Charged under Section 144(8) Red Light- Fail to Stop
Police were conducting Radar Survelance beside a traffic light used only to assist pedestrians to cross the road. (Not a Traffic Intersection) The light is controlled by the pedestrian wishing to cross the road and the speed limit at that location is 50klm. I was distracted by the sudden appearence of an Officer and instinctively checked my speed and in the process inadvertently entered the crosswalk/intersection as the light was red. The pedestrian who pressed the button was speaking with the Officer at that time had not entered the road as I went by. If it matters, I was in the Left lane so even if the pedestrian had started to walk, they would not be in any immediate danger.
If this was a Cross Walk, I know I should go to court... but this is a traffic light and I think the rulling is different?
What should I do? How do I fight it?
I did not stop...
The Officer stated that he though I was going to stop (I was checking my speed) because at that time I did not notice the light and did not notice that it was or in the process of changing colour. When I focused my attention on the road and saw the light had changed to red, I did brake a little harder but I was now in the intersection. We both looked at each other and slinked away like a dog that had just been caught doing something wrong.
2xTurbo wrote:I did not stop....
Enter in Homer Simpson voice "Doh"
This one is really interesting. The lights should be timed to allow for the width of the intersection and the speed of traffic. A yellow light should last longer if you have to cross eight lanes of traffic than if you only cross two. And depending on the speed (40kmh or 80 kmh) you'll need more or less warning time to slow down and stop. The "crosswalk" intersection should have (in theory) the shortest yellow light.
This is a link to an abstract that studied increasing the yellow interval timing to reduce red light violations by 50%.
Here's a House of Representative's Report which indicated an issue of some cities using shorter yellow lights at red light camera intersections to generate revenue.
And this one provides a rule of thumb formula to go by.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Did you really have enough time and distance to stop? This defence will require a lot of FOI requests to city engineers and planners plus some light timing on your part at the intersection and comparable intersections.
I remember an accident maybe 20 years ago in Ontario that made the news because it was determined the cause was a yellow and red light that was not long enough for traffic to clear the intersection. Try and dig that up as well. It will give you some more leads as to what they studied to reach their conclusions.
You could also explore whether the officer caused enough of a distraction to be a contributing factor in the violation. And of course, all the usual stuff: request disclosure, apply for a stay, examine visibility, traffic, weather, strict liability defence, etc.
Duh... is right! however the Police Officer was understanding & sympethetic to my explanation of the event and TOLD me to look at my options cairfully. I suggested pleading guilty with an explanation he stated that without councelling me, that would not be one of the options he would pick. The infraction occured ony Hwy 7 (Guelph St) in Georgetown. The Intersection at the Pedestrian Light does have a street abutting the light that is marked with a Stop sign and there are trees and shrubs in very close proximity to the corner that I guess he was using as cover. There were two police cars parked a good distance from the corner that were visible long before I approached the light. I assumed they were answering a call at one of the residential buildings. When I got closer to the light I saw one Uniformed Officer with his Flourecent Vest and it took me by supprise. Another contributing factor was that throughout the week road crews accompanied by an Officer had been servicing lights throughout this stretch. I just can't think of what I should use as a defence or what the Officer was getting at... (Again insert Duh!)
It is a Pedestrian controlled light but it is not an actual Pedestrian overhead crosswalk and to me, it looks like a normal Traffic light that from experience is almost always green for traffic.
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