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Careless Driving Charge 06/28/09
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:23 pm 
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Hi Everyone. Today I was charged with careless driving and I came upon this forum while looking into the charge. Just looking for some advice.

I was driving in the rain today and came to a 4 way stop. I stopped and proceeded. The next intersection was also a 4 way and when I tried to stop I just kept going and could not stop. I tried to turn out of the way of the car ahead but just kept going strait. Just before I hit her I managed to turn slightly, but not enough to avoid a collision. I called the police and the officer charged me with careless driving because as he said, there is no other charge he can issue in this case because he was not there to see the incident. He did however advise me to call the number on the back of my ticket and explain the situation to them (the weather) but they are not open until tomorrow. What should I do? Any help you could offer would be much appreciated.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:05 am 
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Before you talk to the police again, get in touch with a paralegal ASAP!! X-Copper is our website sponsor so I'd recommend talking to them first. (Before doing that, re-visit the scene of collision with a pen and paper, take some photos so you can show the paralegal, and make as many notes as you can. Re-visiting the scene will help jog your memory.) Careless driving is more than just the fine and 6 demerit points; it is absolutely catastrophic for your insurance, and you're looking at a possible lengthy licence suspension. Remember that if you call up the police and try to clarify the situation, they'll be taking notes and it can be used against you later, so that's why I'd suggest talking to a professional paralegal first.

The Prosecutor is going to have to establish that your driving at the time was a "departure from the standard of care of a reasonable and prudent driver." It doesn't expect perfection, just a normal amount of skill and your driving at the time must've been close to "normal" for most drivers in those conditions. All sounds simple but it isn't.

Couple of questions. You mentioned you were not able to stop. How bad was the weather? Was there some rain on the road or was it flooded out? How fast were you going? What was the visibility like? Do you normally drive on that particular route? Just looking for more detail.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:07 am 
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Thanks for the reply.
The road was wet and I was not speeding. I had just stopped at the previous intersection with no problems and I could see the next 4 way from where I was stopped. I don't normally drive the route, I had made a stop on the way to visiting family at a corner store and was unable to get into the turning lane so I had to go strait and find another way to my destination. I think it was the ABS breaks that kicked in because I was unable to turn out of the way. I had turned my wheel as far to the right as it could go and nothing.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:34 pm 
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theemb wrote:
Thanks for the reply.
The road was wet and I was not speeding. I had just stopped at the previous intersection with no problems and I could see the next 4 way from where I was stopped. I don't normally drive the route, I had made a stop on the way to visiting family at a corner store and was unable to get into the turning lane so I had to go strait and find another way to my destination. I think it was the ABS breaks that kicked in because I was unable to turn out of the way. I had turned my wheel as far to the right as it could go and nothing.


It could be possible that there was something on the road, i.e. oil, that caused this. Was the car in front of you old or new? When you got out did you smell anything other then the rain? Did you see fluid in the water on the road?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:44 pm 
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Nothing on the road that I noticed. The other car was a newer model. The road was wet and it was raining, I spoke to both X Copper and Pointts today and both feel that they can get the charges either redused or dismissed. But they felt it more likely that they could be redused. I have a $500 deductable, and it's a $1500 repair for my car to replace the bumper and I'm not sure I can afford to pay that and the bill for representation. What should I do?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:26 pm 
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You said that the police had no witness, how can he prove the careless driving charge in the court room? I think he will need a witness or the charge won't stick. There is a possibility that either of them will not show up. If they do show up, delay the trial.

Also ask for disclosure to see what evidence he has against you, you'll find out if he has an independent witness.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:28 pm 
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Well, for one, increased insurance premiums of $200 per month or more are much harder to pay over a while than shelling out a few hundred for the representation, never mind the actual ticket that you won't have to pay. Since the court will be a few months away, might as well save up for representation.

Looks like "fail to stop at the stop sign" would have been a more applicable fine. Either that or "unsafe brakes", which is an even smaller fine and no demerits.

Help your paralegal help you by making notes, pictures, etc.

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"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:25 pm 
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theemb wrote:
I think it was the ABS breaks that kicked in because I was unable to turn out of the way. I had turned my wheel as far to the right as it could go and nothing.


When ABS is activated it does allow for steering. Non-ABS brakes OR ABS not activated will not allow you to steer.

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Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:34 pm 
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The fact that the steering wheel was cranked all the way over, unable to stop, car had ABS, all points to hydroplaning.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:37 pm 
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There are some intersections that I travel through regularly that when wet, are like ice rinks. You may have been caught out by one of these......

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