I was driving up the skyway bridge in Burlington Ontario in the right lane. I noticed an emergency vehicle on the right side with flashers about half way up. I slowed my vehicle by at least 10 kms to 90km right away but another car started to tailgate me very close. I even said to my wife - oh my god this person is about to hit us. I looked in my rear view mirror and felt it was unsafe to slow down further. I looked over my left shoulder and cars were driving past me quite quickly. I also thought the tailgator was about to try to overtake me as aggressive drivers often do when a person is driving to slow for them.
I finally moved over to the left but did not cross lanes until just as I passed the emergency vehicle. That police vehicle then pulled out and pulled me over from that second lane.
I explained this all to the officer and she said I should have slowed down more or moved over to the other lane quicker - she insisted that when a person slows down the tailgaters will not hit you. I did not agree but felt it was not in my best interest to argue. She gave me a $490 ticket and said to tell my story to the prosecutor.
She was very polite and professional but I still feel it was not safe to slow down or change lanes.
Do I have a case?
I just wanted to add a bit more about the vehicle that was behind me. I entered the Skyway Bridge from the Northshore blvd on ramp. This ramp is on the right side of the bridge entering from the slow lane. The vehicle that I mentioned above was behind me and was also entering from Northshore. This vehicle was obviously anxious to get on the highway. She was driving very close even as i entered the bridge and got closer and closer as we approached the accident. At one point as we got further on the bridge she was weaving back and forth and appeared to be showing off to the other passengers in the car. My wife witnessed the whole thing from her side too. This person was driving a large SUV and appeared to be in her early twenties.
Might be worthwhile to consult with a paralegal. While I'm sure the Crown will offer you a plea deal to a lesser fine, I doubt they'd simply withdraw the charge based on your explanation alone. While I don't think you'd be expected to jam on the brakes with a tailgater, it might be hard to articulate that the risk posed by the tailgater outweighed the risk you posed to the officer by not slowing down.
Stanton wrote:Might be worthwhile to consult with a paralegal. While I'm sure the Crown will offer you a plea deal to a lesser fine, I doubt they'd simply withdraw the charge based on your explanation alone. While I don't think you'd be expected to jam on the brakes with a tailgater, it might be hard to articulate that the risk posed by the tailgater outweighed the risk you posed to the officer by not slowing down.
You've made a very good point. Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate it. Quick question about the 3 demerit points ---
I've had two tickets in my life and this makes 3 - previously a speeding ticket about 20 years ago and there were no demerit points were involved ... then about a year ago I was talking on my cell phone and driving (not sure if that involves demerit points). I've now had more tickets in my 40's than I had in my 20's
If the Crown offers me a plea deal to a lesser fine will that likely mean they will also remove the 3 demerit point penalty?
Does losing three demerit points typically automatically mean my insurance will go up in my situation?
The insurance companies don't look at the number of demerit points you have, only the number of convictions and whether those convictions were for major or minor offences. So offences with no demerit points can still effect your insurance. They typically only take into account the last three years of your driving history so you don't need to worry about anything that happened more then three years ago. Unfortunately since this will be your second ticket within a three year period, there is a good chance your insurance company will increase your rates.
I sure hope the Crown will offer me a plea deal to a lesser fine (as Stanton mentioned) but it sounds like the ill effects with the insurance company will remain the same. i suspect this could end up costing me a ton.
It's a shame because I do try very hard at being a safe driver and spend most of my time in the slow lane. Ironically If I was more aggressive I would never have been in that lane.
Anyway, another valuable lesson.
I wonder if there is a benefit to contacting a paralegal or a ex-copper type of business to see if they can help me articulate my story better. In my humble opinion (and my wifes) it wasn't safe to change lanes.
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