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careless driving while on a ATV
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:47 pm 
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Hi, I was wondering if anyone could help a little before I go into court. I am standing up for my 17 year old son. He was charged with careless driving while operating his ATV on a gravel back road. It is legal in our area to operate an ATV on secondary roads. He left the road and tipped the ATV while in the ditch. We had to call 911 to get him to the hospital. The police showed up about 10 minutes after the Ambulance, one Fire truck, three first responders, five other ATV'ers and about four(4) looky lues that all brought their own vehicles. There were no statements given by anyone. The officer is the only "witness". He has many holes in his statement including his measurements of what he believes to be the ATV's skid marks on the road. This road is used heavily by local ATV riders and Dirt Bike riders. Many marks on the road. Three other ATV riders showed up before the ambulance and two after the ambulance but before the police.
I would like to know if anyone has advice or has gone through a similar situation.
Also is it careless driving if you tip your ATV while off the road?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:34 am 
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This charge is only applicable to those driving on the highway, not off of it. If your son was not on the road, he is not governed by the OHTA, unless the ditch has been deemed part of the road, you will have to look that up. This is a serious charge and you may want to consult professional help.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:01 pm 
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Just to be sure.... I'm not really familiar with the off-road legislation/laws, but your son was charged with HTA section 130 - Careless Driving, correct? Don't know if laws governing ATVs have a separate Careless Driving charge.

Bad news: If the officer who attended the scene is an accident reconstruction expert, then his statements in court could be sufficient for a conviction. An officer with proper training in reconstruction does not have to witness the actual incident itself to provide testimony on what happened. You'd need his notes and the accident report to get a better idea of the evidence against your son. This can be done by filing a disclosure request.

Careless driving is one of the most serious HTA charges, but it is also one of the hardest for them to prove. The officer's testimony about speed, control, etc., may not be enough. Keep this in mind, though: If your son is convicted of careless driving, particularly at 17, auto insurance premiums could more than double, or insurance companies may not cover him at all. I agree with Reflections; getting professional help would be wise. There's a form at the bottom of the page to fill out for a quote if you're interested in going that route.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:07 pm 
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Reflections wrote:
This charge is only applicable to those driving on the highway, not off of it. If your son was not on the road, he is not governed by the OHTA, unless the ditch has been deemed part of the road, you will have to look that up. .


property line to property line is the highway

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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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