Unfortunately I got a "Disobey Sign" ticket tonight in this weather for turning left at a no left turn intersection (Greenwood turning left onto O'Connor) and my question is if it is possible to fight this ticket successfully due to a variety of reasons.
First of all, since visibility was actually quite low in this snowy weather (first major one of the year), I couldn't see the sign that said no left turn especially this late at night. Visibility was pretty bad throughout the whole commute back. Wind was strong with gusts of snow everywhere.
Secondly, there was also construction at the intersection close to where I turned with a bunch of extra light sources that they put up so all my attention was focused onto those lights which I would say also affected my ability to see the no left turn sign.
Thirdly, I am unfamiliar with the signs on that road as I only took it after putting in gas at the Esso at Greenwood and Danforth so I figured going straight through Greenwood to O'Connor was fastest way to DVP.
Are the reasons above enough to possibly fight off this ticket? I have a clean driving record before this.
Also if I paid this fine ($110) would this raise my insurance rate? There was another ticket he gave me that said $150 (Disobey Sign - Community Zone) and he said it would also give me demerit points but bc I had a clean driving record, he only put that ticket as a warning.
I guess the first step would be to choose option 3 - trial option then request for disclosure? I have done some research and have read that it'd be best case scenario if the prosecutor reduced it to a municipal by law infraction, then this wouldn't go on my driver's Abstract and thus my insurance rates would be unaffected. Is this true? If so I guess this would be the goal yeah?
Any tips or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
I don't see any of your planned defences having any chance of success.
The ticket will affect your insurance although, as a first one, the effect will be very minimal or perhaps even though registered against you, no monetary effect at all.
You would be very fortunate to have the crown change this to a bylaw infraction. Plus some bylaw tickets count as if they are HTA. This might be one of them and someone else will have the answer to that.
Youve nothing to lose by asking for a trial and disclosure but what you really need to hope for is a break from the Crown which may be best obtained through early resolution.
Thabk you for your prompt response.
So what would be your recommendation? Should I try to contact the Proescutor in order to attempt to get a lesser fine amount or?
I would take the early resolution option. The more work you give a Crown the less likely they are to cut you a break. To be honest I think it is very unlikely they will amend the charge but if you go to trial and put the system through the bother of preparing disclosure then there is zero chance. Of course you might get lucky and have the officer not turn up or unforeseen crown adjournment that put you into charter territory but those are unlikely as well. If it were me I'd try the early resolution and if met with no offer then I'd probably pay it. My time is valuable although there are others here who will tell you to fight everything which is their right....and yours.
Jul 2016 Streetview: https://goo.gl/maps/fXEiGFWLuRP2
Was the sign covered in snow?
It appears you've already been given a break; you disobeyed the sign in a "Community Safety Zone". Sections of O'Connor Dr are CSZ: https://goo.gl/maps/exGoq9eTkVA2
Set Fine: $120
Victim Surcharge: $25
Court Fee: $5
Total Fine: $150
The crown will know you were given a break, and may be reluctant to plea-bargain anything lower; it does not hurt to try for an alternate charge with no points and lower fine.
Insurance consider convictions inside "Community Safety Zones" as Major Convictions; possible insurance policy cancellations or up to +100% increase in premiums.
By-Law plea-deals are quite rare, again... doesn't hurt to ask; just be prepared to bring the actual City of TO by-law that you were disobeying to the crown so that they at least have something to work with.
Even prosecutors that may be willing to offer it, will not know off the top of their head the by-law that prohibits left turns at O'Connor & Greenwood; if you get an adjournment to go look for it, you're rolling the dice the next prosecutor will say NO.
If you successfully get the by-law, be warned that you may still get two demerit points on your driver's license; the City rarely reports this to the MTO; insurance does not care about demerit points, they can only see HTA, CAIA, Criminal Code convictions; premiums will be unaffected if you get the by-law conviction.
2 demerit points - prohibited turns
Section 143 and subsection 144 (9) of the Highway Traffic Act and any municipal by-law prohibiting turns
Thanks for your feedback, Argyll. I will try the #2 option (attempt to reach an early resolution with Prosecutor).
iFly55, I cannot say for sure but it was definitely snowing a lot at that time of night and I did not see the sign right in front of the intersection and also the two signs on O'Connor Road. The first one right on Greenwood may have been covered in snow since I think I would be able to spot if it was not. The signs on O'Connor may have been blocked by the construction workers and their vehicles/lights that night since they were doing some major work there.
Also, the officer did say he was giving me a break because he issued that $150 ticket as a warning only because I had a clean driving record. So I guess I got lucky there.
The goal then, from what you're saying, is to attempt to turn the offence into a municipal by-law infraction since it would not affect my insurance rates but I will still get the 2 demerit points? Also, how much would insurance rates be affected if this was my first offence, the $110 fine?
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