Careless driving on a Bicycle - hit by a taxi driver

juliavanz18
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Careless driving on a Bicycle - hit by a taxi driver

Unread post by juliavanz18 on

I was on the right side of the road going straight when a pedestrian waved down the taxi driver in the lane next to me. He pulled over to the right without any notice or signalling and hit me with the side of his car.

There were many witnesses but I immediately had a concussion and did not think of getting their contact information. A couple hours later I called a police officer to my apartment and filed a report. At which time the police officer advised me to not file a report and he left my house. I called back an hour later and he came back, complained about getting in trouble from his boss and charged me with careless driving under the highway traffic act section 130. I handed over contact information for the cab driver, and he used the taxi driver as a witness to write down the information ( that his car was a 0km/h and my bicycle at 30km/h at the time of the collision which I assure you is a big fat lie.)

I requested disclosure about half a year ago as the notes were not at my meeting with the prosecutor, now I am going to trial without notes as they still do not have a brief, in two weeks and feel very unprepared, but innocent. Not to mention I suffered missing two weeks of work and depression from the concussion and have been attending physiotherapy.

Let me know if you have any advice! To be honest I feel like it was my mistake to trust a police officer.

Thank you in advance.


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Radar Identified
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Unread post by Radar Identified on

juliavanz18 wrote:I requested disclosure about half a year ago as the notes were not at my meeting with the prosecutor, now I am going to trial without notes as they still do not have a brief, in two weeks and feel very unprepared, but innocent.
So if I understand this correctly... they still haven't given you the officer's notes and a copy of the collision report? That should've been easy. On the day of trial, explain that you haven't received disclosure. (How many requests have you made?) The JP should order them to produce the requested material and charge the delay to the Prosecutor.

Careless driving is a serious charge, but the difference is, you were on a bike. They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were riding in a manner that was a departure from the standard of care of a reasonable and prudent cyclist. They'll need the taxi driver present, otherwise they have no witness (I'm assuming.) If he doesn't show up, odds are they will withdraw the charge.

If it goes to trial, you want to either show that the cab driver's testimony is unreliable, or that he was acting recklessly. (Which, it sounds like he was.) Some questions that you may want to ask him when you cross-examine:

- Where was the impact on your cab? Are there any photos? (This is trying to prove he sideswiped you as opposed to you running into his rear end.)
- When did you first see the cyclist approaching your cab?
- In your experience, how many cyclists drive right into the back of a stopped cab? (You're allowed to ask leading questions since you're an unrepresented defendant. The point of this is to try to illustrate his lack of awareness.)
- How many other vehicles were in proximity to your cab when you moved over to pick up the passenger? How fast were you going? Did you activate your turn signal when you pulled over? (You're trying to prove his memory is faulty.)

Or, you can try to revisit some of his initial testimony and see if it becomes inconsistent upon your cross-examination.

If you plan to testify, my recommendation is to rehearse, preferably with a friend asking you questions. What do you remember? How exactly did it happen? What other details can you recall? A concussion does affect memory, but if you revisit the collision scene, it may help jog it a bit (well, it can also induce anxiety, so only do this if you are up to it). Write down some notes on what happened while you're there. Also, visit the courthouse to see what happens in trials. Your testimony, since you weren't doing anything wrong, should paint a picture that you were riding responsibly when Mr. Cab Driver cut you off and you had no chance to avoid the collision. If you act composed and controlled, and you are not shaken on cross-examination, the JP should dismiss the charge. Worst case scenario, if the JP rules against you, you can always appeal and get it heard by a real Justice.

I'd also recommend looking at www.canlii.org which has case law that may be relevant to your charge.

I'll let the others chime in now.

Good luck...
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
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CumminsDiesel
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Unread post by CumminsDiesel on

Radar Identified wrote:
juliavanz18 wrote:I requested disclosure about half a year ago as the notes were not at my meeting with the prosecutor, now I am going to trial without notes as they still do not have a brief, in two weeks and feel very unprepared, but innocent.
So if I understand this correctly... they still haven't given you the officer's notes and a copy of the collision report? That should've been easy. On the day of trial, explain that you haven't received disclosure. (How many requests have you made?) The JP should order them to produce the requested material and charge the delay to the Prosecutor.

