Failure to stop for emergency vehicle

andrewjsl
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Failure to stop for emergency vehicle

by: andrewjsl on
Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:24 pm

My mom received a ticket under OHTA 159(1). She was turning left at an intersection. The light was green and there were no cars in front of her. She entered the intersection and waited for incoming traffic to clear so that she could complete the turn. As she waited, a fire truck with its sirens on was driving from the street onto which she was turning (perpendicular). He honked at her (presumably for her to get out of the way) and she proceeded to make the turn (and clear the intersection). At the same time, the light changed to amber.

Soon after, a police car pulled her over and asked her if she knew why she was being stopped. She really had no idea. My mom is a very careful driver and has been driving for 30 years without any accidents or tickets. The officer told her that she should not have made the turn, and that the fire truck could have passed her. She also said that she could arrest her for this offence, but will do her a favor and not do so.

We've asked for a trial (date is set) and requested disclosure. We received handwritten notes and nothing else. We had asked for dashboard cam footage (from both the police cruiser and fire truck) but this wasn't provided (it isn't clear whether this is because there is no footage or because they don't want to use it and therefore aren't disclosing). In the notes, the officers states that my mom's car was behind the white line (and NOT in the middle of the intersection); this is not true, because any driver who is turning left enters the intersection rather than waiting behind the white line when the light is green. The officer also wrote that my mom said she "panicked", which is also not true. This isn't the first time my mom had to clear the path for an emergency vehicle and knew exactly what to do.

According to the OHTA, one needs to pull over to the right to allow an emergency vehicle, except when in an intersection, at which time the driver should clear it and then pull over.

I was wondering if anyone has any advice what to do with this ticket. It's not the cost or the demerit points, but the fact that my mom didn't do anything wrong. I would really appreciate any comments or suggestions.


jsherk
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by: jsherk on
Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:42 pm

Did the fire truck approach from the red light direction? Maybe a diagram would be more helpful.

Did the police officer see this happen, or did the fire department report her?

There probably is not any video which is why you did not get any.

Can you scan and post the notes (blank out personal/officer info)?
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


andrewjsl
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by: andrewjsl on
Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:00 pm

Yes, the fire truck was approaching from the direction that had a red light. I attached a diagram that I hope will clarify (see next post due to limit of three files/post). The officer apparently saw it happen, although her notes state that she heard the fire truck honking, which I believe is what got the officer's attention. I've attached the officer's notes as well.
Attachments
1.jpg
1.jpg (212.34 KiB) Viewed 1035 times
2.jpg
2.jpg (198.57 KiB) Viewed 1035 times
3.jpg
3.jpg (142.14 KiB) Viewed 1035 times






andrewjsl
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by: andrewjsl on
Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:12 am

argyll wrote:The diagram seems to show the car directly in the way of the fire truck.
Exactly. My mom was in the middle of the intersection, waiting to turn left (as any driver would do in the same situation) and the fire truck honked at her to get out of the way. That's why we're so confused about why this officer ticketed her for completing the turn to clear the intersection (despite what she wrote in her notes).


jsherk
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by: jsherk on
Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:31 am

159(1)(a) reads:
Approaching, following emergency vehicles
Stop on approach of vehicle with flashing lights or bell or siren sounding
159. (1) The driver of a vehicle, upon the approach of a police department vehicle with its bell or siren sounding or with its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light or red and blue light, or upon the approach of an ambulance, fire department vehicle or public utility emergency vehicle with its bell or siren sounding or its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light, shall immediately bring such vehicle to a standstill,
(a) as near as is practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway and parallel therewith and clear of any intersection;


According to your moims version, she did the correct thing. According to the police notes, she did not.
So the problem you have is that it will be your moms word against the officers word. Who do you think they believe?

I would be contacting the fire department and trying to get the names of any firefighters in the front seat of the vehicle and get statements from them and subponea them to come to court if they agree with your mom.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


andrewjsl
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by: andrewjsl on
Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:34 pm

jsherk wrote:159(1)(a) reads:
Approaching, following emergency vehicles
Stop on approach of vehicle with flashing lights or bell or siren sounding
159. (1) The driver of a vehicle, upon the approach of a police department vehicle with its bell or siren sounding or with its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light or red and blue light, or upon the approach of an ambulance, fire department vehicle or public utility emergency vehicle with its bell or siren sounding or its lamp producing intermittent flashes of red light, shall immediately bring such vehicle to a standstill,
(a) as near as is practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway and parallel therewith and clear of any intersection;


According to your moims version, she did the correct thing. According to the police notes, she did not.
So the problem you have is that it will be your moms word against the officers word. Who do you think they believe?

I would be contacting the fire department and trying to get the names of any firefighters in the front seat of the vehicle and get statements from them and subponea them to come to court if they agree with your mom.

Thanks so much for your feedback jsherk. I will try to contact the Fire Department and get in touch with the firefighters in the vehicle that day.

Another idea I had is to go to the intersection in question, and film cars turning left for 10-20 minutes. Perhaps if we can show that a couple dozen cars turning left on a green light enter the intersection while preparing to make the turn (like any normal driver would do), that will cast reasonable doubt on the officer's statement that my mom waited behind the white line.

This unfortunate situation has made us lose faith in our law enforcement officials. It's unfair that they can say whatever they want, and are believed simply because they are LE. Going forward, I'm going to buy dashboard cams for both my mom and myself, in case anything like this happens again. At least that way we will have video evidence of the truth.


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bobajob
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by: bobajob on
Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:41 am

dashcam ...........

I gotta get me one soon
--------------------------------------------------------------
* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail


screeech
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by: screeech on
Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:56 pm

" It's unfair that they can say whatever they want, and are believed simply because they are LE"
Unfortunately jsherks view is quite jaded, which you are buying into...don't...jsherk is wrong. The justices of the peace don't always take the officer's statement as true over a accused person's. I have seen on many, many occasions where an accused won over the officer, it actually happens often. If you go into court and cross examine the officer to the best of your abilities trying to cast some doubt on their version, and then your mother may give her side of the story which may cast doubt as to what actually happened. The JP may be left in doubt as to what did happen and your mother should be acquitted...Personally, I would not contact the fire dept. to take statements from those on the call...They are not obligated to talk to you, and don't forget who's side they represent...




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