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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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HTA - Red light failure to stop
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:41 am 
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I was hoping to receive some advice on the unfortunate situation that I currently find myself in.

Last night, at 7pm, I was at an intersection waiting for the oncoming traffic to clear so that I could turn left. I thought that I was waiting at the intersection behind only one other vehicle (a van) also waiting to turn left. I found it odd at the time that the van did not pull very far into the intersection to make the left hand turn. It turned out that there was another car, in front of the van, and did not realize this until the car started to turn left upon the light turning amber, at which point it came into my view.

Now, this was a large intersection, Glendale/Burleigh Hill in St. Catharines. I was turning left from Glendale onto Burleigh Hill. (If looking this up on Google maps would help give a better picture)

Now, had I known there were two cars in front of me, I would have held back at the intersection, and not kept creeping up behind the van, expecting that I could make the turn in time.

Since it was a large intersection, I am 100% certain that my car was past the white line, and into the cross-walk before the light had turned amber. The two cars in front of me were far enough into the intersection to allow this. However, I do realize that it looked very bad that I was the third car completing a left turn after the light turned amber.

When stopped, I told the officer that the reason I completed the turn was that I was in the intersection as the light was changing. She told me that this was not true, and that I was behind the white line when the light changed. As I didnt feel like argueing about it, I said "OK", and she went and wrote me up a $180 ticket. I was very polite, and when giving me the ticket, it almost seemed like she was reccomending to me that I fight the charge, and try to "get it knocked down". (I asked if this meant I get Demerit points on top of the fine, at which point she explained)

The officer was in the far lane of the oncoming traffic (so I turned left right in front of her), but I find it very hard to beleive that she could have seen whether or not I was actually behind the white line like she claimed, since she was all the way across the intersection, it was dark, and there were two cars in front of me, and a curb median to my left that would obstruct her view of the white line.

Also, I dont know how she would have thought to take note of my location with respect to the line before I had even started to do anything "illegal". I think she noticed that fact I was the third car turning, not where my starting point was.

So, I was hoping to get some advice based on what I have discribed above, and I want to thank everyone in advance, I really appreciate it.
1) Do I have an arguement that I should be able to complete the turn since I was sitting in the cross-walk at the time the light turned amber, even though the light was red by the time I was able to fully complete the turn?
2) Do I have an arguement that the officer probably couldnt see my starting point from where she was idleing at the intersection due to her proximity and other obstructions?
3) Should I just pay the fine and not bother fighting it?

I am not at all concerned about the $180 fine, however, I am looking at getting a new car, and the timing couldnt be worse for insurance purposes. I have a clean record up to this point, and am wondering how much I could expect my premiums to increase if I do not fight the ticket, even if I kept my current car. (If anybody reading this has experience in the matter)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:52 pm 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
please add what specific section is on the offence notice......this will help other users to reply appropriately

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:02 pm 
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hwybear wrote:
please add what specific section is on the offence notice......this will help other users to reply appropriately


It was 144(18 )

Red light

(18 ) Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing a circular red indication and facing the indication shall stop his or her vehicle and shall not proceed until a green indication is shown. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 144 (18 ).


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:36 pm 
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If it was as you described (dark, officer on other side of intersection, two cars in front of you) then it would be difficult for her to clearly view your exact position with respect to the lines. Do you have a video camera by any chance? If so, you could go back to the intersection, set a time-date stamp and show how difficult it may have been for her to see your vehicle vs. the lines. Do a good survey of the intersection. Video evidence is easier to submit than photographs.

She could have ticketed you for another offence which might've stuck, but if you are careful enough with your cross-examination, you may be able to beat the charge at trial. Keep in mind, Red Light - Fail to Stop is an offence that very few Prosecutors, if any, will offer any reductions or plea bargains on.

Just out of curiosity, did she tell you that she saw the light change to red before you entered the intersection? Or did she just say the "light changed"? Sometimes people get ticketed for running a red light simply because their vehicle (or part of it) was in the intersection when the light changed red.

Also, just to clarify... the ticket does say $180 and it was issued a couple of days ago, right? (Seems like a stupid question but it's very important.) There may be a technical way that the ticket can be quashed if that's the case.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:40 pm 
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Thanks for the speedy reply.

The ticket says "set fine of: $150" "Total payable: $180"
The ticket is dated January 15, 2010, 6:55pm

She said there were two cars in front of me, and I was behind the white line, and could have stopped. I just took that to imply that she meant before the light changed. She didn't specify a colour.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:24 am 
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There is serious mistake on this ticket. Set fine for the offence is wrong!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:04 pm 
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Traffic Law wrote:
There is serious mistake on this ticket. Set fine for the offence is wrong!!!


