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Behind-the-Wheel

Military police have have power over civilians on military bases

Military police powers

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 I am just not prepared for. This was one of them. So I went directly to the experts and consulted the MPs at CFB Comox.

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.

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 those 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.

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.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



More Behind the Wheel articles

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

To comment, please email

To learn more, visit DriveSmartBC



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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