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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Should I Continue To Fight? Trial Rescheduled
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:36 pm 
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Hello Everyone,

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and any advice would be appreciated. I just got out of court today, my trial has been rescheduled. I requested disclosure, which the prosecutor told me today I needed to do at least 2 months beforehand, but they sent me the trial date with only 6 weeks notice, so they messed up. I pointed this out and the judge acknowledged, but since the officer showed up today (I was hoping he wouldn't), the trial has been rescheduled to Nov to give me time to have disclosure. I'm just wondering if anyone with more experience thinks it's worth continuing the fight.

Background
I got a speeding ticket in May, the officer claiming I was going 83km/h in a 60km/h zone. He decided to be "nice" and reduce it to 65kmh, which comes with 0 demerit points and a reduced fine, about $30.
The officer then decided to be a jerk and wrote me a $130 ticket for License Plate Obstruction, claiming the cover I had over my plate should not be there. He said if I remove the cover and present such evidence to a prosecutor, this ticket would be dropped, allegedly.

My Defense
I have a my driver's abstract from the ministry to show that I have a clean record, with these incidents being the first, if that will help with the judge.

In regards to the license plate, my car is from 2005. The cover is a transparent cover put on by the dealership. It does not impact the plain visibility of the plate in anyway, it has been on the car since it came from the dealership, and there was never an issue at all. I've been stopped by officers before for RIDE etc and no one mentioned anything. I have photos of the plates and will argue that I shouldn't be held guilty for something I did not do and that wasn't an issue for 12 years. If the officer wants the plate removed, fine, I've done so, but a warning should have sufficed instead of a hefty ticket.

In regards to the speeding ticket, the incident happened because the road is curvy and in one stretch you can't see what's in front of you until you complete the curve. When I did so about 200m in front of me I see a black car pulled to the side and some dude standing in the right lane (this was the officer and his car but I couldn't make it out). There were other cars around so I switched into the left lane, but to do so required me speeding up to merge safely. As I began to slow down that when he decided to stop me.

Also, the zone is a 60km/h zone, but the very next week after I was stopped it changed to a 50km/h zone. The ticket says 65km/h in a 60km/h zone. I'm wondering if the ticket would be voided if I show that it's a 50km/h zone and the officer put down the wrong information? I doubt he would have information prepared showing that it changed the week after.

I just don't want my insurance to go up, and that is why I initially decided to fight these tickets, but this is going such a headache now. I know speeding tickets affect insurance, but what if it's just a minor 5km/h one time thing? And would the license plate issue affect it at all?

Thanks!
Noxa


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Re: Should I Continue To Fight? Trial Rescheduled
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:42 pm 
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Noxa wrote:
In regards to the license plate, my car is from 2005. The cover is a transparent cover put on by the dealership. It does not impact the plain visibility of the plate in anyway, it has been on the car since it came from the dealership, and there was never an issue at all. I've been stopped by officers before for RIDE etc and no one mentioned anything. I have photos of the plates and will argue that I shouldn't be held guilty for something I did not do and that wasn't an issue for 12 years. If the officer wants the plate removed, fine, I've done so, but a warning should have sufficed instead of a hefty ticket.


Whether or not the dealer put on the plate cover wont matter. You're driving the car. It's been your responsibility since you left the lot 12 years ago.

Just because you haven't received a ticket for it in 12 years doesn't make it any less valid. It just means you haven't been charged with it yet.

You can still be ticketed for a clear plate. It's up to the officer to decide whether it's obstructing or not. Plates, much like signs, are made to be read no matter what kind of light you throw at it. That could mean the sun, headlights, or anything else that could cause a glare. You throw a piece of plastic in front of it and that changes. It could also be that the cover is yellowing, pitting, etc.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if they offer to drop this ticket altogether if you're willing to plead guilty to the speeding charge.

