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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:40 pm 
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I was travelling along a 70 kmhr 6 lane street on a Sunday morning. The roads were not busy. It was partly cloudy. The roads were slightly wet since it rained earlier.

As I approached an intersection on a green light, I saw the driver in front of me hit their brakes to slow down and make a sudden right hand turn. The driver did not signal. I was going about 40 kmhr. I was atleast 3 or 4 car lengths behind that car. I stepped on the brake. My foot slid and I hit the gas. I then realized I wasn`t stopping and I stepped on the brake for the 2nd time to attempt to stop. Unfortunately I hit the car in front of me. That car then hit another car in the parking lot that was waiting to make a left hand turn. I was going about 15 kmhr when my car rearended the other car.

After the accident, I heard the policeman talking to the tow truck driver. The policeman said that the other driver hit the gas after she was hit and that`s why she struck the other car.

The policeman was called and issued me the ticket. When he gave me the ticket, he repeated at least 3 times... Do not pay the ticket. It is worth 6 demerit points which is alot. Take the ticket to court.

I requested disclosure as per Ticketcombat`s instructions. I received the cops notes and the accident report. Is there something else in the disclosure that I should have received? The cops notes say that she slowed down because there were people in front of her and then she made the right hand turn. There was no one in front of her. The roads were not busy. She saw a sign on the lawn for a big sale and decided to make a right hand turn at the last minute.

The cops notes also say that the driver waiting to make the left hand turn saw my car hit the other car. I am questioning this. I think the truth is that when he heard the bang, he looked and saw my car and the other car, and then saw the other car hit his car. If he was waiting for the light to turn green so he could make a left hand turn, he would have been looking straight forward.

I have hired a lawyer and am waiting to discuss the case and disclosure prior to trial. I wanted your thoughts because I am worried and wanted to know what my options might be.

I was not driving carlelessly. I was wearing hiking shoes. I was not speeding and was going less than speed limit because I was stopped at a light less than 500m prior. I was paying attention. As I approached the intersection I was looking at the green light. I saw the car slow down very quickly without signaling and attempted to stop. I had just been to the chiropractor and it is possible that my foot slipped because my foot may have quivered (can`t think of the word) or had a very small muscle spasm. If needed, my Chiropractor is willing to write a letter and say that it is a possibility that I had a muscle spasm. He knows that I was driving to and from my appointments and did not ever say that I should not drive.

I do not believe that either of the drivers saw me prior to the accident and would not be able to say how I was driving. There were no other witnesses and the police officer did not see the accident.

What should be the basis for my argument?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:37 pm 
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Location: somewhere in traffic
You have done well so far. However, I would seek legal help with this charge. One slip and your insurance is toast.

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http://www.OHTA.ca OR http://www.OntarioTrafficAct.com


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:54 pm 
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user1313 wrote:
I received the cops notes and the accident report. Is there something else in the disclosure that I should have received?


If the report/notes have witness statement(s), or brief notes on what the witnesses said, then it looks like you've got sufficient disclosure, but your lawyer should be able to tell you more after reviewing it.

user1313 wrote:
The cops notes say that she slowed down because there were people in front of her and then she made the right hand turn. There was no one in front of her. The roads were not busy. She saw a sign on the lawn for a big sale and decided to make a right hand turn at the last minute.


Is the "sign on the lawn" idea something that she said or is that your personal theory? If she did not actually say it, then you have no proof. If she did say it, then write down some notes about where and when she said it, and exactly what she said. Even still, when you are following another vehicle that is established in your lane, whatever they do is meaningless. Even if the driver in front of you brakes suddenly, turns suddenly or anything else, you're still going to be charged.

user1313 wrote:
I think the truth is that when he heard the bang, he looked and saw my car and the other car, and then saw the other car hit his car. If he was waiting for the light to turn green so he could make a left hand turn, he would have been looking straight forward.


Again, where's the proof? I can tell you that most drivers, myself included, do not just stare straight ahead when waiting for the light to change. They keep looking around, seeing what the traffic is doing, particularly if the light is about to change (e.g. is some twit about to blow the red light?) Unless you or some other witness actually saw him not looking in your direction, that is pure speculation and the court will not accept that as evidence.

user1313 wrote:
If needed, my Chiropractor is willing to write a letter and say that it is a possibility that I had a muscle spasm.


I don't think that's a good idea. Even if your Chiropractor said "yeah, no problem with driving," the same Chiropractor is writing that your medical condition (even though it is very minor) contributed to or caused the crash. MTO can go after your licence on medical grounds. Ever watch Canada's Worst Driver? A couple of years ago, one of the "contestants" had severe chest pains due to angina, and had to stop. The condition had not been reported to MTO by her doctors, but Cam Woolley and Dan Bagyan noted it and reported it to MTO for a medical review. Granted, that was much more serious, but it can happen. A muscle spasm that caused your foot to slip onto the gas... if it were up to me, I wouldn't use that. See what your lawyer says, but be careful.

Your lawyer should be able to provide all the help you need. From what I see, the best avenue of defence is what you already wrote: You were paying attention, you were aware of the traffic situation, the roads were slightly wet, you are familiar with the operating capabilities of your vehicle, and were driving appropriately for the conditions - etc. Your only error was a slight misjudgment in following distance. The other driver made a sudden, unexpected move without any prior indication. Momentary distraction, or slight misjudgment of following distance, is not sufficient to warrant a careless driving conviction - it IS enough for "follow too closely," but you weren't charged with follow too closely. There is enough case law out there that your lawyer should be able to use to beat this charge, particularly given the circumstances. Don't lose too much sleep over it. At the very worst, if your lawyer is even half-competent, the charge should be reduced, if nothing else. Also, the lawyer should be able to thoroughly cross-examine the witnesses and present a solid case that you did not commit the act as charged.


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