HTA 144(18) RED LIGHT - FAIL TO STOP - Bicycle

historyfiend
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HTA 144(18) RED LIGHT - FAIL TO STOP - Bicycle

by: historyfiend on
Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:26 pm

Hi all, I was ticketed for this offense while on a bicycle where I "turned left" at a red light without first coming to a complete stop at the red light. It was a T-intersection where I was facing the straight through lanes (4 lanes, two in each direction) and a side street came in from the right only (2 lanes, one in each direction), and no vehicles or pedestrians were entering from the right at the time, and no vehicles on the straight through lanes were turning either.

I "turned left" in that I crossed the street to finish on the sidewalk on the left side, where was no side street on that side. From there I then proceeded on / next to the sidewalk facing the traffic.

My "left turn" did not take me into a pedestrian crosswalk because on that side of the intersection box there is no pedestrian crossing.

Before:
| | | |
------- ped crossing
= two lanes
xxxxx no-ped crossing
| | | me

After
| | | |
------- ped crossing
= two lanes
me xxxxx no-ped crossing
| | | |

My bicycle manoeuvre (red light - fail to stop) presented no risk to property or person as no one was approaching or entering the intersection that I crossed.

I find the fine amount ($260 -> $325) and implications for my vehicle insurance to be out of proportion to the severity of the infraction.

As best I can determine there is no error in the ticket and I accept the basic facts of the infraction.

Is there any point to pleading not guilty and asking a judge to reduce the fine?

Is there any point to pleading guilty with submissions for reduced penalty?

Thanks


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by: jsherk on
Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:14 pm

historyfiend wrote:My bicycle manoeuvre (red light - fail to stop) presented no risk to property or person as no one was approaching or entering the intersection that I crossed.
Yes this is a problem with our justice system!

Anyways the charge has nothing to do with you turning, just that you did not stop at the red light.

I would plead Not Guilty and request a trial with officer present. Once you get your notice of trial, you can request disclosure (copy of officers notes). Once you get a copy of the officers notes, scan them and post them here for us to review to see if there is a possibility of fighting it at trial or not.

You have nothing to lose by doing this.

If you decide that there is no way to beat it, then you can still show up for your trial and say you want to plead guilty but ask for a reduced fine. The Justice of the Peace will consider what you have to say and may reduce the fine for you. Note that they can NOT reduce demerit points or insurance consequences. A conviction (whether fine is reduced or not) may lead to an insurance increase.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++






historyfiend
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by: historyfiend on
Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:58 am

You are correct, there are no demerit points at play because I was on a bicycle, I am not concerned about that. Officer who wrote the ticket made a point of stating that, although he did look up my driver's licence on this computer (I didn't present that as ID) and entered it on the ticket. I was somewhat surprised by that.

Re suggestion to plead not guilty and request trial with officer present. Am I potentially subject to additional court-imposed penalty (beyond $325) if I end up pleading guilty at trial? Eg for having tied up the judge and police officer's time?

I might be willing to just pay the fine to avoid the worry, the bother of researching this further, and the nuisance of taking time off work, except for the disproportionate level of the fine, and I would like to see the officer's notes in the police report before I decide my course of action but the police won't release those to me until either I pay the fine (aka plead guilty) or request a trial (aka indicate I want to plead not guilty). I asked at the police station but they refused until the case is closed or there is a trial.


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by: jsherk on
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:29 am

No you are not subject to additional court imposed penalty.

You have the RIGHT to be considered innocent until proven guilty. You have the RIGHT to see the evidence against you. You have the RIGHT to a fair trial.

And you can plead guilty and pay the fine as-is anytime, right up to the trial date.

But if you decide you can not beat it, then just show up for the court date, and tell the prosecutor before hand that you plan on pleading guilty but would like to request a reduction in the fine.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++




OTD Legal
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by: OTD Legal on
Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:14 am

If you have been charged under HTA s.144(18), the 3 demerit point penalty WILL apply against your driver's licence. A bicycle is still included in the definition of a vehicle, albeit an non-motorized one.

These matters can sometimes be negotiated to a lesser 0 demerit point offence, although the lesser offence will still show on your driving history and will still be visible for insurance purposes (likely assessed at the same risk assessment as the original offence). The alternative is to argue the matter at trial if there is a reasonable defence present in disclosure or if you simply wish to have a trial in lieu of a resolution.
The content of this post is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be provided after a licenced paralegal has been retained, spoken with you directly, and reviewed the documents related to your case.


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by: highwaystar on
Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:42 am

historyfiend wrote:...
Am I potentially subject to additional court-imposed penalty (beyond $325) if I end up pleading guilty at trial? Eg for having tied up the judge and police officer's time?...
Once again, its very important to understand the difference between set fines and statutory fines.

If you go to court, you are NOT facing the set fine anymore but rather the statutory fine. Everyone should simply think of a 'set fine' as being a discounted fine if you accept responsibility and pay outside court. I wish they changed the name to something easier for people to better understand the concept!!! They've done that with parking tickets.

So, anyway, if you wish to plead guilty in court or are found guilty at trial, then you are subject to the statutory fine. It is an error of law for a court to simply impose the set fine without any further clarification. That is for ALL charges, including speeding.

So, in your case, the statutory fine (the fine you'll face if you go to court) is a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $1000. Your charge's statutory fine is set out in section 144(31.2.1)).




historyfiend
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by: historyfiend on
Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:01 pm

OTD Legal wrote:If you have been charged under HTA s.144(18), the 3 demerit point penalty WILL apply against your driver's licence..
Per HTA s.56(1), the demerit system only applies to motor vehicles and street cars.
Demerit point system
56. (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations providing for a demerit point system for drivers of motor vehicles or of street cars. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 5.






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by: OTD Legal on
Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:12 am

historyfiend wrote:
OTD Legal wrote:If you have been charged under HTA s.144(18), the 3 demerit point penalty WILL apply against your driver's licence..
Per HTA s.56(1), the demerit system only applies to motor vehicles and street cars.
Demerit point system
56. (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations providing for a demerit point system for drivers of motor vehicles or of street cars. 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, s. 5.
Correct, the LG may apply demerit points against the driver's licence. This section to my knowledge does not preclude those driving record entries from being applied from charges laid for driving a vehicle such as a bicycle. The first question I would look to is whether or not the ticket include's the defendant's driver's licence number. If the answer is yes, then it is likely the conviction will be registered. I have not seen the MTO differentiate a conviction in a car vs. a bicycle. The MTO will simply receive a conviction under the given section of the HTA. The OP could always call Driver Control to seek clarification.
The content of this post is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be provided after a licenced paralegal has been retained, spoken with you directly, and reviewed the documents related to your case.


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by: OTD Legal on
Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:13 am

argyll wrote:But that doesn't say 'for offences committed by drivers of motor vehicles'.
Correct.
The content of this post is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be provided after a licenced paralegal has been retained, spoken with you directly, and reviewed the documents related to your case.


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