Local Traffic Only - Road Closed

chthonic
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Local Traffic Only - Road Closed

by: chthonic on
Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:07 am

I was ticketed for driving on a Road Closed - Local Traffic Only. It wasn't my original road I was going to take, but due to construction I couldn't turn down my usual road. So I continued on to what I knew to be another route to my destination. The Road Closed - Local Traffic Only sign was on my end. No posted detour route and I don't have GPS. Since I live in the municipality, and was going to an optical appointment on that road, I thought I was local Traffic and turned onto the road.

I was pulled over quite quickly by a police officer coming from the other end. I was ticketed under the HTA for travelling on a Closed road. I was polite and humble even though he was inappropriately aggressive with me. So I began taking pictures of license plates and writing them down of other vehicles that were waiting to get through behind me. I additionally videotaped a question I had for him - Why could vehicles come out of my destination onto the road, but couldn't go to my destination? He said because that's how it is. He also told me my insurance wasn't valid on that road (I read my exclusions later on - it states damages may not be paid on a closed road, but it doesn't mention local traffic). The road was completely closed from the other end where construction was going on, but it was past my destination. See pictures.

I have searched under laws, by laws, the HTA and can't find anything that defines what local traffic is. In some other provinces, it's defined by some combination of the following...going to a private residence or private property on the road, going to work, or conducting business at a location on the road. I've looked at all the signs in the MTO drivers handbook. Nothing defines what local Traffic is.

I would have humbly obliged if he just asked me to turn around, like he (or another officer) did for others that were going to an appointment at the same location - as I was told by some (hearsay I know). I was the first known actual ticket to anyone I talked to. I would like to point out that one of the vehicles behind me said she was using the road as a short cut to cut through my destinations parking lot to get to her destination on another road. Another vehicle was briefly talked to by the Officer & turned around - clearly no ticket.

I can't afford these demerit points (3) or the fine, I can't afford my insurance rates going up either. This would put me at 5 demerit points total (before you bash, I took blame for a minor accident when I shouldn't have, but at the time I couldn't emotionally deal with fighting anything and just paid the fine and accepted the 2 demerit points. These are the only tickets I've gotten in 20 years of driving).
Attachments
IMG_8455.JPG
Road Closed -local traffic only
IMG_8455.JPG (215.6 KiB) Viewed 1598 times
IMG_8454.JPG
Ticket
IMG_8454.JPG (215.6 KiB) Viewed 1598 times


chthonic
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by: chthonic on
Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:24 am

If I lose my insurance, or the rates go higher, then I can't afford to have a vehicle on the road. And I need to take my son to specialist appointments in London. My vehicle is a necessity. I also have a son in travel hockey. I obey all detours and go the correct speed limit through construction zones and even drive 40 km/hr like I'm supposed to over a bridge that has a hidden intersection. And every single time, I think of Officer Eve that lost her life there, I honour her in my thoughts and by slowing down. I drive the speed limit, I don't even look at my cell phone when I get a call when driving. I'm a law abiding citizen. But I cried for several minutes when I got to my destination because this could be catastrophic to my family if my insurance is affected. In addition, I felt intimidated in great measures by this Officer. I feel great anxiety when I think about my encounter with him.
Any assistance on how to fight this, or having the ticket dropped to something else, would be greatly appreciated.


chthonic
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by: chthonic on
Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:24 am

Actually I just found in book 7 of the Ontario traffic manual temporary conditions page 145 local traffic - sign is used with Road Closed if Access is permitted beyond the Road Closed sign. It doesn't specify who can go past. So I'm fighting this.


jsherk
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by: jsherk on
Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:10 pm

I would plead not guilty and request a trial with the officer present. Once you get your notice of trial, request disclosure (copy of officers notes) so you know what he will say. Then show up on your trial date (with your pictures) and talk to the prosecutor before the trial starts and tell him all the following:

First, it does say road closed, but it also says Local Traffic is allowed. You said that you were trying to get to a place that you thought was on the road, so in my opinion this qualifies as local traffic.

Second, Section 134(3) says this:
Driving on closed highway prohibited
(3) Where signs or traffic control devices have been posted or placed under subsection (2), no person shall drive or operate a vehicle on the closed highway or part thereof in intentional disobedience of the signs or traffic control devices.


Notice that this says "signs place/posted under subsection (2)" ... so now we have to read subsection (2) which says this:
Highway closing
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a police officer may close a highway or any part thereof to vehicles by posting or causing to be posted signs to that effect, or placing or causing to be placed traffic control devices as prescribed in the regulations.


