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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Careless Driving ( HELP!!!!)
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:47 pm 
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I was driving home from school on a busy road during "stop - go " traffic, i was going less than 30 km/hr when the driver in front of me started to brake, as did i and the next thing i know, i ended up rear ending them. I honestly thought i had given myself enough space between the car in front of me, but clearly not... When i got out of my car, i saw that the car i hit (beige car) also rear ended the person in front of her (red car).

We exchanged insurance and contact information, called the police who said they were not coming to the scene, and 2 drivers drove to the collision center in the police station to report the accident. There was no damage to the car in front (red car) and less than $2000 in damages to the car i hit (beige car). My car had severe damage and had to be towed..

One month after this collision, i have a police officer show up at my house to hand me court summon paper to notify me that i am being charged with careless driving and my court date is in ONE month!!!

I am a G2 driver, i can get my G anytime (just have not had time to go between work , school, clinical placement, volunteering and activities).
At the time of the collision, i was fully alert and paying attention, i was not eating/drinking/smoking/on my cellphone, etc..

What i need to know is...

- Do i need a lawyer? i plan on pleading not guilty, explaining what happened, and hoping all charges are dropped or will be reduced to "following too closely"
- How can i be charged if a police office never showed up to the collision? This accident was never reported to the police as the collision center in my city is not affiliated with the police station ?
- How does this "charge of careless driving" come about? What is needed for someone (a police officer?) to charge me?

I am extremely concerned if my insurance will increase (and how much). I am a full-time university student who works 30 hrs a week and does a 12- hr clinical placement every week. I also need my car to get to clinical placement as it is out of town and i need it for work, as i am to drive from site to site for my job... If i lose my license for 30 days (rules of g2) i will lose my job (which pays for my education as i receive no help from my parents) This job is also vital for my career when i graduate in April...

Any help can be given is greatly appreciated! Thanks!


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Re: Careless Driving ( HELP!!!!)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:07 pm 
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Presumably the other driver reported it to the police (the collisions reporting centre IS part of the police service) and the officer used the statement to form the grounds to believe that you had committed an offence, hence the ticket. The date on the summons is just your first appearance date. Not much usually happens on first appearance except you get disclosure. You may be given an opportunity to enter a plea at that time as well and adjourn to another date. If this is what happened, then the only evidence against you will likely be the statement of the other driver.

Many careless charges are pled down to follow to closely. If that is what you want, you could probably try to arrange it yourself. You could also hire a lawyer or paralegal to negotiate the plea for you. You could also just hire one to handle the matter if your own negotiations are unsuccessful.

If you are convicted of either careless or follow to close, your insurance will probably go up (depending on your police), but careless is worse than follow to close.

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Re: Careless Driving ( HELP!!!!)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:12 pm 
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Location: Toronto
Could also plead guilty to Fail to Turn Left to Avoid Collision, which, I think, is 2 demerit points and $110. (Could be wrong.) Hopefully the Prosecutor is willing to agree. See how it goes. If you hired a paralegal or lawyer, they'd either be able to make the plea bargain for you, or see if there are any holes in the Prosecutor's case and blow it apart. For any serious charge like this, I'd recommend professional help.

Difference between the points is, Follow Too Closely is 4 demerit points and, as a G2 driver, at 4 demerit points your licence is automatically suspended for 30 days. Careless Driving is 6 demerit points and you'd also get the suspension.

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