HTA 136 (1)(a) - disobey stop; 'by-law defense', 60m

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HTA 136 (1)(a) - disobey stop; 'by-law defense', 60m

by: tdtd on
Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:14 am

My experience in court re: "by-law defense".

For reference, I'd posted some details about my ticket in the following threads:
- ... hp?p=15702

There is a thread here "Do all signs require a by-law" ... 28-15.html

The ticketcombat site and other threads on this site seem to suggest that the prosecution must present the by-law supporting the municipal sign. I used the simple dislosure request template from ticketcombat, but I failed to expressly request "Explanation and Clarification of Charges", and I was not provided with a copy of the by-law (or even the number). Perhaps if I'd done that, they would have had to provide it.

But in court, I first moved for stay due to improper disclosure - denied. I argued that I needed to know the by-law in order to make a full answer to the charges. Judge said existence of the stop sign was taken to mean that a by-law exists (he didn't mention "prima facie", but I'm sure that's where he was going). I started to argue that but he cut me off (was going to mention the case in Ottawa, also afterwards I thought of all the stop signs in shopping mall parking lots, some of them on moveable bases, who knows if they are properly placed, etc.).

More importantly, the JP mentioned either a regulation or a previous ruling that the by-law did NOT have to be presented with the ticket. Unfortunately, things were moving fast and I didn't have time to write down the name of that case. But might be of interest to others looking at a similar situation.

The third link I mentioned above has someone asking if anyone had successfully tried the 'by-law' defense for a stop sign, and I think that ruling mentioned by my JP would remove that as even a possible defense.

I also tried to bring up the 'not visible from 60m' (it was not, around a sharp bend), and it was denied because I didn't have certified proof/pictures. The prosecutor jumped in an said that regulation only applied to parking signs. He apologized to me after saying he had misread it. Just interesting to know, because it means he didn't know that off the top of his head (surely that must be a pretty common defense), and also because he didn't read the next rule which states that the 60m is not required if it is not feasible (see above threads for links).

Officer failed to drive the same route I'd followed to reach the sign (or couldn't recall doing so), and thus couldn't verify the sign was clearly visible from _my_ approach. Just some more support for someone else; even though this was a specific 'stop trap' they didn't follow 'best practices'.

Officer said 'rolling stop', wheels were still rotating (estimated I slowed to only 5km/hr). I asked if that measure was listed in HTA 136 (1)(a), he said no; the JP seemed to kind of like that argument. But in the end, he said "full and complete stop, not 5km/hr". (I.e. 'letter of the law is 0.0km/hr). So that's 5km/h over the speed limit there. I don't think there are any speeding tickets issued for 55km/hr in 50km/hr zone, which is the letter of the law there. Perhaps that argument can be made by someone.

As another poster has mentioned, slavish adherence to such traffic control signs in lieu of appropriate situational awareness is inefficient and does not improve safety. A "naked streets"/'complete streets'/Hans Monderman type of approach is more safe.

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that my JP specifically mentioned some case where it was determined that the by-law did NOT have to be presented.

A previous poster mentioned that he got an adjournment in order to get the by-law. (, but that didn't work with my JP.

Hope that helps someone.
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