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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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mis-read sign
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:44 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Keswick, ON
Hi everyone,

I need some advice and this seems like a great forum to ask questions on so here we go. My story would be quite funny if I didn't get a ticket at the end of it.

A couple of months back I was driving to Guelph on sunday. First time driving there. I wear glasses but this time I decided to try out my new contact lenses. So I was driving down 401 when I by mistake took the 403 exit. (I blame my contact lenses) When I realized the mistake, I was already in Burlington. I called my brother for directions back to the 401 - on my hands free device. He gave me directions and then my phone died. And I have a phobia of being lost. So I panicked. I got off at the Walkers line as per instructions and was driving about 15 k above limit before I would forget the instructions - and because I was panicking. I couldn't help it. As I got out of the city where it was a 60 km/h, there was a lot of fields and the speed sign read 80km/h. And that means that I raised my speed. I think I was going around 95 km/h in 80 zone so there wouldn't be a problem. However, as I drove over a hill I saw a police vehicle and as soon as he saw me he put his lights on. Well, turns out that the sign I was 100% positive said 80km/h was actually 60km/h. I misread the sign, only God knows how. (Can I blame it on my contact lenses? lol) I was so shocked when the officer told me it was 60km/h that I couldn't even get out a straight sentence. He said he clocked me going 99, and that's what he wrote on the ticket. So i just blurted out "I'm late and I'm lost!!" and he said "if you're lost you shouldn't be driving fast". (Well it's natural to panic when you're terrified of being lost.) Then he gave me a ticket and directions to 401.

I've never had anything to do with police before, and, well, I'm scared of them to be honest with you. And getting a ticket is just about giving me fainting spells. I filed the ticket for court, and I have a first attendance on Monday. I wanted to see what they could offer me, but the question is, can I tell them my story?? If I tell it, I'm basically admitting that I was speeding in a 60 zone - even when I had no idea of it.

What should I do?


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Re: mis-read sign
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:26 pm
Posts: 2881
Location: Toronto
Since you said you've never had anything to do with the police before... you'd obviously have a clean driving record.

You've got the First Attendance meeting, so there are several options here. When you go to the First Attendance, they'll probably offer you a lower speed. In your case, I'd say it would either be 29 km/h over (which is 3 demerit points) or 15 km/h over (0 demerit points). If you've got a lengthy driver record and the Prosecutor's in a good mood, they'll offer you 15. Your insurance company might not increase your rates in that case (no guarantees obviously). So you plead guilty to a lesser speed. That's one thing you could do.

Unfortunately, telling them your story won't really help. The Prosecutor may be sympathetic (not likely, but he/she might) but they still won't drop the charge in that case.

If you wanted to fight it outright, you could start doing things like requesting disclosure, looking up case law, etc. We can try to help you with that process, although speeding tickets are not that easy to fight. They are "absolute liability" offences, which basically means that if they can prove that you committed the offence, your only defence is that you had to do it out of necessity (life-threatening emergency). There are ways to question if you committed the offence, such as the officer didn't use/test the radar/laser properly, didn't visually observe your vehicle for long enough before using the device, lost sight of your vehicle for some time, etc. Easier said than done.

Or, if you're intimidated by the process, you could always pay a paralegal to take care of it for you. They will gather all of the evidence and decide if they can fight it, or if a plea-bargain is the best thing to do. You don't have to do anything else... just walk into their office with the ticket, pay them, and it's taken care of.

Hope this provides some useful information...

_________________
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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Re: mis-read sign
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:44 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Keswick, ON
hey, thanks for your input Radar. I guess I'll see how the monday meeting will go. At least I still have those options you mentioned opened if I decide to move it to trial. You were right in thinking that I have a clean record at the moment and I'd like to keep it that way. It wouldn't be too bad if it wasn't tied to the insurance companies like they do abroad, but..... well, that's not gonna change any time soon.


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