Charged Careless Driving, First Ticket!

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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:40 am

Charged Careless Driving, First Ticket!

by: SunFish on
Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:01 pm

Hello, just an hour or so ago, I was charged with a careless driving ticket.

This is the story:

I was at Brimley and Eglinton, going south. I was going to make a left turn, so I entered the intersection and waited for traffic to clear. The light turns amber, so I check for incoming traffic. The cars appeared to have slowed down and the road is clear, so I begin to turn. About one car length away from completing my turn, a van appears in front of me all of a sudden and (with no time to react), I ended up hitting the other car.

There were only two drivers involved, and I had a witness (on my side) tell me (and the officer) that he "saw her run the light". Nobody was hurt, and no airbags went off. Damage to my car was the front driver side of the bumper damaged, headlight, and the metal bumper inside. The van's damage involved rear driver side door, fender, and the wheel was slightly bend inwards.

The other driver said that she was in a rush. When she entered the intersection and saw my car turning, she hit the pedal and accelerated.

This is what I believe happened:
1) I enter intersection and wait for traffic to clear.
2) Light turns amber. I check for traffic which has slowed down due to the amber.
3) The other driver sees the yellow and slows down, but is in a rush. She decides to go through it.
4) I begin my turn.
5) The van is now attempting to clear the intersection, but notices that I am mid-turn. She hits the gas to pass me before I complete the turn.
6) I end up hitting her car.

In the end, I was charged with "Careless Driving" and a fine of $400, total payable $490 and 6 points. I am a G2 driver, so this would not go well with the insurance company!

What should I do?
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Simon Borys
Posts: 1065
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:20 am

by: Simon Borys on
Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:11 pm

Sounds to me like the more appropriate charge for you would have been turn not in safety. I suspect that you could plea the careless down to that. It may be difficult for them to prove careless on the facts you provided, so you may want to consider hiring a paralegal or lawyer to assist you with fighting the careless if you chose to go that route.

Remember that whether you committed an unsafe turn does not depend on whether the other driver ran the light. The onus is always on the person making a turn to do it safely and if you made a turn and a collision resulted, it can almost always be proven that it wasn't safe. In other words, the other driver's wrong doesn't cancel out your wrong.
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