156 (1) (a) Drive wrong way - divided highway

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156 (1) (a) Drive wrong way - divided highway

by: novice on
Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:58 am

I was charged under the HTA section noted in the subject line.
This was on a city of Ottawa collector road with 2 lanes in each direction with a yellow line. This road was not a divided highway, it was one roadway.
Do I have a strong case to plead not guilty in trial because the road was undivided?
Can the offences officer change the charge to unsafe passing if I plead not guilty to the above charge.




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by: novice on
Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:03 pm

Attended my trial. Provided evidence citing definitions of divide highway from dictionaries and technical highway design manuals. Cited examples from reports produced by consulting engineers. HTA did not have a definition of divided highway. I could not convince the JP that a yellow line does not constitute the median separation required for a divided highway and I lost the case.
I couldn't believe the injustice because of one person's interpretation being technically incorrect. Unfortunately it was the one person who's judgement mattered. Will not bother to fight another ticket again. Courts seem to be tilted in favour of prosecutors.






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by: novice on
Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:46 am

It was on Cumberland Street north of Clarence Street.
I'm not sure what effect this charge will have on my insurance and whether the effort and cost of an appeal is worthwhile. Though with professional help, I think an appeal could be successful.
If you accept the JP's interpretation that the yellow line is sufficient to delineated a divided highway, then according to this regulation, it would be illegal to pass over any yellow line. However, we know from case law that the yellow line is a guide only based on sight distance. Only unsafe passing is illegal. I have 23 years of transportation engineering experience with a provincial road authority and the JP and prosecutor discounted my expertise in this area.


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by: CliffClaven on
Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:44 am

Hmmm. Well I would agree with you that Cumberland Street is certainly NOT a divided highway at-or-north of Clarence. I would expect that the facts about whether or not this part of the roadway is a "divided highway" would be 100% relevant and material.

Unless you somehow got your north and south mixed up. Cumberland goes from being a one-way northbound at George Street to being a two-way highway. And of course York Street is divided where it intersects Cumberland. But this doesn't matter if you're right about the location.


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