Ok, so how should I proceed?

I found that the fine should be $260, as of January 1. Would a judge not possibly make me pay the increased fine if found guilty??

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:09 pm 
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If you proceed to trial, it is likely that you will be convicted of the higher fine amount - if you lose. However, as Traffic Law was pointing out, the set fine and/or total payable being incorrect makes the ticket null IF you follow a specific procedure. It's just a matter of whether you want to do it or not.

If you do not appear for trial, the Justice of the Peace is required to examine your ticket to see if it is "complete and regular" on its face. They cannot amend the ticket without you present. If you are present, they can amend it (with only a few exceptions). Major errors, such as the set fine being wrong, should quash the ticket. What usually happens, though, is the JP just enters the conviction without checking the ticket to see if it's filled out properly. :roll:

So then you need to appeal to a real Justice who has been to law school. At that point, the Justice will note the certificate was defective and quash the certificate. It's a question of whether you want to jump through all of those hoops or not.

One of our members actually used this exact tactic to beat a speeding charge. This was the discussion prior to his court date:

http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic1598.html

And then, in the Smith v. City of Toronto case, our member Off_Camber won his appeal.

It's your choice as to whether you want to go through all of that or not. It's one avenue that you could use.

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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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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:53 pm 
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Thanks for the information!

I definitely will proceed with this route. There seems like I have a bevvy of cases to use in my defence to have this quashed.

I am pretty happy to hear this.

Am I running the risk of these cases being no longer valid by the time I get to the actual appeal date? It appears as though London v. Young has held up really strong, as a number of the other cases cited it.

Also, what would I say in court when asked why I didn't show up for my original court date?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:03 pm 
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donovan39 wrote:
Am I running the risk of these cases being no longer valid by the time I get to the actual appeal date?


There's a remote possibility of that, but London v. Young was a ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The only court that could reverse it would be the same, or the Supreme Court of Canada.

donovan39 wrote:
Also, what would I say in court when asked why I didn't show up for my original court date?


No explanation should be necessary. Are you sure you got the right court date? :wink:

What I would suggest is get yourself ready for the appeal, because it seems like a regular routine in situations like this where the JPs simply convict with total disregard for the Provincial Offences Act and the London v. Young ruling. Maybe talking to someone who has actually gone through this, or argued a case like this, would be useful.

Good luck with it and keep us posted!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Thanks again Radar. I will keep you posted.

I am going to request a trial tomorrow, so it will be quite some time until I hear further.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:23 am 
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I requested a court date.

When is it appropriate to request disclosure? After I receive my notice to appear? Now? Do I even need to if I dont plan on showing up to court?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:19 pm 
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The best strategy is to request it as soon as you have your trial date. I'd still make the disclosure request regardless.

Just don't tell anyone that the ticket bears the incorrect set fine, otherwise, if it is within 6 months, they can withdraw the original charge and issue a summons in its place! If the case goes to trial and you don't appear, even if it is within 6 months, the Crown is up the creek without a paddle... even though they think they aren't.

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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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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:24 pm 
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A LOT of people never request disclosure. Those who come to this forum all do for some reason though :lol:

Really, if you plan on using the incorrect fine line of defence then there is no need to get the disclosure. You can still request it though, either now or when you receive the court date. You can ask for disclosure now, but most people wait for the court date to arrive.

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Court date nearing
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:28 pm 
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Hello again everybody... it has been a while.

My court date is now about a month away.

While I do not plan on appearing in court, I still want to make sure that I have all of my bases covered before attempting to have my ticket "quashed" based on being charged the incorrect amount on the ticket.

I have tried to find the majority of my answers through looking at other posts on this forum, and through websites discussed in the forum.

My understanding is that I have 15 days from my court date to pay the fine and file for an appeal. My court date is Wednesday August 25th. So could I just stroll into the court office on say, Monday and acheive both... pay for the ticket, and file for an appeal? (Assuming they convict me, which they probably will)

My understanding is also that I do not need to request a transcript for this, correct?

I THINK I remember reading somewhere that I should request multiple copies of receipts showing that I paid the fine, and requested an appeal. Am I correct in my thinking? I don't remember why this was reccomended however, and who I would need to forward those to.

Lastly, how does my insurance company know that I filed for appeal so that they do not hike my rates in the meantime?

If there is anything else that you think I am missing or should be aware of, please let me know! I really appreciate it.


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