Double amputee who couldn't put on seatbelt takes complaint to rights commission

The Canadian Press
May 1, 2014 08:27 PM

Steve Simonar stands in front of his modified pickup truck in Saskatoon, Sask., May 1, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

SASKATOON - A Saskatoon man with no arms is taking his case against a police constable to the Human Rights Commission.

Steve Simonar made headlines across the country earlier this year when he complained about the officer's attitude while giving him his first ticket for not wearing a seatbelt.

He said the officer brusquely told him if he couldn't wear a seatbelt, he shouldn't be driving.

Simonar cannot physically buckle up but has been driving in customized vehicles for years.

The fine resulting from his ticket was withdrawn in court after the province gave him a medical exemption allowing him to drive without a belt.

But Simonar wanted an apology for how he was treated by the officer and filed a complaint with the Public Complaints Commission.

On Thursday, he said no resolution came from that so he decided to go to the human rights commission.

"It was nothing, they missed the point of the whole thing," Simonar said, adding the commission found no wrongdoing on anyone's part. "Like I said right from the get-go, I'm ready to go as far as I have to … to get satisfaction out of this and I'm not satisfied yet."

Simonar said the ticket was never the driving factor behind the complaint, rather it was the officer's attitude.

Kelsey Fraser with the Saskatoon Police Service said they were unaware of the human rights complaint.

Simonar lost his arms after he was electrocuted in a boating accident in 1985. He learned to drive with his feet, using his left foot to turn a small steering wheel near the floor and his right foot to work the gas and brake pedals. He also uses his feet to open the door and turn the key.


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