Disobey stop sign, stop signs on both sides of intersection?

Heynow999
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Disobey stop sign, stop signs on both sides of intersection?

Unread post by Heynow999 on

I got a ticket, Disobey stop sign, sec 136.1.a on dec 6th

I made a left in an intersection and was pulled over by a police officer in an unmarked car who had been sitting down the road. A classic fishing hole situation. I was genuinely surprised when he stopped me and told me I went through a stop sign without even slowing down. I know to shut up and be polite and take the ticket. I immediately went back and looked at the intersection. It is a 4 way stop with 4 lanes of traffic on the road where the stop sign is that I went through. There is on-street parking allowed up to 15 meters from the stop sign. There was a pick-up truck parked in the last spot before the stop sign. I was driving a car. I took several pictures. What happened is I didn't see the stop sign because the truck was there.

After five minutes of googling I could see that this intersection doesn't meet several Ontario regulations. My strategy is to point out these deficiencies to the Town of Markham, get them to agree with me, then use this as my defense. Here is the email I sent them

"This is concerning the intersection of Burr Oak Ave and Hammersly Blvd in Markham. The problem is that if you approach that intersection going eastbound on Burr Oak the stop sign is often not visible due to the on-street parking.
Specifically, according to Highway Traffic act, R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 615, SIGNS, SECTION 45.
" A sign prescribed by this Regulation, other than a sign prescribed by section 13, 14, 15, 24, 25, 26 or 27, shall be so placed as to be visible at all times for a distance of at least 60 metres to the traffic approaching the sign. O. Reg. 175/08, s. 15."
The on-street parking is allowed up 15 meters from the sign, thus making the sign often blocked by parked vehicles.
Furthermore, according to book 5, page 20 of the Ontario Traffic Manual, it is an inappropriate use of a 4 way stop.
"Inappropriate Use of All-way Stop Control;
All-way stop controls should not be used under the
following conditions:
• On multi-lane approaches where a parked or
stopped vehicle on the right will obscure the
STOP sign;"

I do see that there is an additional stop sign on the left side of the intersection. The problem with that sign is that it is not standard practice to put a stop sign on the left side of an intersection. It could easily confuse a driver who is not familiar with the intersection. Also, because there are 4 lanes of traffic at that point the width of the roadway would cause the stop sign to fall outside the drivers 10 to 40 degree cone of view.

As you can see this intersection does not meet the current regulations. I believe there is a high chance of drivers not seeing the stop signs. There is also a public school a few blocks down the street.
The obvious solution is to move the on street parking back so that the sign is visible from 60 meters at all times
Please reevaluate the signage for this intersection


So I get a call today from the Town of Markham. They agree that it is a problem intersection, and people often miss the stop sign completely and go right through the intersection. I asked if they could reply to my email with something to that effect but they had only been told that there was a complaint about the intersection. They said that was why they added the sign on the left side of the intersection. That is all they are going to do. I have nothing in writing or email.

Questions... Is the stop sign on the left side of the 4 lane intersection a proper solution?

Do I have a valid argument that the intersection doesn't meet regulations?

Advice on how to proceed?

I asked for an early resolution in the hopes that I may be able to show the JP this and get it dropped.

Sorry for the length

PS, I just found this in "Highway Traffic act, R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 615, SIGNS" with regards to the stop sign on the left
" 7. A stop sign shall be erected on the right side of the highway, facing approaching traffic, at a point not less than 1.5 metres and not more than 15 metres from the intersecting roadway or the nearest rail at a railway crossing. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 615, s. 7; O. Reg. 63/06, s. 1."


bend
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Unread post by bend on

A stop sign on the left side of the road doesn't cancel out the sign on the right.

A stop sign being placed so it is visible by the driver at 60 metres is to insure it's not placed behind a wall or fixture, not that the on-road traffic may at some point block your view of the sign.


Heynow999
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Unread post by Heynow999 on

Im not saying the sign was blocked by traffic, it was blocked by parked cars.

