Montreal Woman Fined For Not Holding Hand On STM Metro Escalator

Don't try to fight it.

If a police officer asks you to grab the handrail when riding up the escalator in a metro station, just do it. Disobeying the orders could get you arrested slapped with a heft fine. 

Paying up will likely be your only course of action afterwards, because the courts probably won’t side in your favour, because there’s already a set precedent. 

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The Court of Appeal of Quebec rejected the case of a woman who was charged for not holding onto the escalator handrail and disobeying police orders in a Montreal metro station, reports Radio-Canada

Bela Kosoian is the woman in question and the events of the case took place in May of 2009, inside of Laval metro station. 

When going up the escalator, Kosoian refused to hold onto the handrail, even after being asked by a police officer. 

An STM by-law exists that requires individuals to grab the handrail when going up an escalator. 

Kosoian got a warning from the police officer, then refused to comply. So, the officer arrested Kosoian, and after being released, was charged $420 for the by-law infraction. 

Kosoian also refused to identify herself to the police officer, another charge brought against her. 

Taking her case to court, Kosoian argued that the police officer abused their power by arresting and fining her. A judge ruled against Kosoian in August 2015. 

Not satisfied with the ruling, Kosoian  brought the case to the court of appeal. Unfortunately, the appeal judge didn’t side with Kosoian this time around, either. 

The Court of Appeal judgement, made on Tuesday, said that the police officer in question “"did not commit any fault” when making Kosoian aware of her illegal act (not holding the handrail) and the subsequent arrest. 

Court documents said Kosoian was the “artisan of her own misfortune.” Kosoian should have just listened to the police officer first and disputed the issue later, the court documents also said. 

That’s good advice to anyone else in the STM metro network going up the escalator all carefree, not holding onto the handrail: If a police officer asks you to grab onto the handrail, just do it and complain about it afterwards. 
 

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