So here's the deal.
I was ticketed today for "Disobey Sign" under the HTA 182(2). A mixture of bad luck, bad timing and bad weather. While proceeding W/B on hwy 401 my gas light went on and I had also ran out of windshield washer fluid. I had planned to take the next exit to fuel and top up the washer fluid but ended up missing the exit. The weather was freezing rain and didn't want to chance continuing on low fuel in the event that the hwy turned bumper to bumper from either cautious drivers or worse an accident. Also the visibility was getting worse due to the road spray and lack of washer fluid. I noticed one of those U Turn areas a few hundred meters past the exit. It was marked with a No U Turn sign and written underneath was "Except Authorized Vehicles". I pulled off to the shoulder and weighed my options. I decided to wait for a large gap in the traffic, put my signal on and proceeded into the area joining the east and west bound highways. Once there I once again waited for the east bound traffic to have a gap, used my signal and merged onto the highway. An OPP officer witnessed my manoeuvre and followed me through the U Turn area. Once he turned on his lights I pulled off to the right side of the highway. I explained my gas and washer situation but he was not concerned asking only for my license and registration/insurance. 15 min later I had the $110 ticket in my hand and he explained my 3 options.
I have read through the forums and have not found anything on highway U Turns. I came across an interesting angle on bilingual signs. While the no U Turn part is universal the sign below it "Except Authorized Vehicles" is in english only. Also, who authorizes vehicles? I often see private towing / tire repair companies use these U Turn areas. From a safety standpoint, could the road conditions and lack of fuel / washer fluid justify the use of a no U Turn zone?
I plan on pleading not guilty and intend to challenge the evidence of the officer. I will ask for discloser. Should I request the definition of "Authorized" vehicles or do they have to send that automatically?
I was wondering if anyone had experience in this area.
Any advise on a defence should I get the discloser well before the trial would also be greatly appreciated.
Your defence needs work. The 'except authorized vehicles' is irrelevant to you having completed the U-turn contrary to the universal 'U-turn' sign. I doubt the court is interested in a definition of what an authorized vehicle includes because you weren't driving one.
The fact that you're bilingual is irrelevant also. Signs are not required to be in English and French. The court will only be interested if you completed a U-Turn contrary to the sign, or you didn't.
No, I do not work for Toronto Police...
... it is just a name folks
Ya, I wasn't to sure on the whole bilingual thing. The authorized vehicle argument is interesting though. I haven't been able to find a reference that defines an "Authorized Vehicle".
If it's not in black and white an argument could be made. I'm still doing the research. I'll post if I come up with anything.
I did find this older thread that I'm trying to get people interested in.
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