I believe this is what is meant by the following from book 5, page 20 of the Ontario Traffic Manual
"All-way stop controls should not be used under the
following conditions:
• On multi-lane approaches where a parked or
stopped vehicle on the right will obscure the
STOP sign;"


bend
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Unread post by bend on

Heynow999 wrote:Im not saying the sign was blocked by traffic, it was blocked by parked cars.

I believe this is what is meant by the following from book 5, page 20 of the Ontario Traffic Manual
"All-way stop controls should not be used under the
following conditions:
• On multi-lane approaches where a parked or
stopped vehicle on the right will obscure the
STOP sign;"
The Ontario Highway Traffic Manual is a set of guidelines and recommendations. It does not supersede the Highway Traffic Act. In the scenario that the manual discusses legal requirements, the word "shall" or "must" will be used. "Should" indicates a recommended practice and that the action is advised, not mandatory.


Zatota
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Unread post by Zatota on

Do you have the name of the person with whom you spoke from the City of Markham? (It's not a town anymore, by the way) It's not the same as having it in writing, but you may be able to swing the case in your favour if you can demonstrate that the city realizes there's a problem. If a reasonable person driving with reasonable prudence has trouble seeing a stop sign, the court should hold the issue against the Crown, not the defendant. The fact there was a police officer fishing may also suggest that YRP is aware there's an issue and is taking advantage of it.


Whenaxis
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Unread post by Whenaxis on

I'm currently dealing with the City of Markham for a couple of stop sign tickets (one for a friend and another for a family member).

I made an inquiry on their online web form. They conducted an investigation and replied to me by email. I know that you can face some opposition for bringing up emails in court, so I asked if they had any documents or reports pertaining to the investigation, and they said no, usually for citizen inquiries, they just follow up by email.

Now, for any inquiries, I send a letter by mail or fax and ask that they reply in writing because a physical letter is much more likely to be accepted in court, especially with the official municipality letterhead and/or employee signature. I'm waiting for a response from them. I wrote them about a week ago, and of course following up in a few weeks if there's no response.

But definitely telephone conversations would not be accepted in court because there really isn't any record of anything, usually I try avoid that and if they try to call me, I send it to voicemail so at least there is some record of something.

To the OP's initial post, if you go for early resolution in York Region, they'll probably offer you a plea deal for disobey sign with 2 demerit points and a reduced fine of $60, although it's always up to the discretion of the prosecutor. The regulations and response from the City of Markham may help only if you're able to have an admissible record of it (see above).


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

If you know the name of the person you spoke to, you could try to get a summons (Form 109) to get them to come to court. You need to call the Provincial Offences Office and ask them when you can come in to see a Justice of the Peace to get a summons.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


Heynow999
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Unread post by Heynow999 on

Update,

So I sent an email to the local councillor laying out my concerns about the intersection. She said she would contact operations and see what they say about it. The response was this

" As discussed, the all-way stop is not in contravention of the Highway Traffic Act. The additional STOP sign on the left side of the street is installed for emphasis or in case an errant vehicle is illegally parked and/or obstructing the stop sign.



While the Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM) does not recommend all-way stops on multi-lane roads, it is a not a legislative document. The OTM is a set of standard practices and guidelines to be used by professional transportation practitioners. "

So the city of Markham is OK with the intersection. I notice that they don't say exactly why it is not in contravention.

So my question is, what about this?

" A sign prescribed by this Regulation, other than a sign prescribed by section 13, 14, 15, 24, 25, 26 or 27, shall be so placed as to be visible at all times for a distance of at least 60 metres to the traffic approaching the sign. O. Reg. 175/08, s. 15."

What does it mean exactly? What if there is parking in front of the sign and a cube van parks there? Where can I get an interpretation of this? Who has the final word?

Thanks


argyll
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Unread post by argyll on

I would say the final word is with the JP.




Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


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