Red Light Camera Ticket - To Fight or to Plead???

traffic man
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Red Light Camera Ticket - To Fight or to Plead???

by: traffic man on
Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:16 pm

Hello,

I received a Red Light System Offence Notice in the mail today indicating I entered the intersection 0.4 sec into the red phase... At $325, this is pretty steep considering it was less then half a second.

I'm weighing my options to dispute or attend court to bargin for a reduced fine. The images clearly show my vehicle and the license plate, therefore I assume that I would have a tough time getting the ticket tossed. I do recall the night it happened (due to the flash), and I noticed some frost or liquid (could have been water, fluid, etc.) on the pavement and I used judgement to go through the intersection rather then try and slam on the brakes to stop and potentially skidding through the intersection.

I have a totally clean record, never had a ticket or collision in my history of driving. I actually did not think I entered the intersection on a red while I was driving, and I was shocked to notice the camera went off. I actually recall looking beside me to see if there was another vehicle that was slower beside me...

That being said, I'm wondering if it's better to;

1. Try to dispute the ticket based on judgement not to brake and slide through the intersection, or

2. Enter a guilty plea and try to have the ticket reduced to something reasonable less then $325
a) Will this show up on my record for demerit points & insurance purposes?
b) Can other fees be added for trying to get it reduced?


Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Thanks


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Radar Identified
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by: Radar Identified on
Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:26 pm

The problem with trying to argue that there was liquid/frost on the road is that the Prosecutor will use that against you. The Prosecutor will counter that you should have adjusted your speed for the conditions and failed to do so, and consequently, you were unable to stop. The JP will almost certainly agree, too. You can use the "unsafe to stop" argument for an amber light, but not a red.

However, for a Red Light Camera offence, there are no demerit points and it does not go on your driving record. This also means that you will not get an insurance increase, unless, of course, you fail to pay the fine. No other fees will be added if you challenge it. You could try to get the fine reduced by going to court. In some cases, they will allow you to ask for a reduced fine if you plead guilty. It is really up to the Justice of the Peace if you do get a lower fine, though.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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by: traffic man on
Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:39 am

I agree, and I thought as well that they could counter with adjusting speed for safe driving conditions...

Thanks for the info.

I thought I had read somewhere that the RLC notice cannot enforce demerit points or goes on your record (similar to a parking ticket) as you have indicated, UNLESS you are to show up in court for a guilty plea. At this point, you could be identified as the driver and personally admitting to guilt where they could then nail the charge against your personal record...

I don't want to go to court and have this ticket reduced to say even $200, to have my insurance go up $200/yr for the next 3 yrs...

Any thoughts/comments on this?

As I mentioned, I feel I would have a hard time challenging the whole fine as they have my vehicle on camera... I'd like to try and get it reduced to something more reasonable then $325, and I would hope that a totally clean driving record and collision history would hopefully help my cause. Then again, I suppose it all depends what type of mood the JP is in that day.

Also, what are typically reductions like for RLC tickets or what could I expect to have it reduced by potentially?

Thanks again


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by: Radar Identified on
Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:05 am

traffic man wrote:I thought I had read somewhere that the RLC notice cannot enforce demerit points or goes on your record (similar to a parking ticket) as you have indicated, UNLESS you are to show up in court for a guilty plea. At this point, you could be identified as the driver and personally admitting to guilt where they could then nail the charge against your personal record...
They'd have to amend the offence to Red Light - Fail to Stop under 144 (18 ) of the Highway Traffic Act and charge you directly. To do that, they'd need to identify the driver. Your presence in the courtroom to contest the charge (or to plead guilty) does not identify the driver. They only have evidence that a vehicle ran a red light, that offence was captured on camera, and that you own the vehicle. You can appear as the vehicle's owner to try to reduce the fine. If they tried to amend it, they'd have to prove that you were driving at the time. They don't have any evidence of that. I suppose they could try, but I've never heard of that happening.

I've heard $200 is a good range for the reduction.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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by: traffic man on
Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:08 am

That's great, thanks for the information.

To proceed with a Plea of Guilty and go for the reduced fine, do I have to book a court date? I'm not sure if I can go directly to the court house and ask for a reduced fine and pay it on the spot, or if I have to book a court date separately to go through the process on another date?

I assume when I'm in the court, I do not want to advocate that I was the driver of the vehicle...

Again, never had a ticket so I don't know the process.

Any advice?

Thanks


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by: Radar Identified on
Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:49 pm

traffic man wrote:To proceed with a Plea of Guilty and go for the reduced fine, do I have to book a court date? I'm not sure if I can go directly to the court house and ask for a reduced fine and pay it on the spot, or if I have to book a court date separately to go through the process on another date?
What you should do is take the offence notice and a Notice of Intent to Appear to the courthouse. There are two ways of going about this. One is you can plead guilty with an explanation (option 2), or plead not guilty and arrange for a trial (option 3). Either way, you will need a day in court, and it will not be the same day that you file the paperwork. You have to go before a Justice of the Peace in order to get the fine reduced. They will send you the notice of trial in the mail. If you chose option 3 (trial), you'd talk to the Prosecutor before the trial starts and say that you'd like to plead guilty and try to get a reduced fine (in your case). It is still ultimately up to the JP, though, if the fine will be reduced.
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


traffic man
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by: traffic man on
Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:16 pm

Radar Identified wrote:at you should do is take the offence notice and a Notice of Intent to Appear to the courthouse. There are two ways of going about this. One is you can plead guilty with an explanation (option 2), or plead not guilty and arrange for a trial (option 3). Either way, you will need a day in court, and it will not be the same day that you file the paperwork. You have to go before a Justice of the Peace in order to get the fine reduced. They will send you the notice of trial in the mail. If you chose option 3 (trial), you'd talk to the Prosecutor before the trial starts and say that you'd like to plead guilty and try to get a reduced fine (in your case). It is still ultimately up to the JP, though, if the fine will be reduced.
Well just for an update, I went into the court to book a time to plead guilty with an explanation, and the clerk advised me that I could speak with the JP on the spot... 10 mins later I was pleading for a reduced fine which got me nowhere. The JP was not interested in listening to anything I had to say and did not reduce the fine... Still stand at $325, and I got the yellow slip with 3 mths extension to pay.

Now, that being said............ I just became aware that the intersection I was caught at does not have RLC warning signage erected for the direction I was travelling. As I understand it, in the HTA the municipality is required to post warning signage of the RLC at each specific intersection.

My next question is, do I have any recourse to challege or fight the ticket now that it has been through the JP???

Just trying to save myself $325 with the upcoming holiday bills.

Thanks!


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