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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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re: red light. fail to stop.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:06 pm 
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I ran through an amber light (thinking I had enough time and could make it safely across) but hit the red 10 feet away. Unfortunately there was a police officer there to view this event who proceeded to give me a ticket. I thought I could make it across (144 (15) states to proceed with caution if it is amber and cannot stop). Other than these details, there is little else to state. Is this something I ask disclosure for and go to Option 3?

thanks,


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Re: re: red light. fail to stop.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:30 pm 
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Location: Ontario
Failing to stop for a red light is an absolute liability offence, meaning the only defence is one of necessity. Since that certainly doesn't sound like the case, the other option is to try and raise reasonable doubt at trial.

You can request option 3 for any offence and seek disclosure. Disclosure for this type of charge would consist of little more than the officer's notes. If you have no court room experience and the officer is reasonably competent, you'd probably have a hard time winning. Best to seek legal representation if you're adamant about fighting it. The other option is to request a first attendance meeting and see if the Crown will offer you a plea to a lesser charge.


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Re: re: red light. fail to stop.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:55 pm 
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Just to clarify... Even though it was a yellow light when I started and then turned red, I really have no defense?


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Re: re: red light. fail to stop.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Location: Ontario
Sorry, I'm a little confused by your first post. Was the light amber or red when you entered the intersection? And were you charged with a red light offence or an amber light offence?

If you entered on an amber light, then it's a strict liability offence, making it easier to dispute. That means if you showed due diligence (couldn't safely stop, didn't suddenly floor it to go through), you have a defence. If the officer charged you with a red light offence but you entered on the amber, that means the charge should be dropped since it's incorrect. Of course if the officer charged you with a red light offence, he probably believes you entered on the red. If his notes however say you entered on the amber light, the Crown should simply drop the charge.


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Re: re: red light. fail to stop.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:54 pm 
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I entered on the yellow (amber) and it turned red while I was running it. Yes, I probably did speed up but I figured I had enough time to make it through. I was charged with "red light. failed to stop". Does that clarify it? What would your next course of action be?


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Re: re: red light. fail to stop.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:40 pm 
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Location: Ontario
Normally if you can show you were given the wrong charge, the prosecutor will withdraw it. I'm guessing in your case however, the officer probably believes you entered on the red light. Request disclosure so that you can get a copy of his notes and see what they say. If they DO show you entered on an amber, you're in luck. If not, you'll have to go to trial and present your version of events and hopefully the JP will find enough reasonable doubt for a finding of not guilty.

Speeding up to go through the amber probably wasn't a good idea, and caught the officer's attention. Based on what you've said, the officer would have had pretty strong case against you for just the amber light charge. Remember, the goal is to stop, not to try and make it through. If you're accelerating, it makes it harder to argue you were unable to stop AND proceeding with caution.


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