Subsection (2) says that [/b]the sign must be posted by the police officer[/b]... This does not look like a sign that the police officer posted, but one posted by the construction company doing the work on the road.

In my opinion, 134(3) is the INCORRECT charge and the prosecutor should withdraw the charge when you explain the above to them. If the prosecutor will not withdraw the charge, then at the trial you tell all this same infor to Justice of the Peace.

134(3) would be more suited for when the police themselves close a road to ALL traffic for some emergency reason.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


bend
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by: bend on
Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:58 pm

jsherk wrote:Subsection (2) says that the sign must be posted by the police officer... This does not look like a sign that the police officer posted, but one posted by the construction company doing the work on the road.
It clearly doesn't say that.




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by: jsherk on
Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:25 pm

bend wrote:
jsherk wrote:Subsection (2) says that the sign must be posted by the police officer... This does not look like a sign that the police officer posted, but one posted by the construction company doing the work on the road.
It clearly doesn't say that.
I think it does...
Highway closing
134(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a police officer may close a highway or any part thereof to vehicles by posting or causing to be posted signs to that effect, or placing or causing to be placed traffic control devices as prescribed in the regulations.

I am open to other interpretations though.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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by: bend on
Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:58 pm

Highway closing
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a police officer may close a highway or any part thereof to vehicles by posting or causing to be posted signs to that effect, or placing or causing to be placed traffic control devices as prescribed in the regulations. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 134 (2).


This notion that an officer has to sit out there and personally plant/erect every road closed sign or traffic signal under his/her own strength is silly.


jsherk
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by: jsherk on
Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:21 pm

In that particular subsection it is saying that it is the OFFICER that needs to post OR cause to be posted OR place OR cause to be placed.

I am not saying he has to do them all, but for the purpose of subsection 3, I would argue that he does. Especially since the title of section 134 is "Direction of traffic by police officer".

Anyways, you can disagree anout that part, but the "local traffic" thing makes it perfectly acceptable to use the closed road to get to some place on that road that you thought was on it.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


chthonic
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by: chthonic on
Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:44 pm

I never paid attention to this line in the HTA of 134(3) ... "in intentional disobedience of the signs or traffic control devices." ... I wasn't intentionally disobeying anything. I was doing what I thought to be legal. This would mean I would have to take the stand and cross examine myself then I suppose, or if the prosecution will listen to me then maybe I have a chance.
I really think Ontario should specify what local traffic means by legal definition in the HTA. And the MTO should have it in their handbook as well.

And the destination is available to get to from that road, it's not that I just thought it was on that road. It's that an entrance is off that road, and I truly thought I was considered to be local Traffic.

I think that we should obey construction signs whether or not its enforceable by police legally or not, it's for the workers safety and/or others safety. I would not have turned onto that road if I didn't think I was local Traffic or that I was doing something considered illegal. I'm no saint, not even close, but I do respect construction zones and road signs to the best of my ability and knowledge.


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by: Stanton on
Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:29 pm

The orange and black signs posted by construction crews are not enforceable under section 134 of the HTA. When a road is closed by order of police, no traffic is allowed (i.e. no exemptions for local traffic). While a police officer doesn't need to be present, the closure must be ordered by police and requires special signage.

The required signage is listed under regulation 599 of the HTA: https://www.canlii.org/en/on/laws/regu/ ... g-599.html

The main requirement is a "Do Not Enter" sign (red circle with white dash) with two traffic control devices (i.e. barricades, pylons, etc.). You frequently see this type of signage when a road is closed for inclement weather or an accident. Obviously the posted sign does not meet these requirements.

OP, I imagine that if you speak with the prosecutor and show them your photo of the sign they'll simply withdraw the charge since there's no hope for a conviction.




whaddyaknow
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by: whaddyaknow on
Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:27 am

+2

The logic is simple:

Was the road closed by the police?

Yes: then the signage is not as per the requirements, you are innocent
No: then the charge is completely bogus, you are innocent

Now my question to the best and the brightest: is there any charge which might be applicable? My get is no, as evidence by the fact that it's an advisory orange sign....


chthonic
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by: chthonic on
Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:10 pm

I was offered a lower fine and no demerit points. Although tempting, I declined and was told to send my information and pictures in an email to determine if a trial would go ahead. Although the email was read more than once (I use a tracker for important emails), I didn't hear back. Then I got a notice of trial right after the holidays. I requested discovery and to speak with Prosecutor. I got a call today from the Prosecutor advising me that the charge is being withdrawn due to insufficient grounds to proceed and that I don't need to show up in Feb.




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