A Vancouver provincial court judge has kicked the traffic ticket that Vancouver’s Roller Girl wanted to fight on Charter rights grounds back to bylaw court.
Roller Girl, also known as Angela Dawson, claims Vancouver police put her in danger when they stopped her at Main and Keefer on April 20, 2021 while rollerblading behind a truck.
Dawson was charged with unlawfully coasting/sliding with apparatus on a street.
She made her second appearance on the charge in Robson Square provincial court on March 29.
Then, she told the justice of the peace the ticket was a violation of her human rights, of her right to freedom of expression. The court interpreted that as a desire to mount a Charter of Rights and Freedom challenge to the ticket. As those have to be dealt with by a judge, the case was moved before provincial court Judge Patricia Stark for the May 17 appearance.
“My livelihood is rollerblading,” Dawson told Stark. “I am Roller Girl. I am famous.”
Dawson asserts her individuality is bound up with being a rollerblader, something she does for business and for exercise to maintain her mental health.
“If I can’t be me, I have no human rights,” said Dawson, who is frequently seen directing traffic at the busy Main and Hastings or Broadway and Commercial Drive intersections.
“You have human rights. Every body does,” Stark said.
Prosecutor Robert LeBlanc told Stark his office had received no notice as to what the Charter application might be about. He said the case is about an alleged violation of a bylaw that prevents people from rollerblading into traffic.
“The bylaws are way over done,” Dawson said. “Dinosaur age.”
Dawson asserted police have been harassing her for almost two decades.
Stark suggested Dawson pursue the issue before B.C.’s Human Rights Tribunal.