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Amber Light - Fail to stop @ How do I fight this one?
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 8:04 pm 
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:) Hi, everyone, my wife just got this ticket and I am hoping for some opinions about how we can fight it.

I know under the HTA 144 (15), "Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing a circular amber indication and facing the indication shall stop his or her vehicle if he or she can do so safely, otherwise he or she may proceed with caution." Our argument will be that it was not safe to stop at the time, and she proceeded with caution.

The incident happened at McCowan Rd/Sandhurst Cir North a few days ago. Sunny, dry and normal traffic.

On the incident day, we were on our way home from a fracture clinic because I injured my right leg from the day before. We were told that I had "Medical Collateral Ligament Injury" on my right knee. (I have a copy of the doctor’s prescription with date on it). I was in a lot of pain. At the time of the incident, I was sitting at the passenger side. I had my right (injured) leg straight and my left leg curved under my buttock because that position made my injured leg more comfortable. However, this meant a hard stop would put most of my body weight to my injured leg. My wife realized it too. So, when she saw the amber about 20-30 feet from the intersection she stepped on the brake slightly for a quick moment (as instinct) then decided to coast through the intersection (at about 55km/hr) to avoid injuring my leg. We were travelling from North to South. My wife did see the police car at the time was on the West side waiting for that side of the traffic signal. My wife also noticed there was no car from the opposite direction making left turns or any pedestrian crossing the road.

My wife was then stopped by the same police and was given a ticket. When I tried to explain the situation because my wife didn't speak english well, the police officer refused to listen to me and insisted that my wife's english was ok. And of course my wife was left speechless because she did not understand half of what the officer was saying.The officer basically told my wife, there was a car going beside us and stopped at the yellow, but my wife did not try to stop and will be issued a ticket. Neither I nor my wife realized there was a car travelling beside us. The officer also said the light turned red before our car reached the other side of the intersection, but my wife and I both knew the light stayed yellow until we passed the intersection.

My questions are:
1. Is the possible injury on my already injured leg a good argument? The reason I am questioning is because I had an impression that the "being unsafe to stop" are more like something outside of the car, ex. the "road condition", not inside of the car.
2. Is the possible injury good enough for the argument or should I also mention “if she did stop, the car would have been stopped in the middle of the intersection”
3. Will it be better for me to appear on the court as a witness, or can I be my wife's unpaid representative and witness at the same time? The reason for this question is because my wife is not much of a debater as I am and will not react as quickly as I do on the court.
4. If I do not agree to what the officer’s note describes but I cannot prove it, what happens?

Any advices are greatly appreciated! Thanks a lot for your time!


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Re: Amber Light - Fail to stop @ How do I fight this one?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
1) I don't believe the Courts would accept your leg injury as a valid reason. The onus would be on your wife to drive more slowly if abrupt stops cause you pain.
2) If you can convince the Courts you didn't have sufficient time/distance to stop at the stop line, that would be a good defence..
3) I don't think it's an issue to represent her and take the stand as well.
4) If the Justice of the Peace finds you and your wife credible, it should raise reasonable doubt. Courts aren't supposed to place any more weight on officer's testimony if everyone is credible.


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Re: Amber Light - Fail to stop @ How do I fight this one?
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Stanton wrote:
1) I don't believe the Courts would accept your leg injury as a valid reason. The onus would be on your wife to drive more slowly if abrupt stops cause you pain.
2) If you can convince the Courts you didn't have sufficient time/distance to stop at the stop line, that would be a good defence..
3) I don't think it's an issue to represent her and take the stand as well.
4) If the Justice of the Peace finds you and your wife credible, it should raise reasonable doubt. Courts aren't supposed to place any more weight on officer's testimony if everyone is credible.




Thank you so much for your reply!
I thought my leg injury was a pretty good argument. But, based on your opinion, we should focus more on the insufficient time to stop?
My wife was driving pretty slow at the time, I think she was at about 45-50km/hr. When the light turned yellow, our car was pretty close to the intersection. How would the JP determine whether there was enough time to stop the car though? Thanks!


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Re: Amber Light - Fail to stop @ How do I fight this one?
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
It would be up to you and your wife to articulate that. You'd have to talk about your speed, road conditions and distance from the stop line.


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Re: Amber Light - Fail to stop @ How do I fight this one?
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:26 pm
Posts: 2881
Location: Toronto
Just to add to what Stanton is saying, if your wife was driving slowly at the time and was unable to stop, then you'll want to add in things like:

"I've been driving this vehicle for quite some time, I am fully aware of its capabilities, stopping performance..."
"I was driving under the posted speed limit and saw the green light. I am fully aware of the requirement to stop the vehicle if I'm safely able to do so when the light turns amber. When the light changed to amber, based on the conditions, my knowledge of the car, distance from the intersection and all other factors, I made the decision that I could not safely stop the vehicle in time. I then checked for other traffic, and proceeded with caution through the intersection."

Or words to that effect...

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* 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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Re: Amber Light - Fail to stop @ How do I fight this one?
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
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Location: Ontario
Also you said your wife doesn't speak English well, so notify the Court that you'll require a translator for the trial.


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