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Behind-the-Wheel

Dear Cop - Legal To Go Topless

My question is not entirely about traffic. Some seem to believe it is legal for women to go topless in public, and if this is the case also believe that if a traffic accident is the result of such action, that it would indeed be the drivers fault for undo care and attention. This I believe to be true, but I am unaware of it being legal for women to bare all above the waist.

I would like to use the politically correct term of "topfree" as apposed to "topless." Going topfree is not legal for women in US or Canada in general, but there are exceptions.

Though not many people know this, going topfree IS legal In New York, USA, and Ontario, Canada. Naturally on nude beaches you can go topless.

If a driver has a crash as a result of not paying attention to the roadway and other vehicles, the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act is quite explicit. A driver must drive his or her vehicle while paying attention to the roadway, other vehicles, and, other road users which includes pedestrians and cyclists.

Careless driving prohibited
Section 144 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act indicates that a person must not drive a motor vehicle on a highway
(a) without due care and attention.
If a women is walking down the roadway topfree, a driver who was busy staring at the topfree women is involved in a collision will receive a $368 fine and 6 points added to their driving record for Driving Without Due Care And Attention.

Constable R.A.(Richard) ASELTON
Central Okanagan Traffic Services - Media Liaison
Kelowna R.C.M.P. Detachment


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

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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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