I got 2 tickets at the same time.
1.) Disobey sign - highway traffic act sect 182 (2)
2.) Interfere with traffic - highway traffic act sect 170 (12)
Place: Just before the Unionville GO station, Markham
I took a U-turn 70-80 meters after the "no U-Turn" signboard. I took this right in the middle of the road. In doing so, i did not realize that there was another car following mine at a distance of <30 meters which is why i got the 2nd ticket (interfering with traffic).
This is my first ticket in Canada & from what the police officer told me & based on the research, it looks like #1 ticket has 2 demerit points & impact to insurance if convicted. While the #2 one does not have any demerit points but will impact insurance if convicted.
I have been given 3 options to respond to for both the tickets:
(a) plead guilty & pay the fine
(b) plead guilty & make submissions as to penalty (amount of fine or time to pay)
(c) not plead guilty & wish to have the trial conducted
I think for #1 ticket (disobey sign), i plan to respond with option#b to plead guilty & request to take off demerit points and/or reduce penalty amount.
For option#2 ticket (interfere with traffic), i plan to respond with option#c to not plead guilty & remove the charge. The way i plan to justify it is that my car wasn't stopped at any point in time when taking the U turn. Agreed that the car following mine was really close. But how does it interfere with traffic?
With this, if i get acquitted of one charge & convicted of the other (with reduced fines or demerit points if possible), i guess the insurance guys would let me off with just one conviction.
Any comments or thoughts. Please advise...Need to respond within a week...
Insurance doesn't care about demerit points whether you have 0 or 500 they do not care. They care solely on the ticket. If you really want to protect your rates your best bet is to get the entire ticket thrown out. If you're ok with a slight increase in your rates for the next 3-4 years then you can plead guilty to one and drop the other.
If i plead not guilty (option#3), do i forego the option (#2) of reduced fines/demerit points on either of the tickets by default?
Because these ticks s arise out of the same circumstances, it would be best to deal with them together. ie a not guilty plea to both, and perhaps the prosecutor will accept a guilty plea to one and withdraw the other.
I agree with Decatur that if you plan to fight one of the tickets you really should fight them both. Just know that you don't really have a case if you do go to trial since you DID disobey the sign and you DID interfere with traffic (i.e. the car behind you undoubtedly had to apply the brakes or take some precaution to allow you to do your maneuver in such a short distance---that's interference!)
So, if you are lucky, they will drop the Interfere with Traffic and simply accept a plea to the Disobey Sign at the set fine. Or, they may allow a plea to the Interference charge and drop the Disobey Sign (but will likely ask for a higher fine in that case since you won't end up with demerits).
Just know that you can NOT get demerit points reduced; neither the Prosecution nor the JP have authority to reduce or remove points. That's an MTO function that is automatically applied based on the conviction you receive.
Given the fact scenario, I think you would be VERY wise to take a plea deal since the prosecution will likely have very little difficulty proving both charges.
Thank you everyone for the quick responses. Really appreciate your insights.
So, @highwaystar, if i understand it correctly, if i do take a plea deal for both tickets, than one thing is for sure that i would end up paying higher insurance rates for 2-3 years at the least. Demerit points is not a concern, but impact to insurance is, considering my clean driving record of 7-8 years in the U.S. & Canada.
One of my questions still remains unanswered. If i plead not guilty (option#3), do i forego the option (#2) of reduced fines/demerit points on either of the tickets by default?
You can always plead guilty on the day of your trial if you'd like so Option 2 is not given up if you choose Option 3. However, you keep referring to demerit points---remember, those are NEVER reduced or removed. That simply cannot be done at law! In a guilty plea or a sentence hearing (if you are found guilty after a trial), you can only ask for a reduced fine (just know that each of those charges have a minimum fine of $60 plus court costs) and/or you can ask for time to pay---that's it! In a guilty plea, you do not provide 'an explanation'---you are either guilty or you go to trial. End of story.
As for insurance hikes, that's between you and your insurer. Insurers only care about convictions; not demerits, so keep that in mind. However, you might have a forgiveness clause for your first conviction in your policy. You have to check.
I get what the original poster is trying to say in their argument. They are interpreting it as parking or stopping on the road.
(12) Despite the other provisions of this section, no person shall park or stand a vehicle on a highway in such a manner as to interfere with the movement of traffic or the clearing of snow from the highway. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 170 (12).
Key words being "or stand." Highway Traffic Act defines standing as:
“stand” or “standing”, when prohibited, means the halting of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except for the purpose of and while actually engaged in receiving or discharging passengers; (“immobilisation”)
Halting doesn't mean you have to come to a stop.
Bend is correct. While "halting" can include a vehicle that comes to a stop, the definition is more exhaustive and does not require that the vehicle must come to a stop. Halting (standing) includes "being in a state of uncertainty or doubt between alternate choices" and/or "causing the discontinuance of an action."
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