his licence plate was covered with snow.

Ayo Kayode, 30, said he was running errands Wednesday morning in his Cadillac XT5.  

He said he dropped his wife at work, stopped at Costco to grab some groceries and was on his way home when his SUV was pulled over on Jasper Avenue and 112th Street by an unmarked Edmonton Police vehicle.

"I was doing maybe less than 40 km/h," said Kayode. "The next thing I just saw the lights, and I was like, 'What's going on?'"

Kayode pulled over and waited for the officer to come to his window.

"He knocked on my door and then asked me, 'Do you know why I stopped you?' I was like, no!"

The officer told him he was being given a ticket because his licence plate was covered with snow. 

Min Dhariwal/CBC

Kayode said he was speechless. After he was handed the ticket, he got out took pictures of what the back of his vehicle looked, while the officer was still in his vehicle behind him.  

He eventually posted about it on Instagram and said his friends couldn't believe what had happened. 

'I'm going to fight it' 

"I was shocked. I was actually surprised that he gave me a ticket," Kayode said. "I didn't know I could be stopped for that in that condition. It was -46 yesterday, everywhere was cold, everyone had the same thing. It's just crazy"

That may be the case, but the Traffic Safety Act is clear. Under all weather conditions, a clear plate is the driver's responsibility. 

"Most officers will give people some time after a snowfall to make sure they've had a chance to clear their vehicles," said Cheryl Voordenhout, a spokesperson with the Edmonton Police Service. 

"As drivers, we all have a responsibility to keep our lights, and our windows, and our plates clear of snow to help keep us all safe on the roads and to allow law enforcement to do their job."

But Kayode said despite the frost and snow the two letters on his plate were still visible. 

"I would expect him to warn me, and say, 'Could you go clean your plate,' which I would do."  

Instead, Kayode has a $155 ticket he said he has no intention of paying. 

"I'm going to fight it, I'm going to plead not guilty," he said. "It's ridiculous. Apart from that [the licence plate] was not even fully covered, even though he said it was covered, you could still see. It's just two letters, A, Y."

Kayode said he's scheduled to see a justice of the peace on March 12.