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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Turning Right on a Red light 144.18
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:50 am 
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I have a question I would like to ask concerning turning right on a red light.

I was approaching on the right turn only lane to the traffic light which turned from amber to red. As soon as the red light came on, there were advance green left turn arrow for the intersection I was for the cars that were traveling right to left and left to right of me. Since there was a lot of traffic from where I was coming home from work, I was forced to make a complete stop several car lengths behind the line. As soon as I noticed that there were no cars entering the lane I was turning into, I quickly accelerated and proceed with the right turn when the advance green left arrow was still in effect. A police officer pulled me over accusing me of not stopping for the red light and wrote me a ticket for the Highway Traffic Act 144.18.

I decided to go to trial for this traffic ticket. Do you have any suggestions or advice that I should take note of or be aware of? Any help is appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:36 am 
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Hello Ravage, and welcome to the forum.

A question for you - was your vehicle completely stopped at the time when there were no other vehicles between your car and the intersection? In other words, did you just follow the car in front of you without stopping first?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:42 am 
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Hi racer,

It was around 6pm on a weekday when this happened. There were maybe 1 or 2 cars between me and the intersection. Also, there were also probably 2-3 cars behind me as well that made the turn at the same time.

There were actually 1 or 2 officers set up pulling all the cars over on the lane that was closing. Basically, I was turning into a road with 2 lanes and 1 closing lane.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:00 am 
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Ok, so here is a no-fault sequence of events (I assume 2 vehicles in front of you)

1-st vehicle comes to a complete stop before the crosswalk line (I assume there is one there), then turns right.
All other vehicles advance, 2-nd vehicle stops, then turns right.
Your vehicle advances to the intersection, STOPS COMPLETELY, then turns right.
And so on.

Here is a YOUR fault sequence of events

1-st vehicle comes to a complete stop before the crosswalk line (I assume there is one there), then turns right.
All other vehicles advance, 2-nd vehicle stops, then turns right.
Your vehicle follows right behind the 2-nd vehicle without stopping before the crosswalk line and makes a right turn.

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"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:07 am 
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It was not just me that the police officers pulled over, so the two scenarios wouldn't fit completely.

For the no-fault and my fault, will it make a difference if i stopped one car length before the crosswalk line? I made a stop, but it wasn't precisely behind the line.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:09 pm 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
Here is another section that you were in violation of:
HTA 144 (14) Green Arrow - Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing one or more green arrow indications only OR in combination with a circular red or circular amber indication and facing the indication may proceed ONLY to follow the direction shown by the arrow.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:55 pm 
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hwybear wrote:
Here is another section that you were in violation of:
HTA 144 (14) Green Arrow - Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing one or more green arrow indications only OR in combination with a circular red or circular amber indication and facing the indication may proceed ONLY to follow the direction shown by the arrow.


I've never given this section of the Act much thought, but now I wonder what it means by "facing the indication."

Say there are two (or more) lanes of traffic in each direction, with a traffic signal light stack above or to the right of the right-hand lane, and another signal light stack above or to the left of the left-hand lane. Only the one on the left has the green left-turn arrow component, and the arrow is illuminated. The one on the right is a standard round red over round amber over round green, and it is showing red.

I would have thought a vehicle in the right-hand lane could legally make a right turn as usual (after coming to a full stop, ascertaining that there were no pedestrians or other traffic, etc., etc.). But now I wonder: does that left-turn green arrow govern the whole intersection? A vehicle in the right lane is "approaching the traffic control signal ... and facing the indication" (facing it at an angle, but certainly facing it -- not facing away from it), which suggests that any right turn at that intersection, no matter how carefully made, might be illegal whenever any green left arrow is lit. I'll have to watch for this when I'm on the road tomorrow, but I would appreciate some guidance.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:16 am 
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No, you can still turn right as long as you have an empty lane to turn into.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:02 am 
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Reflections wrote:
No, you can still turn right as long as you have an empty lane to turn into.


This is very interesting to say the least. I would say no one can turn right on the red in this instance, b/c the section read "may proceed ONLY to follow the direction shown by the arrow". Making the turn on the red, would not be following the direction shown by the green arrow. Open lane or not.

Most officers do not even know about this section. So quite honestly, how would most of the public know. Then a JP would probably wonder about finding guilt, although ignorance is no excuse. If there was a collision, when the person turns right on a red, and an opposing vehicle had turned left on a green arrow, think this would be an appropriate charge.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:42 am 
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hwybear wrote:
Here is another section that you were in violation of:
HTA 144 (14) Green Arrow - Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing one or more green arrow indications only OR in combination with a circular red or circular amber indication and facing the indication may proceed ONLY to follow the direction shown by the arrow.


In this case, why are there also signs saying "No right turn on red light" on some intersections with left turn arrow indications? Perhaps you have to face the arrow indication for the law to be applicable?

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"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:08 am 
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racer wrote:

In this case, why are there also signs saying "No right turn on red light" on some intersections with left turn arrow indications? Perhaps you have to face the arrow indication for the law to be applicable?


This would be my impression. Rights on reds are allowed in Ontario unless signed otherwise. If the road you are turning into has two or more lanes then I say go ahead. If you are turning onto a road with only one lane then you have to wait. Quite simple really.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:42 am 
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I came back from the court yesterday and I'm glad to say that my charge was changed to a 144.10 instead.

Obeying lane lights

(10) Every driver shall obey every traffic control signal that applies to the lane that he or she is in. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 144 (10).

I was able to prove that I did make a stop before the intersection and such, so the judge was very reasonable. Although I may have went on further on about how I am only concerned about my original violation, but who cares, no demerit points.

Thanks for your help, guys


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:37 pm 
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I''m still not sure that 144 (14) cannot be interpreted either way.

144 (10) "Every driver shall obey every traffic control signal that applies to the lane that he or she is in," might imply that separate signal stacks would apply differentially to the individual lanes at an intersection with more than one lane in each direction. That's what I've always thought (agreeing with racer and Reflections). But 144 (10) does say "every" signal that applies to your lane, so more than one signal may apply. And the Act does go on in several subsections, including 144 (14), to use the formula "approaching a traffic control signal showing a [whatever] indication and facing the indication" (emphasis added), which I think could well be interpreted to mean that any right turn at that intersection would be illegal whenever any green arrow is lit.

It depends on what you think the Act means by"approaching" and "facing."

The Act does not say in 144 (14) that you have to be approaching the green arrow in the signal "nearest your lane" or "directly in front of you" to be governed by it, only that you are "approaching" the signal and "facing" it. How many degrees off your heading can the green arrow signal be before you are no longer "facing" it?

I think we all inadvertently break laws every time we drive: all we can do is drive responsibly and sensibly, and avoid those odd things that we know may result in our getting charged and convicted. This is just something I'd never thought of, that might be one of those odd things: any given JP might jump either way on it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:13 pm 
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Quote:
"Every driver shall obey every traffic control signal that applies to the lane that he or she is in,"


So when you come to an intersection with a "Left Turn" light, but also the regular lights this is when you follow your arrows. If the left turn arrow is on and regular lights are green then all of you go. If only the "Turning" arrows are lit then turns may be completed. If an officer is splitting hair on this then someone hasn't had his "TIMS" yet.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:50 pm 
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Reflections wrote:
"TIMS"


That is all I read out of all that...quit distracting me :lol:

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Last edited by hwybear on Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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