IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚â‚¬Ã‚â„¢m hoping to get some advice on a careless driving ticket that I received last week.
I was 5-6 car lengths behind a bus that braked and signaled to turn in to the right turning lane to pick up a passenger immediately before an intersection (the bus driver later told me he saw the passenger at the last moment and turned in). Seeing his brakes and signal, I reduced speed to 50km/hr (PSL is 60). As I slow down, I see in my rear view that the car behind me has begun tailgating me. I've passed by this intersection before and when the bus is in the turning lane, they have always fit completely in to the lane, so I proceed and do not reduce my speed further. Due to the abrupt turn in, the bus miss-angled the stop and his left rear corner is now taking up 1/4 of my lane. At this point, I am about 3 car lengths behind the bus and I realize that he is blocking part of the lane. I decide against slamming the brakes because of the distance of the car behind me. I immediately glance to my left blind spot and there is a car there so I am trapped. Still traveling around 50, my right side mirror clips the rear left corner of the bus as I pass through.
The damage is minor to both vehicles (my mirror was fixed for less than $150 all in and the bus had a tiny mark where my mirror made contact) and no one is injured, but the police are called as per the transit bus policy. The officer tells me he wishes there was a lesser charge that he could give me, but there is nothing else that would apply to the accident under the HTA other than careless driving.
I plan to go to trial and argue that I made a momentary error in judgement that there would be enough room in my lane after the bus pulled over and that a simple error of judgement is insufficient to justify a conviction of Careless Driving. See: R. v. Wilson,  O.R. 349, 1 C.C.C. (2d) 466 (Ont. C. A.)
Is my argument too weak? This is my first accident in over 10 years of driving.
The bus began slowing down while I was 5-6 car lengths behind it, then came to a complete stop when I was 3 car lengths behind it. It was an abrupt turn in + stop because he saw the passenger at the last moment.MegaSilver wrote:Was the bus completely stopped, or slowing down?
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !
Thanks! I'll try this with the prosecutor at my early resolution meeting. How likely will they be to offer a plea bargain like this? Will I need to really argue for it, or they're just looking to give out plea bargains in the first place?argyll wrote:You may be able to argue that an appropriate charge is 148(5) Fail to turn out to left to avoid collision. Only $110. I would imagine Crown going for that to avoid a trial on the Careless.