I recently received a ticket from a military policeman on a military base in Ontario. Therefore, I was charged under the "Government Property Traffic Regulations" (GPTR), section 9. I know that some may say, why are you posting on a website for the HTA? Well, in Ontario, the military uses the Provincial Offences Act/Ontario Court of Justice for traffic tickets issued on a military base, i.e. Federal Property.
The fine is for $65, no demerit pts (as this does not exist in the GPTR), but a conviction will most likely show up on my Ontario driver's record. From what I have been told, this is the case.
Secton 9 of the GPTR states, "The driver of a vehicle on a highway shall obey the instructions of any traffic sign or device applicable to that driver, vehicle or highway." So, from what I understand, it is essentially the same as being charged under the HTA, but without the larger fine and demerit points.
Here's what happened:
Turned left onto the road that I allegedly ran the stop sign. Came up to the stop sign. Stopped at the stop sign, not for 3 seconds or something like that, but stopped. I know that the HTA only requires "even momentarily". Had to proceed a little further due to large trees obscuring my view on the left in order to see if any traffic was coming. Prior to turning, there was a white car in front of me that turned left. The intersection has no white line painted on the ground and the stop sign is about 1 to 1.5 meters from the intersection. There is no crosswalk here either. The road that I was on and got the ticket for ends at this meeting of the other road. You must turn left or right. I turned right onto the new road and then proceeded to the next stop sign. Once again, stopped. Checked that the way was clear and turned left. Of course, always used turn signals throughout all of this. I proceeded down this more "main" road on the base. I looked into my rearview mirror and saw that there were about four cars behind me and that an MP had his lights on at the stop sign that I had just turned left from. The MP turned left, passed the four cars, and pulled me over.
He came up to my vehicle and stated that the conversation was being recorded and that the MP car had video. I confirmed that this is in fact normal for an MP vehicle by speaking with one of my MP friends. Whenever the lights are activated in an MP vehicle, the recording system automatically starts. The MP did not ask me "why did I pull you over?" He told me that he pulled me over because I went right through the stop sign. I told him that I thought that I had done a good stop. He then said that I didn't and that "the white car in front of you didn't do a very good stop". He took my stuff and then later ticketed me. This base has an MP school and there was a student MP with the real MP. The student MP came up on the right of my vehicle. After this and while waiting in my car, I observed the student MP grab the ticket pad from the back of the MP vehicle while I waited in my car. I saw this in my rearview mirror.
I will fight this ticket as I know that I stopped, even momentarily. I will ask for disclosure in order to see where the MP was waiting when he apparently saw me do this offence. Afterwards, I went with a friend to look at the area and if the MP was where we think he was (as I did not see him at all while driving through the area where I got the ticket), he could not even have seen the stop sign as it was obscured by the same trees that had obscured my left view of the intersecting road (as described above).
Also, I find it very interesting to note that the MP actually admitted on a recording that he witnessed another vehicle not do a very good stop, but instead he chose to ticket me. Also, wouldn't a good defence be the following (after getting disclosure, including the MP's notes and the video/audio recordings):
1. Admitting to a white car in front of me, wouldn't his attention have been taken away from me for even a very short time and in that time, I did my stop?
2. Wouldn't I have hit the white car's rearend if I had just blown right through the stop sign?
3. Depending on what the notes say, the MP might not have even been able to see the stop sign due to the trees obscuring/obstructing his view? I will take video and pictures of the area, along with measurements.
4. If I had the intent of running a stop sign, why then did I not get charged for multiple stop sign infractions as I encountered two of them, but only was charged with one? Also, in the "heat of the moment", I remained calm and told the MP that I thought that I had done a good stop. What I'm getting at here is that this would show that my intent was not to run any stop signs.
5. I have had about 2 speeding tickets in the past (can't remember exact number), but none on my record since approx 2003, i.e. well over 8 years ago. No other moving violations.
6. Possibly using the "Resolution Prosecutor" and meeting with him/her prior to the trial in order to plead to a non-moving violation. Will prosecutors even do this and if so, what should I try to get my ticket changed to? Remember, it is only a $65 fine, but it could have an impact on my insurance as a "minor" conviction.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.