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Have trial next week for Failure to Obey Stop Sign
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:36 pm 
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Last July I got pulled over for failure to obey stop sign at a T-intersection in my neighbourhood. After I got my trial date I requested disclosure in November. Sent in another request for disclosure in early January and in mid-January got a call to pick it up at the court office. The disclosure consists of copies of the court notice, ticket and a printout of the officer's notes (no written notes or by-law that erected the sign was provided). In the officer's notes, he stated that he drove the intersection at all directions and the signs were unobstructed. Two days after I was ticketed, I went back to that intersection and took photos. I researched and found that according to HTA R.R.O 1990, Reg 615, Section 45:

Quote:
45. A sign prescribed by this Regulation, other than a sign prescribed by section 13, 14, 15, 24, 25, 26 or 27, shall be so placed as to be visible at all times for a distance of at least 60 metres to the traffic approaching the sign. O. Reg. 175/08, s. 15.


In the direction of travel, I took a photo of the intersection from 60m out from the stop sign, and the sign was clearly obstructed by a tree (see below). I can show by a scaled map where the photo was taken and the distance to the stop sign.

Image

I plan to use this as my defense of why I did not come to a complete stop (as noted by the officer)... because the stop sign was obstructed and I didn't have time to come to a complete stop.

The officer also stated in his notes that he had an unobstructed view of my wheels and he noted the wheels never came to a complete stop. I took a photo from where the cop would have been parked and the view was completely clear, as it was partially blocked by trees and a row of hedges (see below).

Image

But I understand it may be harder to prove this point using the photo because I cannot prove where the photo was taken was where the officer was parked. So I'll probably won't include this for my defense.

So that being said, if the officer shows up and the trial proceeds, my plan of attack would be:

1) Ask for the by-law that was passed for the erection of the stop sign.

2) Question the officer on whether the sign was unobstructed.

3) Submit photographic evidence showing sign was obstructed from 60m away and quote HTA R.R.O 1990, Reg 615, Section 45.

4) Cross my fingers...

So is there anything else I can do/use to firm up my defense? What are some of the ways the prosecutor may use to discredit my defense?

Thanks for any insight & help you can provide.


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Re: Have trial next week for Failure to Obey Stop Sign
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:18 pm 
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It looks like your photo from 60m away was taken from a point right next to the curb and not where traffic would normally be driving. That would change the angle and allow the sign to be seen from a greater distance. For the second photo, the stop line is very clear and it's in no way obstructed by trees or the hedge.


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Re: Have trial next week for Failure to Obey Stop Sign
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:14 am 
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Location: Ontario
You have to choose, either say you did stop or you didn't.

Personally I would not use the "could not see the sign from 60m" defense unless you can prove there is a an obstruction. The photo you have is weak. I watched a guy use this argument and it fell apart when the prosecutor asked him if he had ever driven through the neighborhood before he admitted that he knew there was a stop sign there even though it was snow covered. The JP convicted him. Going that route would make it irrelevant if the officer had an unobstructed view of your wheels as you would be admitting to not stopping.

In addition to the one you took a couple days later I would retake the photo of the stop sign from the officers vantage point with your car in the photo. If the wheels are clearly obstructed, when it is your turn to question the officer get him to say he had an unobstructed view of your tires. Then introduce the photos as evidence to contradict his testimony. I would imply that the officer could have made an honest mistake as everyone is human.

If you admit that you rolled a stop you will be convicted. You have to say that you are absolutely sure you came to a complete stop even if it was for a split second.


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Re: Have trial next week for Failure to Obey Stop Sign
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:36 pm 
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What if I say I did stop, then use the two photos to contest the officer's notes that claims 1) he had an unobstructed view (I can question him if there is anything else between him and the vehicle), and 2) the stop signs were unobstructed and clear in all directions. Would that be sufficient to prove reasonable doubt?


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Re: Have trial next week for Failure to Obey Stop Sign
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:58 pm 
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rvs007 wrote:
What if I say I did stop, then use the two photos to contest the officer's notes that claims 1) he had an unobstructed view (I can question him if there is anything else between him and the vehicle), and 2) the stop signs were unobstructed and clear in all directions. Would that be sufficient to prove reasonable doubt?


If you are claiming you stopped, the first picture isn't a factor. You can't argue the sign isn't visible and yet you still stopped. You can't have it both ways. If the officer claims the signs were unobstructed, it's to cover his basis in case you decide to argue you couldn't stop due to the sign not being visible.

You either go with you didn't stop and the sign wasn't visible, or you did stop and the officers view was obstructed.


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Re: Have trial next week for Failure to Obey Stop Sign
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:45 pm 
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I was hoping the first picture can be used to challenge the officer's recollection of the details of that day and to discredit him as a witness.

Could I not argue that the stop sign was obstructed from 60m back, so by the time I did see the sign, I had less room to come to a complete stop by the stop bar. This resulted in me not stopping at the stop bar but within the intersection and the officer perceived this as not coming to a complete stop.

As for driving that route, I actually never drove that route before and the reason why I took it that day was because it was my child's first day at a new daycare and I thought that route would have less traffic. I did more research and found that the 3-way stop was erected in 2009. Previously it was a thru-way with a stop condition for the connecting street. Our house is very close to the main arterial road so 99.9% of the time, I leave the subdivision using a more direct way out. I rarely use this alternate route which requires driving longer distance to get out of the subdivision (but in the morning rush-hour, it does save time).


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Re: Have trial next week for Failure to Obey Stop Sign
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:08 pm
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Location: Ontario
It all comes down to credibility using 2 defenses that contradict each other make you look less credible. If you can establish that the officer could not have see your wheels when he said he could then the JP might find him less credible than you giving him reasonable doubt. The second picture is the stronger defense in my opinion. Burn the first picture.


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