My responsibility?

Limivi
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined:

My responsibility?

Unread post by Limivi on

The ticket I'm fighting is failure to produce valid insurance. I was driving my common law's car for which I am primary driver. I knew it was insured and saw him put the slip in the glove box. Problem is I didn't know he had accidentally switched the slips so the one for his truck was in the car and vice versa. My question is should I argue that it should not be my ticket (not MY car or MY insurance) or like he says, the policy # is the same for both vehicles ergo; a valid insurance card was produced.
I already tried the later through early resolution over the phone with prosecutor- no go :(


ynotp
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 548
Joined:
Location: Ontario

Posting Awards

Unread post by ynotp on

I think that you will be believed that it was an honest mistake on the part of your relative that the slips got mixed up that may help when asking for a lower fine, but since this an absolute liability offence if you go to trial and you will certainly be found guilty because the ticket was correctly written to you. The prosecutor will correctly say that as a driver you are responsible for making sure that you have all the documents in order before you operate the car and you did not independently examine them to make sure they were.

Out of curiosity:
What did the drivers abstract show? Any convictions for this in the past?


Stanton
High Authority
High Authority
Posts: 2111
Joined:
Location: Ontario

Unread post by Stanton on

An operator of a motor vehicle on a highway shall have in the motor vehicle at all times,
(a) an insurance card for the motor vehicle; or
(b) an insurance card evidencing that the operator is insured under a contract of automobile insurance,
and the operator shall surrender the insurance card for reasonable inspection upon the demand of a police officer.
As you can see the section places the responsibility on the operator (i.e. driver) to have the documentation. Confusingly if there was no insurance on the car, the owner would be charged instead of the driver.

Even though the slip wasn't for the exact vehicle you were driving, I'm wondering if you still didn't meet the requirements of clause B. You had evidence that you, the operator, were insured.


ynotp
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 548
Joined:
Location: Ontario

Posting Awards

Unread post by ynotp on

It could be read that way Stanton but I do not think (b) will apply because the insurance slip most likely does not show the the operators name in this case.

I believe (b) is intended to cover fleets with blanket policies where the vehicle is not named. They usually read as: Any vehicle owned or operated by employees of X.


Limivi
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined:

Unread post by Limivi on

I don't have convictions for this in the past.
ynotp is correct that (b) does not apply. Prosecutor said that on the phone. What Stanton said made me think of this:
What do you think of me asking the officer on the stand if she charged the owner of the car for having the car on the road uninsured? When she says no I can ask, why not? Proving she knew it was insured or was negligent.


Stanton
High Authority
High Authority
Posts: 2111
Joined:
Location: Ontario

Unread post by Stanton on

Limivi wrote:What do you think of me asking the officer on the stand if she charged the owner of the car for having the car on the road uninsured? When she says no I can ask, why not? Proving she knew it was insured or was negligent.
It's not relevant to your charge and would be a separate issue. You CAN still be charged as the driver for failing to produce proof of insurance even if the owner never insured the vehicle.


Limivi
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined:

Unread post by Limivi on

Thanks Stanton. Do you know if the officer can tell if the car was insured when she looked up the policy number at her car? Or how can I find that out?


Stanton
High Authority
High Authority
Posts: 2111
Joined:
Location: Ontario

Unread post by Stanton on

Police have some access to some insurance information from their car, but it's limited. Sometimes they can confirm a car is insured but sometimes it will say unknown. The only certain way for officers to check is to contact the actual insurance provider. You'd simply have to ask the officer on the stand. Again though even if she verified the vehicle was insured, it doesn't negate your requirement to have the required paper documentation.


Limivi
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined:

Unread post by Limivi on

I understand. Thank you again for answering.
Are you a cop? Why do you think she gave me this ticket? I find it so petty, and a waste of everyone's time. I find it hard to believe that the prosecutor didn't just drop it too. Really I did nothing wrong. Pulled over for speeding when I wasn't and given a ticket for, well you know.
I hope the J.O.P. Sees it my way.


