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Speeding in Construction Zone, Fine Double but No Workers
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:09 pm 
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I received a speeding ticket for speeding in a construction zone. The officer noted "workers present" on the ticket and doubled the fine. There were no workers present however, it was 7:40am on a Saturday and nobody was there. Based on what I read, workers actually have to be present at the site for the fine to be doubled. Also, it appears that that type of mistake is grounds to get the ticket thrown out. Can anyone confirm if these two things are true? I've included links to a few of the articles I read below.

MYTH: IF THE OFFICER MAKES A SINGLE MISTAKE ON YOUR TRAFFIC TICKET, THE CASE WILL BE DROPPED
http://www.roadwarriors.ca/myth_ticket_mistakes
  • There are [some] mistakes that [can] have your traffic ticket thrown out: Incorrect fine or total payable recorded on the traffic ticket

Municipal Advisory: Construction Zone Changes - Bill 169
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/engineering/zones/
  • The legislation doubles the [fines] when there are workers present at the site


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Re: Speeding in Construction Zone, Fine Double but No Worker
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:40 pm 
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Posts: 1062
You're misunderstanding a bit here.

Just because you are in disagreement with the charge, doesn't mean the fine is incorrect. You were charged with speeding in a construction zone and the fine should reflect that.


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Re: Speeding in Construction Zone, Fine Double but No Worker
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:53 am 
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bend wrote:
You're misunderstanding a bit here. Just because you are in disagreement with the charge, doesn't mean the fine is incorrect. You were charged with speeding in a construction zone and the fine should reflect that.

Not sure I understand. The question I'm asking is whether the fine being doubled only applies when workers are actually *at* the site. There were no workers present at the site on the day/time of the ticket.


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Re: Speeding in Construction Zone, Fine Double but No Worker
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:04 pm 
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wwwKris wrote:
Not sure I understand. The question I'm asking is whether the fine being doubled only applies when workers are actually *at* the site. There were no workers present at the site on the day/time of the ticket.


You haven't proved anything. You say there were no workers and the officer disagrees. You have been given the opportunity to request a trial. If you wish to request a trial, you can request disclosure and see the evidence against you. Since the charge involves workers being present, there's a good chance the officer has written something in his notes regarding this. You're probably better off accepting a plea deal instead seeing how speeding is an absolute liability offense and they'll probably offer to drop the workers present portion anyways.

As for your second question on whether the ticket can be thrown out for incorrect fine, you haven't shown the fine to be incorrect. You are in disagreement with the charge, but it doesn't mean the fine is incorrect. It's like saying "the officer said I was doing 39km over but I was only 15km over, therefore the fine is incorrect". Incorrect fines are what you get when the officer makes a mistake on his numbers. It doesn't relate to what you're asking.


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Re: Speeding in Construction Zone, Fine Double but No Worker
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:12 pm 
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I would fight the ticket - never settle or plea if the officer is incorrect. If the officer claimed that there were officers present and you can show that none were (timeslips etc) it will call into question the judgment of the officer with the rest of the infraction.

Request a court date. See what you can do with regards to getting time-sheet information from the construction company.


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Re: Speeding in Construction Zone, Fine Double but No Worker
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:57 pm 
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Thank you very much for the responses bend and JohnnyPublic.

JohnnyPublic wrote:
Request a court date. See what you can do with regards to getting time-sheet information from the construction company.

That was my thought as well. I'm not sure exactly how I would go about getting that information. I'm currently looking to see if that type of information can be ATIPed. Do you have any thoughts on how I might go about obtaining the information?

bend wrote:
You're misunderstanding a bit here. Just because you are in disagreement with the charge, doesn't mean the fine is incorrect. You were charged with speeding in a construction zone and the fine should reflect that. As for your second question on whether the ticket can be thrown out for incorrect fine, you haven't shown the fine to be incorrect. You are in disagreement with the charge, but it doesn't mean the fine is incorrect. It's like saying "the officer said I was doing 39km over but I was only 15km over, therefore the fine is incorrect". Incorrect fines are what you get when the officer makes a mistake on his numbers. It doesn't relate to what you're asking.

To clarify, I'm not disagreeing with the fact that I was speeding (it was early, I had been driving for four hours already and was operating largely on auto-pilot and I didn't notice the speed change to an 80 zone until it was too late - all of which I know are not at all valid defences). I am, however, disagreeing with the fact that workers were actually there - they weren't, it was 7:40am on a Saturday and nobody was present. What I'm trying to clarify is (a) do workers actually have to be present for the doubling to be applied and (b) assuming I can prove that they weren't there, is that valid grounds to have the ticket thrown out.

For (b), the roadwarriors.ca website says:
There are, however, some mistakes that are fatal errors and can have your traffic ticket thrown out if handled in the proper manner at trial, some of which include the following:
* Incorrect fine or total payable recorded on the traffic ticket


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Re: Speeding in Construction Zone, Fine Double but No Worker
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:05 pm 
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The fatal error defence only works if the charge as written on the ticket doesn't match the set fine or total payable written on the ticket. In this case the charge written on the ticket and the fines written on the ticket match so the fatal error defence that rodwarriors.ca is talking about won't work. What you are arguing is that you did not commit the offence you were charged with, speeding in construction zone when workers are present, because there were no workers there at the time. This is a reasonable argument to make, but you are going to have to make it at trial, you can't simply ignore the ticket and wait for it to be thrown out as you would if you were using the fatal error defence. So in order to win you are going to either have to present some evidence that there were no workers there that day or see if you can get the cop to admit it when you cross examine him at trial.

According to section 14.1 of the HTA workers do have to be present in order for the fines to double.

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... 0h08_e.htm
Penalty for speeding in construction zones

(14.1) Every person who contravenes this section in a construction zone designated under subsection (8) or (8.1) when there is a worker in the construction zone is liable on conviction, not to the fines set out in subsection (14), but, where the rate of speed at which the motor vehicle was driven,
(a) is less than 20 kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit, to a fine of double the fine set out in clause (14) (a) for each kilometre per hour that the motor vehicle was driven over the speed limit;
(b) is 20 kilometres per hour or more but less than 30 kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit, to a fine of double the fine set out in clause (14) (b) for each kilometre per hour that the motor vehicle was driven over the speed limit;
(c) is 30 kilometres per hour or more but less than 50 kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit, to a fine of double the fine set out in clause (14) (c) for each kilometre per hour that the motor vehicle was driven over the speed limit; and
(d) is 50 kilometres per hour or more over the posted speed limit, to a fine of double the fine set out in clause (14) (d) for each kilometre per hour that the motor vehicle was driven over the speed limit. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 17 (8).


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Re: Speeding in Construction Zone, Fine Double but No Worker
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:08 pm
Posts: 550
Lets say you convince the courts that there were no workers present. The courts will simply amend the fine in front of you.

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... e.htm#BK50
Quote:
Amendment of information or certificate
34. (1) The court may, at any stage of the proceeding, amend the information or certificate as may be necessary if it appears that the information or certificate,
(a) fails to state or states defectively anything that is requisite to charge the offence;
(b) does not negative an exception that should be negatived; or
(c) is in any way defective in substance or in form.
IMO you're not eligible for the forced fatal error, because you need to appear at a trial to make your case w.r.t. the workers. At which point you can not force a fatal error, because the courts can amend the face of the ticket in w/e way they please.

Another analogy is doing 60 in a flashing 40 zone; you successfully argue the sign wasn't flashing; courts amend the charge to 60 in a 50 (default limit where signs aren't posted).


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