Left turn through amber -Red light fail to stop HTA 144(18)

Tozim
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Left turn through amber -Red light fail to stop HTA 144(18)

by: Tozim on
Sat May 24, 2008 3:38 pm

I was traveling west and needed to make a left turn to go south. I approached the intersection a little faster than normal because there was absolutely no oncoming traffic or pedestrians in the way of my turn. The light turned amber as I approached the intersection, and I'm pretty sure it was still amber when I entered.
However there was an officer stopped in the left turn lane facing north to make his own left turn to go west. As I finished my turn, he pointed at me and flashed his lights.
When he pulled me over he asked me what the rush was and said that the light had turned red when I was 4 car lengths behind the line, then charged me with Failing to Stop at a Red Light under HTA 144(18 ).

I have submitted a request for disclosure already in February via certified mail, but I have yet to receive any. It's now 1.5 months before my court date. I can't call the Prosecutor's office because they have that automated answering system, should I send an email to follow up on my disclosure request?

Also what kind of defense can I feasibly use? I would say because I approached the intersection at speed, I couldn't safely stop the vehicle before the line when the light turned amber, however I'm sure if I ask the officer if I was facing a circular stop signal when I entered the intersection that he will probably say yes.
If I take the stand it will basically be my word against the officer's over wether the light was amber or red when I entered.


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by: Bookm on
Mon May 26, 2008 10:38 am

If it's his word against yours, you will lose. The cop is considered "an officer of the court" which means his recollections will be regarded as fact unless an independent witness can be produced to testify against him.

If your disclosure doesn't arrive in time, you could motion for dismissal on those grounds. If the Crown request for a continuance is then accepted (despite your strong objection), at least you would get a second chance the the officer is a "no-show".


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by: Tozim on
Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:13 pm

Thanks Bookm. I guess it doesn't look like I have much of a defence then?

I'll have to hope the officer doesn't show up, and if he does then either motion for a dismissal (if disclosure doesn't arrive), or I guess try to plea bargain with the prosecutor for a lesser charge. If I get a continuance then I'll have to hope the officer doesn't show the second time...
Sounds like a whole lot of ifs :(


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by: Bookm on
Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:49 pm

Just before court opens, the Crown will usually have everyone line up and ask what their intentions are (one at a time). If you can see that the officer is there, you could suggest that you would like to plea bargain based on the fact that your actions affected no other motorists or pedestrians, and you were pretty sure you entered safely on a yellow light. In order to save time though, you would be willing to plead guilty to non-moving violation such as "Improper Muffler" and pay a fine of perhaps $40.00. He may talk to the officer about it. I hope you were polite at the side of the road! ;)

It's likely the Crown will up the offer to Disobey Sign (2 points), which is still better than your current ticket. If the Crown still seems to be in a good mood, you might squeeze him to Improper Muffler (no points) but keep the fine as shown on your ticket.

It's not much different than negotiating a better deal on a lamp at a garage sale ;)

For an introduction to Plea Bargaining, read:
http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/files/cars/tickets/


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by: Tozim on
Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:20 pm

So I had my court date.

The officer was there, and appeared to be the type that loves the courtroom, so I decided not to bring up adjournment based on non-disclosure.
I ended up plea bargaining with the crown for "Disobey lane signal" - no points. The Justice of the Peace reduced the fine from $180 to $85.


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by: Bookm on
Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:56 am

Probably about as good a deal as anyone could expect. Now keep your fingers crossed that your insurance company is OK with the single conviction, or that they don't check your record for the next three years.

OH... and drive like an angel for the next three years. 2+ convictions within three years and you'll likely see your insurance doubled. (just 6 more months for me then LOOK-OUT!!... JK) :P


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by: jt2 on
Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:05 am

hi everyone... i'm just working on my assignment and it seems relevant to this topic so i was wondering if anyone could help me out.

the situation is that sally was intending to make a left turn but quickly reversed out of the intersection when the light turned red. fred, who was behind her, was on the phone and did not notice sally's vehicle approaching in reverse and approached his vehicle to the intersection.

my question is, can sally back out of an intersection? or should she have turned.. in the case my teacher did not say anything about the light being amber so.. i'm not really sure if it is something i can bring up.. but it seems to make sense to me that if her car was already past the lines in the intersection, she should have turned when the light changed to amber right? unless she didn't get a chance because a pedestrian was crossing, but then my question still remains whether it is legal for her to back up out of the intersection.. i tried to look up this act on this site but it doesn't really say anything about whether you can back up or not...

any replies would be greatly appreciated.. thanks!


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by: Bookm on
Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:53 am

First read about signal lights under Section 144 of the HTA:
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... .htm#BK212

The key words here will be "approaching". Was she approaching a yellow? No! She approached a green which allowed her to enter the intersection. It is reasonable to expect the intersection to clear at some point, to allow her to complete her turn. It doesn't matter if the light changes while she's waiting. She would expect other drivers and pedestrians to obey the laws which apply to them when the lights change, giving her ample opportunity to complete her turn before cross-traffic gets their green. If she gets "stuck" out there, it will be because other drivers or pedestrians disobeyed laws which applied to them and had an affect on her ability to effectively complete here turn. Even if her light turns red, she is bound by law to wait until it is safe to proceed. Remember, she didn't "approach" a red as described in Section 144.

The fella' behind her has no legal obligation to assist her with her decision to reverse out of the intersection. I can't see where reversing would be illegal, but it sure would be stupid!

Also read Section 145.(1) and (2) of the HTA
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... .htm#BK213

This section seems to suggest that it is OK to enter and block an intersection, as long as you are turning left or right. This makes total sense to me as it eliminates the need for dangerously reversing out of the intersection.


All this is just my opinion. Don't blame me if you flunk out :P
(I'm sure Bear will be along soon to correct all my mistakes!)


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by: hwybear on
Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:05 pm

Fred - Nothing wrong with him, he is just thrown in the question to add in useless information to confues you. If he caused a collision due to being on the phone, that is a all new scenario.

Sally

HTA 145 - Blocking intersections - refers in a Municipality has passes a bylaw. Then if you are turning you are exempt
(Sure this applies to heavy traffic areas where the amount of traffic can not get through and then morons sit in intersections blocking traffic travelling in the perpendicular directions.

Sally should have just completed her turn. To prevent blocking an intersection, by-law or not.....simple common sense.

HTA 142(2) If she collides with someone.. "start from stopped position - not in safety"

In reference to stopping it indicates 144(5) sto stop at the sign or road markings, immediately before the nearest crosswalk or before entering the intersection....if she was already past this point with a green, I would think a charge of HTA 144(12) Green Light - Fail to proceed as directed.
I think this would apply if she reversed back to the stop line.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: racer on
Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:46 pm

I agree with hwybear. You should never reverse on an intersection.
"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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