Andrew Wallace, Toronto Star
More detail on the exoneration of Dean Baldwin for driving Michel De Broin's pedal powered Buick, previously covered on TreeHugger: Pedal-Powered Buick Driver Not Guilty and Driver of Flintstonemobile Charged, Gets Day in Court
Dean argued that the car was no different than a rickshaw or a bicycle; Police Constable Derek Walsh testified that he had never seen anything like the car in his five years of service, and issued a ticket for operating an unsafe vehicle because the Buick lacked a front braking system, proper seats and seatbelts. He also told the court that braking the car required co-ordination among the passengers and if done improperly, the car could "pivot" into oncoming traffic and cause an accident.
Justice of the Peace Patrick Marum said that the vehicle appeared to be more like a bike than a car, and that the likelihood that it would "pivot" was "remote to none" and threw the case out.
Dean Baldwin and Mercer Union director Dave Dyment immediately took the car out of storage and went for a ride. "We're going to definitely take it for some victory laps"
Score one for the bikes. ::National PostRobyn Doolittle of the Star reports:
The prosecutor's case began to unravel when he turned his attack to the tea light-candle headlights.
Up until that point, Daniel Lerner had argued that the car in question was unsafe because of its dangerous braking system. Granted, classifying the hollowed-out Buick a car is a bit of a stretch.
"What would happen," Lerner charged with pointed conviction, "if a lit candle hit another car?"
As the small courtroom in Old City Hall erupted in giggles, Lerner withdrew his question.
The Judge responded:
"The Amish used candles in their (buggies)" not long ago, Justice of the Peace Patrick Marum said in his judgment. "I would agree with the defence that the Crown has not met the (burden of proof) at this point. The case is dismissed." ::The Star