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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Careless, Fail to remain, Fail to report
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:58 pm 
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Around one month ago I was travelling on the highway on my way to a job. I was in the right hand lane, checked my mirror and signalled, and moved into the passing lane when there was an opening. The fellow in front of me must have felt I was too close to him and applied his brakes and waved his hand at me. I slowed down and when I was able to, I signalled right and changed lanes as my exit was soon coming up. As I passed him he was still waving/making hand gestures toward me. I thought nothing of it and continued on my way. I then noticed the fellow in the car following me, getting on my rear end and sort of weaving back and forth in my mirrors. All the while he appeared agitated and was still waving his hands. Now I was getting concerned as he kept following me. I certainly didn't want to stop and talk with him. After a few more minutes I turned one way and he turned another.

I then received a letter a couple of weeks ago from Toronto Police informing me that I was involved in an accident and to contact them asap which I did. I was asked to come in for an interview and a vehicle inspection. Today I gave a statement which is pretty much what I've written above. My vehicle was inspected, photographed and shows zero damage, not a scratch.

The complainant says that I hit the front of his car with my left rear side/bumper. I can't really comment on that because I don't know how or if any contact occured.

I was given careless driving, fail to remain at accident and fail to report an accident ticket and a court date.

I realize these are serious charges but I had no idea anything had occured. If I had known there was contact I would have immediately reported it.

What should I do? I'd hate to lose my license over this. It's spotless :(


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:19 pm 
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Bear in mind that they to sustain those charges, they have to prove that a collision occurred (maybe not for the careless). You might want to obtain disclosure and see how they're going to do that. If it is just the word of the other driver vs. your word, with no damage to his vehicle, there might be something there to argue about.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:20 pm 
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Well if the events are as you describe them, every charge should be beatable in court. It is, unfortunately, starting to happen quite regularly now that people involved in traffic disputes now call police and say that the other driver hit their vehicle and fled. The police will need the other driver to attend court. The fail to remain, fail to report - unlikely to stick if there was no damage to your vehicle. Where's the collision? Did they inspect his vehicle? As for careless driving, that's a bit subjective.

What I would strongly recommend is that you seek a paralegal or traffic lawyer. These are very serious charges and, if you get convicted, it will surely result in your insurance coverage being terminated and your licence being suspended. I've been involved in dealing with traffic matters for quite some time now, but if I were in your situation, I'd absolutely hire a professional.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:46 pm 
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Thanks for the replies guys!

The complainant has turned in a repair estimate for 1600.00 on his 99 Pontiac Sunfire. Wow, can't you buy one for that price?

Is it possible to just pay the 1600 and make this problem disappear? I'd hate to pay for something I didn't do but I fear going to court may be more costly in the long run. I don't feel comfortable using a he said/she said defence. If the investigating officer (nice guy) gave me 3 tickets after hearing my version of events and inspecting my vehicle, I have to think he believes the other guy over me. Wouldn't the judge also?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:43 am 
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Quote:
I'd hate to pay for something I didn't do but I fear going to court may be more costly in the long run. I don't feel comfortable using a he said/she said defence. If the investigating officer (nice guy) gave me 3 tickets after hearing my version of events and inspecting my vehicle, I have to think he believes the other guy over me. Wouldn't the judge also?


He said she shais is EXACTLY where you want to be. Dont feel comfortable - why? Are you not telling the truth? Test for reasonable doubt has been long established and to your surprise - it hinges on wheather the justice believes what you have to say.... Do not take this lightly.

P.S. - You should not have spoken to police at the time (Without your statement there would be no evidence as to the identity of the driver - YOU).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:19 pm 
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The Justice of the Peace would believe you if you give credible testimony and there really was no damage to your vehicle.

As an aside, it doesn't take much for $1600 in damage to occur. A pickup truck trying to pass on the shoulder of the 401 in stop-and-go traffic sideswiped me (and six others) a few months ago - all I had were paint scrapes along the left rear door and quarter-panel, and it came to $1700. (Insurance covered it all.) Point being: You're sure you didn't scrape the guy's car? If you're sure, then what's the problem?

groove99 wrote:
Is it possible to just pay the 1600 and make this problem disappear?


Absolutely not. The charges are entirely separate from the repair bill. If you pay for it, what will likely happen is that it will turn into compelling evidence of guilt. The other driver will still have to attend court and testify. Paying for the repair is not going to change that. Once the police got involved, it was too late. It is in the hands of the courts now.

FYI - if you think $1600 is expensive, try $12 000+ per year in facility insurance, which you will have to get if you get convicted, plus a licence suspension and all kinds of fine$$$. Have you sought out a paralegal or lawyer to represent you yet?

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* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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