Careless driving is a serious charge, but the difference is, you were on a bike. They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were riding in a manner that was a departure from the standard of care of a reasonable and prudent cyclist. They'll need the taxi driver present, otherwise they have no witness (I'm assuming.) If he doesn't show up, odds are they will withdraw the charge.

If it goes to trial, you want to either show that the cab driver's testimony is unreliable, or that he was acting recklessly. (Which, it sounds like he was.) Some questions that you may want to ask him when you cross-examine:

- Where was the impact on your cab? Are there any photos? (This is trying to prove he sideswiped you as opposed to you running into his rear end.)
- When did you first see the cyclist approaching your cab?
- In your experience, how many cyclists drive right into the back of a stopped cab? (You're allowed to ask leading questions since you're an unrepresented defendant. The point of this is to try to illustrate his lack of awareness.)
- How many other vehicles were in proximity to your cab when you moved over to pick up the passenger? How fast were you going? Did you activate your turn signal when you pulled over? (You're trying to prove his memory is faulty.)

Or, you can try to revisit some of his initial testimony and see if it becomes inconsistent upon your cross-examination.

If you plan to testify, my recommendation is to rehearse, preferably with a friend asking you questions. What do you remember? How exactly did it happen? What other details can you recall? A concussion does affect memory, but if you revisit the collision scene, it may help jog it a bit (well, it can also induce anxiety, so only do this if you are up to it). Write down some notes on what happened while you're there. Also, visit the courthouse to see what happens in trials. Your testimony, since you weren't doing anything wrong, should paint a picture that you were riding responsibly when Mr. Cab Driver cut you off and you had no chance to avoid the collision. If you act composed and controlled, and you are not shaken on cross-examination, the JP should dismiss the charge. Worst case scenario, if the JP rules against you, you can always appeal and get it heard by a real Justice.

I'd also recommend looking at http://www.canlii.org which has case law that may be relevant to your charge.

I'll let the others chime in now.

Good luck...
This may be off topic but... I just wanted to say

Radar Identified , thank you for you very generous and active contributions to this site . Your advice is always comprehensive and extremely useful . I am sure lots of people learn alot from your posts (myself included).

Thanks pal !


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Thanks CumminsDiesel... I try to help. But I also learn a lot from many other knowledgeable people here... especially since courts/traffic laws/etc. has nothing to do with my day job, just an interest I have. :)
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
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jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

If you feel that the other driver should have been charged, you could go to police station and ask to speak to a different police officer and see if they are willing to charge the cab driver.

If they still will not do anything, you can request a a meeting with a Justice of the Peace and press Private Charges against the driver. If the JP allows this, then you will act as the prosecutor and the cab driver as the defendant.

You can also (within 6 months) file a complaint about the police officer in question. You only have 6 months so I recommend you get on that right away. Go here http://www.oiprd.on.ca to read about complaints. I personally think the complaint is your best option as it might force them to drop the charge against you and file the proper charge against the cab driver.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

jsherk wrote:If they still will not do anything, you can request a a meeting with a Justice of the Peace and press Private Charges against the driver. If the JP allows this, then you will act as the prosecutor and the cab driver as the defendant.
For a privately laid charge, the Crown still acts as the prosecutor. The person laying the information would simply act as a regular witness in Court (assuming they witnessed the offence).
jsherk wrote:You can also (within 6 months) file a complaint about the police officer in question. You only have 6 months so I recommend you get on that right away. Go here http://www.oiprd.on.ca to read about complaints. I personally think the complaint is your best option as it might force them to drop the charge against you and file the proper charge against the cab driver.
The investigation sounds very half assed (to put it mildly) and I don’t disagree that a complaint may be warranted against the officer. That being said, such a complaint is very unlikely to have any impact on the actual charge against the OP. If the charge is as weak as the OP suggests, I would hope the Crown would simply withdraw it based on there not being a reasonable prospect of conviction.


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

Stanton wrote:For a privately laid charge, the Crown still acts as the prosecutor. The person laying the information would simply act as a regular witness in Court (assuming they witnessed the offence).
Thanks for clarifying this point ... have never laid a private charge so not 100% sure how that works.




+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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