In the direction of travel, I took a photo of the intersection from 60m out from the stop sign, and the sign was clearly obstructed by a tree (see below). I can show by a scaled map where the photo was taken and the distance to the stop sign.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.
I plan to use this as my defense of why I did not come to a complete stop (as noted by the officer)... because the stop sign was obstructed and I didn't have time to come to a complete stop.
The officer also stated in his notes that he had an unobstructed view of my wheels and he noted the wheels never came to a complete stop. I took a photo from where the cop would have been parked and the view was completely clear, as it was partially blocked by trees and a row of hedges (see below).
But I understand it may be harder to prove this point using the photo because I cannot prove where the photo was taken was where the officer was parked. So I'll probably won't include this for my defense.
So that being said, if the officer shows up and the trial proceeds, my plan of attack would be:
1) Ask for the by-law that was passed for the erection of the stop sign.
2) Question the officer on whether the sign was unobstructed.
3) Submit photographic evidence showing sign was obstructed from 60m away and quote HTA R.R.O 1990, Reg 615, Section 45.
4) Cross my fingers...
So is there anything else I can do/use to firm up my defense? What are some of the ways the prosecutor may use to discredit my defense?
Thanks for any insight & help you can provide.
Personally I would not use the "could not see the sign from 60m" defense unless you can prove there is a an obstruction. The photo you have is weak. I watched a guy use this argument and it fell apart when the prosecutor asked him if he had ever driven through the neighborhood before he admitted that he knew there was a stop sign there even though it was snow covered. The JP convicted him. Going that route would make it irrelevant if the officer had an unobstructed view of your wheels as you would be admitting to not stopping.
In addition to the one you took a couple days later I would retake the photo of the stop sign from the officers vantage point with your car in the photo. If the wheels are clearly obstructed, when it is your turn to question the officer get him to say he had an unobstructed view of your tires. Then introduce the photos as evidence to contradict his testimony. I would imply that the officer could have made an honest mistake as everyone is human.
If you admit that you rolled a stop you will be convicted. You have to say that you are absolutely sure you came to a complete stop even if it was for a split second.
If you are claiming you stopped, the first picture isn't a factor. You can't argue the sign isn't visible and yet you still stopped. You can't have it both ways. If the officer claims the signs were unobstructed, it's to cover his basis in case you decide to argue you couldn't stop due to the sign not being visible.rvs007 wrote:What if I say I did stop, then use the two photos to contest the officer's notes that claims 1) he had an unobstructed view (I can question him if there is anything else between him and the vehicle), and 2) the stop signs were unobstructed and clear in all directions. Would that be sufficient to prove reasonable doubt?
You either go with you didn't stop and the sign wasn't visible, or you did stop and the officers view was obstructed.
Could I not argue that the stop sign was obstructed from 60m back, so by the time I did see the sign, I had less room to come to a complete stop by the stop bar. This resulted in me not stopping at the stop bar but within the intersection and the officer perceived this as not coming to a complete stop.
As for driving that route, I actually never drove that route before and the reason why I took it that day was because it was my child's first day at a new daycare and I thought that route would have less traffic. I did more research and found that the 3-way stop was erected in 2009. Previously it was a thru-way with a stop condition for the connecting street. Our house is very close to the main arterial road so 99.9% of the time, I leave the subdivision using a more direct way out. I rarely use this alternate route which requires driving longer distance to get out of the subdivision (but in the morning rush-hour, it does save time).