I just got a ticket for failing to drive in marked lane.
Here's what happened:
Driving on 401, wet, slushy, slippery conditions.
I was going about 40K in the middle lane.
People were passing me in the passing lane and the slow lane.
I was stuck behind a transport truck that was splashing wet sticky slush on my windshield so I couldn't see.
I decided I needed to get out from behind him, so proceeded into the passing lane, slowly and carefully.
In going over the rut, my car started in a slight skid, which turned uncontrollable, and my front bumper hit the median, and then the back bumper, and then I slid across all 3 lanes.
It was a miracle no one was hurt or hit.
Minimal damage to the vehicle (cracked bumper, broken headlight).
Two cars stopped to see if I was ok, which I was (shakey, but not physically hurt), and if the car was driveable.
Just as they pulled away, a police car pulled up behind me.
He asked what happened.
I told him "I was in the middle lane and was changing to the passing lane" at which point he started yelling at me, "You were moving into the passing lane in this weather?!" He didn't give me a chance to explain what happened, or why I had to move from the middle lane.
He came back with a ticket and said, "I could have charged you with careless driving, with a big fine and 4 points, but I'm going to charge you with failing to drive in the marked lane, so the fine is less and it's 2 points. Do you understand?"
I was still very shakey, and didn't question anything at the time.
My question is:
If I fight this (I was NOT not driving in the marked lane), and describe what happened, could I in fact then be charged with careless driving in court? I don't think I was driving carelessly - and wouldn't have changed lanes unless I had to, and I was driving very slowly (slower than everyone else it seemed, except the transport truck driver).
Also - I was planning on getting the car fixed without contacting my insurance, but the officer gave me a report number (He wouldn't give me a copy of the report because I didn't have my insurance slip in the vehicle - got a ticket for that too - which is legitimate...). Does that report get sent to my insurance company (ie. will they know the vehicle was involved in an accident...and therefore I may as well go through them) - I just don't want my rates to go up.
Thanks for any help you can give...
Unrelated to your ticket, but this is a huge pet peeve of mine. Keep to the right lane unless you need to pass someone. You should never be passed by vehicles in the "slow lane" (illegal for you) and conversely, you shouldn't pass vehicles to your left (legal, but not a good driving practice).
If you attend court on a charge like fail to drive in marked lane, you can not be found guilty of careless. It is not an included offence. In theory the prosecution could drop the fail to drive in marked lane and lay a summons for careless instead (but that would have to be before the trial actually starts). In my experience they don't usually do that. If the officer went with a different charge they usually just stick with that.
Squishy wrote:Unrelated to your ticket, but this is a huge pet peeve of mine. Keep to the right lane unless you need to pass someone. You should never be passed by vehicles in the "slow lane" (illegal for you) and conversely, you shouldn't pass vehicles to your left (legal, but not a good driving practice).
Well, he said he got stuck behind a transport truck, which would lead me to believe he was travelling faster and then came upon the truck, and was unable to change lanes safely, thus getting stuck at a slower speed behind the truck. It's happened to me before. And then he tried to pass in proper fashion, but got screwed up in the wake of the truck and spun out.
That being said, some of the OP's story doesn't add up. The cop's reaction doesn't make sense, and the last time I checked careless driving was 6 points, not 4. And what the OP said seems to imply that the officer didn't see the incident, so how would he know the car damage was from that exact moment?
"People were passing me in the passing lane and the slow lane"
"I was driving very slowly (slower than everyone else it seemed, except the transport truck driver)"
Side note, the username implies it's a "she".
Both those statements would be consistent with her driving behind the big rig... he/she/they doesn't matter, isn't really the point of the post. But point taken
Any thoughts on whether, based on what I've said, the charge of failing to drive within marked lane might stick in court?
Your comments are much appreciated.
And yes, I am a 'she.'
On the 401 Commercial vehicles over 6.5m are prohibited from driving in the left lane, and soley rely on using the centre lane for passing, this is why you see tractor trailers frequenting the centre lane because a) usually when they are in the right lane and signal to move over at a feeder ramp/on ramp to allow someone to merge-no one lets them over by usually speeding up, or when there in the centre lane and sally safe driver doing 90 in the centre lane wont move over to the far right to allow the truck to pass so the driver is forced to pass on the right.
As for failing to drive in a marked lane, well, if the road was covered in snow/ slush--then theres an argument because the road was not "Marked" by failure of the MTO to ensure the roads were salted and plowed in a timely fashion.
the individual who usually deserve that ticket is usually the guy whos stuck in traffic and moves over to the on ramp feeder lane from the right lane and goes flying up the on ramp only to come barrelling down to the end of the on ramp lane and ends up on the shoulder-so hes nailed for crossing the bull nose and driving on the shoulder.
Off_Camber wrote:if the road was covered in snow/ slush--then theres an argument because the road was not "Marked" by failure of the MTO
the lines are always "marked", might suggest word of "obscured"
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