Stanton
High Authority
High Authority
Posts: 2111
Joined:
Location: Ontario

Unread post by Stanton on

It would be a complete guess as to why the officer issued you the ticket. At the end of the day some officers are more lenient and others are more strict in ensuring motorists comply with the law. Some will stop you for 10 over, others won't blink until you're going 30 over. If the officer stopped you for speeding she may have given you the insurance ticket in lieu of the somewhat more serious speeding charge.

Don't count on the J.P. doing anything because you feel the charge is petty. At the end of the day their job is simply to determine if you committed the offence or not. They might give you a seriously reduced fine if they feel it's minor, but the conviction still goes on your record and can impact your insurance rates, etc.

What jurisdiction did this happen in? Busy places like Toronto will sometimes withdraw the charge if you show the Crown proof of valid insurance prior to trial. Less busy places will actually run the trial.


Mugwug
Jr. Member
Jr. Member
Posts: 65
Joined:

Unread post by Mugwug on

Not to sound like a jerk but as the operator of a motor vehicle you have certain obligations...making sure the vehicle is mechanically sound and that certain documentation is kept with the vehicle while it is in operation is required by various provincial acts. These are not new requirements.

You have to check the insurance and registration documents roughly once a year, and as the primary driver of the vehicle I don't think this is a particularly onerous requirement.

You were, by your own admission, operating a vehicle without the certificate of insurance and received a ticket for that.

The fact that you do consider this a "petty" matter may have contributed to your receiving the ticket instead of just a warning to get your paperwork in order.


Limivi
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined:

Unread post by Limivi on

I guess they're not too busy in Sault Ste Marie.

Mugwug, did you read my original? We got the car in sept. Ticket in December. Was actually still driving the old car most of the time. This was about my 3rd trip in it.
I sat at the kitchen table with him and watched him load the two plastic pockets with the new ins. Slips. Watched him put the pockets in the glove compartments. Could not have known he accidentally switched them. Would YOU have checked them?
I still find it unreasonable and am hung up on this waste of time and resources. I'll get over it.


Stanton
High Authority
High Authority
Posts: 2111
Joined:
Location: Ontario

Unread post by Stanton on

I understand how you feel, but just be careful with your demeanour in Court. As petty as it may seem to you, the prosecutors and J.P.'s take this all very seriously. If they feel you're downplaying the offence, they probably won't cut you any slack. I'd liken it to when you have an argument with your significant other; even when you're right its sometimes just easier to say sorry and promise it won't happen again. Nothing wrong with going over the facts, talking about how you barely drive the vehicle and observed your spouse put what you believed to be the correct insurance slip into the vehicle. It shows you at least had some reason to believe everything was in order. Just leave out your personal feelings regarding the merits of police laying the charge.


Mugwug
Jr. Member
Jr. Member
Posts: 65
Joined:

Unread post by Mugwug on

Limivi wrote:Mugwug, did you read my original? We got the car in sept. Ticket in December. Was actually still driving the old car most of the time. This was about my 3rd trip in it.
I sat at the kitchen table with him and watched him load the two plastic pockets with the new ins. Slips. Watched him put the pockets in the glove compartments. Could not have known he accidentally switched them. Would YOU have checked them?
I still find it unreasonable and am hung up on this waste of time and resources. I'll get over it.
Limivi, I read the OP. Due diligence is just that, you are required to have these documents in the car, the circumstances you are describing do not release you from that obligation. You made an assumption that the insurance slip was in the car, it would have taken less than a minute at any time to verify that. You failed to do so.

I'm not passing any judgement on your character, simply pointing out that according to the law you are guilty of the offence you were ticketed for. If, in front of the JP, you admit the offence you ARE guilty - period. You're not presenting a defence, just an explanation - and everyone that stands in front of that JP has an explanation for why they broke the law. If you go into court with the attitude that you are the victim here and that the officer was in the wrong you're likely going to be disappointed in the outcome.

In answer to your question, yes...I would (and do) check that the documentation on all three of my motor vehicles is correct and in order, and do so more frequently than once a year.


Limivi
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined:

Unread post by Limivi on

Thx again Stanton. Sound advice.

Mugwug I thought I was presenting a defence not an explanation? I do not plan to admit guilt in front of the jp. Why do you call it an explanation?






Post Reply

Return to “Courts and Procedure”