Noxa wrote:
In regards to the speeding ticket, the incident happened because the road is curvy and in one stretch you can't see what's in front of you until you complete the curve. When I did so about 200m in front of me I see a black car pulled to the side and some dude standing in the right lane (this was the officer and his car but I couldn't make it out). There were other cars around so I switched into the left lane, but to do so required me speeding up to merge safely. As I began to slow down that when he decided to stop me.


If you can't see, then the solution is to drive according to the conditions. You can't drive blind and act surprised when there's an obstruction in the road. You're responsible for what's in front of you. Also, you can't make the argument for safety by actually accelerating while in officer is on the road. The solution is to either immediately switch lanes or slow down and switch lanes when there's an opportunity to do so.

Noxa wrote:
Also, the zone is a 60km/h zone, but the very next week after I was stopped it changed to a 50km/h zone. The ticket says 65km/h in a 60km/h zone. I'm wondering if the ticket would be voided if I show that it's a 50km/h zone and the officer put down the wrong information? I doubt he would have information prepared showing that it changed the week after.


The officer didn't put down the wrong information. If it was a 60km zone when the ticket was written, then that's what it is. Whether or not they change it afterwords is irrelevant.

Noxa wrote:
I just don't want my insurance to go up, and that is why I initially decided to fight these tickets, but this is going such a headache now. I know speeding tickets affect insurance, but what if it's just a minor 5km/h one time thing? And would the license plate issue affect it at all?


Insurance providers don't calculate rates by the kilometer. Whether it's 5km or 15km, they don't care. It all ends up in the same stack with the same surcharge. This only changes once you get up to something like 50km.

I don't believe the plate issue will be a problem.


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Re: Should I Continue To Fight? Trial Rescheduled
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:36 pm
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Hello Bend,

Thank you for replying and for your input.
bend wrote:
Noxa wrote:
Also, the zone is a 60km/h zone, but the very next week after I was stopped it changed to a 50km/h zone. The ticket says 65km/h in a 60km/h zone. I'm wondering if the ticket would be voided if I show that it's a 50km/h zone and the officer put down the wrong information? I doubt he would have information prepared showing that it changed the week after.

The officer didn't put down the wrong information. If it was a 60km zone when the ticket was written, then that's what it is. Whether or not they change it afterwords is irrelevant.

In terms of my argument , I have pictures of where I was ticketed and a speed sign saying it's 50km/h. I don't think the officer has any idea the speed in that zone has changed, so if in my day of court I were to say I want the ticket voided because he wrote 65 in 60, and here is proof (my pictures) that it's a 50 zone, would that argument work at all? I would essentially be saying if he's not even sure of what speed zone we're in, how can we be sure he even knows what speed I was going? I don't believe he'll have anything to show that it has changed, or that it was 60.

It seems a good option would be to ask for the plate covering charged dropped, and in exchange plead guilty to the 65km in a 60km zone, and just eat the loss. At least it would be a lesser fine and no demerits. I think that's a load of trash in regards to the plate covering thing, but it is what it is I suppose.

Nox


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Re: Should I Continue To Fight? Trial Rescheduled
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:44 am
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I'm not sure if you realize what you're even asking here. You are asking advice about lying in court. I can't help you there.


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Re: Should I Continue To Fight? Trial Rescheduled
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:09 am
Posts: 180
If you decide to plead not guilty to the speeding charge, the officer's notes will show you were driving 83 and the crown will amend the charge to 83 in a 60. You do NOT want that. The limit at the time you were pulled over was 60. Even if the sign were to be replaced two minutes later showing it as a 100 zone, 60 was in effect at the time the officer charged you. To take your argument one step farther, if I'm the prosecutor and I hear you arguing that the limit is really 50, I'll ask to amend the charge to 65 in a 50 and hit you with a bigger fine. As for the plate protector, different officers have different interpretations of what is considered obstruction. Sure, you'd probably beat that one if you fought it, but you'd also be facing the amended speeding charge.

If I were in your position, I'd take the deal.


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Re: Should I Continue To Fight? Trial Rescheduled
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:36 pm
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I think that's what I'll do. Thanks for the input bend and Zatota.


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