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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Failure to Stop at Red Light
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:48 am
Posts: 3
Hi Everyone,

Hoping to get your help with a traffic offense I just received. Here is the scenario:

I was stopped at a light in the left hand turn lane, I was second in line. The light turned green. The vehicle in front of me as well as myself, pulled into the intersection in anticipation of making a left hand turn on the green signal. The traffic was so busy that the whole signal passed before there was an opportunity to turn. The light turned yellow and both the vehicle in front of me and myself proceeded to make our left turns safely.

Full disclosure, I'm not sure if the light was actually yellow when we ended up getting through. A few people coming through the intersection were trying to beat the yellow so we did have to wait a few seconds into the yellow signal until it was clear. I'm pretty confident it was yellow though.

The officer pulled me over, made not of the fact that running a red light could be considered a street racing offence. I did not say anything other than acknowledge her comments. She issued me a ticket for running a red light (I'd site the section, but I already mailed in my response disputing the charge and can't remember). The set fine was $260 with total payable being $325.

I'm a little pissed because this happens thousands of times a day in Toronto to keep traffic moving and I didn't do anything dangerous.

The date on the ticket was wrong (dated Nov 11, when the date I was pulled over was Nov 20), so when I mailed my response I included a letter stating this so they knew I was within the 15 days and should not be convicted on the basis of time passed.

A few notes - the officer said she had a camera (she didn't say if she taped the event or not, I'm assuming she did). I'll obviously request a copy so I can review, but here are some questions I have with the caveat I haven't seen the video yet to ensure it matches my version above.

1) Is there any possibility of getting this thrown out based on the date of the ticket being wrong? From my research it seems as though the error on the ticket must be 'fatal' and I'm not sure if this qualifies or not
2) Do I have any defense (to get the ticket thrown out or reduced to a lesser offence) by arguing that I was in the intersection, yielding to traffic and to stay there would have been unsafe?
3) Is there any other defense I can make to get this thrown out or reduced to a lesser offence or thrown out.? Saying I went through on a yellow, or that I had to yield before I proceeded?

Ideally I'd like to get this thrown out so there is no affect on my insurance, but any reduction obviously helps.

Thanks in advance for your help.


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Re: Failure to Stop at Red Light
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:18 pm
Posts: 1722
So you did not keep a copy of both sides of the original ticket?

First of all you should NEVER tell them when they make a mistake because they can just re-issue you a new ticket with the corrected information.

Second, if the date was more than 7 days off, then it would have been a fatal error for sure if you had not responded.

So this is what you need to do...
Call the Clerk of the Court and ask them "What date was the Certificate of Offense was filed with the court?" and "What is the date of the offense on the ticket?"

You might even want to go and ask for a copy of both sides of the Ceriticate of Offense (and also ask for a copy of both sides of your original Notice of Offense that you sent in as well).

The officer MUST file the certificate of offense with the court within 7 days of the offense, so HOPEFULLY they will tell you that the date of the offense is "Nov 11" and that it was filed more than 7 days after that date. If this is the case, then you do not show you for your trial and let the JP either see the error and drop the charge, or let the JP find you guilty in your absence. If they find you guilty, then you can appeal based on an error at law, and when the appeals judge will have the charge dropped.

Now the fact that you told them about the problem means that you could receive a new ticket within 6 months of the offense date with the corrected information.

_________________
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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Re: Failure to Stop at Red Light
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:48 am
Posts: 3
I believe the section of the HTA I was charged under was 144 (18)


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Re: Failure to Stop at Red Light
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:48 am
Posts: 3
*EDIT*. Ok. thanks for the info. I will do that.

In the event I do get a new ticket, the questions I listed will still apply. Any other feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,


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Re: Failure to Stop at Red Light
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:17 pm 
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High Authority

Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:18 pm
Posts: 1722
I believe that this charge is Absolute Liability charge which means that you either did it or did not do it. If you did it, then the reasons why are irrelevent (unless you can prove your life was in danger).

Before you can really decide what defense you have, you must ask for a trial and then request disclosure (officers notes). Once you get the officers notes then you can decide if there is a defense or not.

_________________
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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