Careless Driving - Is it too harsh? no accidents, no nothing

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Careless Driving - Is it too harsh? no accidents, no nothing

by: LaceyWilliams on
Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:20 pm

Hi Guys:

I was wondering if I could get some helps for this.

The other day, I was driving North bound on McCowan Road, acrossing the intersecion of McCowan and Sandhurst Cir (a small quiet intersection just north to McCowan and Finch Ave E). There was a power failure and traffic lights were out of order (not red, not red-flashing or yellow-flashing, I meant nothing at all!). The cops were on the site, not directing the traffics (but sitting in their cars). Two police cars occupied the right turn lane in my direction. I was on the right lane of going straight. The car in front of me needed to make a right turn, so it stopped at the intersection on the right going-straight lane (b/c the cops are taking the right-turn lane), and I stopped behind him.

After he made the right turn, I made sure there was no other traffic entering the intersection from other three directions. (It was like 10:30am in the morning, and the road was quiet). So, I proceed and across the intersection. (I knew I should have stopped again before the stop line), but...

The cop pulled me over and gave me a ticket for careless driving. I was so frustrated and did not even aruge with him. Just told him that I would see you at the trial.

Ok, here are my questions:

1. should it have been a charge of fail to stop at stop signs? (there are not even stop signs, only out-of-order lights, I presume I should have treated as all-ways stop signs)
2. How could I have been careless.... I entered and acrossed the intersection at about 10 to 20 km on a 60km road. And I did fully stopped before proceed, just too far from the stop lane maybe...
3. My total payable as writen on the ticket is $325. (Is that not the fine for running a red light?) Could I argue that the cop meant to charge me on running a red light, but write down the wrong section 130?

Any comments are highly appreciated.

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by: Stanton on
Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:16 pm

1) Technically it would be considered an uncontrolled intersection, which is covered by section 135 of the Highway Traffic Act. While I would recommend treating it as an all way stop from a safety standpoint, you're not legally required to. All the section says is that you must yield the right of way to vehicles in the intersection and to vehicles entering the intersection from your right.
2) The officer will have to articulate how he felt your action constituted careless driving. If you were the only car at the intersection, I think that would be difficult.
3) The fine is incorrect, the total should be $490. Incorrect fines are grounds to have the ticket quashed. If the Justice of the Peace notices the incorrect fine, it should be done automatically. If not, you can appeal the ticket. Search the forum for fatal errors and London v Young for the process.

You could possibly fight the charge outright and win, but I'd go for the sure thing and just get the ticket quashed due to the error.
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by: LaceyWilliams on
Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:07 pm

Thanks Stanton. I have already filed for option #3 for a trial.

Would you recommand me not to appear for the trial and have the ticket quashed?

If it is not quashed automatically, can I still appeal the case with the arguments you mentioned?

By the way, if the ticket is not quashed automatically, does that mean I will be convicted and my insurance will go up even if I appeal the case?
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by: Radar Identified on
Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:57 am

Did you cause other drivers to brake violently, spin out of control, hit other objects or anything like that? If not - Careless Driving is the WRONG CHARGE.

Oh and there are some court cases you may find useful in this:

R. v. Richards, 2009

Long story short: Ran a red light, charged with careless driving. Charge tossed - red light running is NOT included in the offence of "careless driving."

R. v. Cross, 2008

Says he stopped at a red light, then drove through. Charged with careless driving, he was convicted, but appealed and the conviction was quashed and a new trial ordered. (The JP at trial failed to consider the defendant's evidence that, although he did run the red, he did a four-way stop and checked for traffic, therefore was driving with due care and attention, even if he was otherwise breaking the law. It was the middle of the night.)
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. * OR
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