I recently received my first ticket while driving on a rural road. I was in a 50 zone when I looked ahead and saw an 80km/h sign. Assuming I was below the speed limit I accelerated. At the same moment an officer travelling in the opposite direction drove by me, a bit down the road I was pulled over and cited for 95 in a 50.
I drove back to take a look at the signs and where I passed the cop, his sign reads 50 travelling in the direction he was moving and mine is 80. As this is a change in speed limit under HTA 615 3.1 there is to be a begins sign posted in any transition zone. I took a video and can verify on google street view the signage error.
I was wondering if anyone has anything I can additionally add to my defence. Though I can't dispute the absolute speed I was travelling at, my thought is to argue that the road signage not being in compliance with the HTA contributed to me believing I was below the limit and was the reason I accelerated to the speed I was travelling at and that if the correct speed limit sign with begins sign was there, I would have continued to travel at an acceptable speed until after passing the sign and thus would not have been in violation when I was registered on the cops radar.
Thanks for any additional support.
I have noticed something similar in Guelph, on a stretch of road one direction is like 70 the other is 50, don't know why, but there you go.
IF the posted speed was 80 and you where doing 95, then you where speeding, mind you your saying your ticket was saying 95 in a 50 as opposed to 95 in an 80,
I think that might be a fatal error.
If it isn't (the other guys here can confirm that) then go to trial, but admitting to speeding would convict you, if it's a fatal, thats the best outcome
Somone will be along to shoot my comments down or confirm them, shortly
* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail
You said that you noticed the 80km/h sign AHEAD of you... the 80 zone does not start until you get to the 80 sign. It is a 50 zone right up to the 80 sign. There is no "speed up zone".
Thanks for the reply,
I am going back and forth before getting more advice. Speeding being absolute liability and going by the signs I was in a 50 at the time and I Won't be able to argue that, and if it were just the case I would pay and move on.
What I am disputing was that As a result of me being improperly informed by the signs on the road as they are not set up correctly as outlined by the HTA I was led to believe I was driving below the limit and thus accelerated and was therefore caught speeding. If the sign was correct I would have never accelerated to the velocity I was, in the zone I was in.
That is what is bothering me about the ticket and why I want to fight it.
jsherk wrote:You said that you noticed the 80km/h sign AHEAD of you... the 80 zone does not start until you get to the 80 sign. It is a 50 zone right up to the 80 sign. There is no "speed up zone".
I fully agree, however a change in speed zones must have the xxkm/h begins sign according to the HTA (how I read it 615 3.1) This sign didn't have the begins. Had it I would have waited to the start and accelerated. Due to the sign being incorrect I was led to believe I was in a 80 zone currently and was well below the limit which resulted in the acceleration while still in the 50 zone.
Okay, I see... you saw an 80km/h sign ahead with no "begins" and assumed you already in an 80, but the 80 sign should have had a begins on it.
This is a tough one to argue... Can you argue that it is the wrong charge? This may or may not work. You would definitely need video and your argument would be that without a "begins" sign, this makes it an 80 zone not a 50 zone.
As a side note, you are innocent until proven guilty... I recommend you ALWAYS make them prove it by going to trial.
WHAT SHOULD I DO? HOW DO I FIGHT MY TICKET?
Regardless of how simple or complex the charge is (from parking tickets to DUI), you have the RIGHT to a fair trial and a RIGHT to see the evidence they have against you. Even if you admit to doing whatever you were charged with, you still have these rights.
So my advice is that you should plead NOT GUILTY and request a Trial with the officer present. Once you get your Notice of Trial with a trial date, you can request disclosure (copy of notes of all officers involved, copy of radar/laser device manual if applicable).
Once you get the disclosure (officers notes), post them back on the forum so we can review them and give you more advice (black out any personal id info and officer id info).
You have nothing to lose by doing this, as you can still plead guilty and pay the ticket anytime up to the trial. You have everything to gain because the officers notes contain what they will testify, and if something is missing in their notes, you might be able to get the charge dropped.
SHOULD I HIRE A PARALEGAL/LAWYER?
In order to save some money, you can usually do all the above steps yourself first, without the need to hire a paralegal or lawyer. Once you get the disclosure and depending on the seriousness of the charge, you can then decide whether to hire one or whether to try and fight it yourself. You can also arrange to meet with the prosecutor yourself before the trial, to see if they will offer you a plea deal. Again, there is no point in hiring a paralegal to negotiate a plea deal you can do yourself.
Points to conisder:
- Do not hire any paralegal/lawyer that suggests they can win without seeing the disclosure first.
- Only hire a paralegal/lawyer that will review the disclosure with you and suggest possible defenses to try and fight it.
- Do not hire any paralegal/lawyer that considers "negotiating a plea deal" a win. Although a plea deal might be the best choice for you, some paralegals do not try to fight at all and will only negotiate plea deals and then they say they "won".
- Do not hire any paralegal/lawyer that "gurantees a win or you don't pay" as this is illegal in Ontario.
VEHICLE INSURANCE & DEMERITS
The effects of pleading guilty to a 0 demerit charge, can still cause your insurance rates to increase for 3 years. It is important to remember that insurance companies do NOT care about demerit points. Insurance companies rate the tickets you get as either MINOR, MAJOR or SERIOUS. For each minor conviction you have, your insurance may raise your rates a little. For each major conviction you have, your insurance may raise your rates a lot. For each serious conviction you have, your insurance may DOUBLE your rates or even refuse to provide you with insurance at all.
For example, most speeding tickets, regardless of demerit points, are considered minor and will affect your insurance the same. Example:
- Speeding 1 over to 15 over = 0 demerit points = Considered MINOR by inusrance company.
- Speeding 16 over to 29 over = 3 demerit points = also considered MINOR by inusrance company.
- Speeding 30 over to 49 over = 4 demerit points = also considered MINOR by most inusrance companies (some may consider this MAJOR).
If you get a ticket for 1 over, it will affect your insurance exactly the same as if you got a ticket for 29 over. The insurance companies do not care about the demerits and do not care about the speed.
Don't lose the pics and video. By the time you get to trial the sign may be fixed. Happened to me but I had the video and pictures.
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