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Fail to obey traffic sign - stop sign - on military base
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:02 am 
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I recently received a ticket from a military policeman on a military base in Ontario. Therefore, I was charged under the "Government Property Traffic Regulations" (GPTR), section 9. I know that some may say, why are you posting on a website for the HTA? Well, in Ontario, the military uses the Provincial Offences Act/Ontario Court of Justice for traffic tickets issued on a military base, i.e. Federal Property.

The fine is for $65, no demerit pts (as this does not exist in the GPTR), but a conviction will most likely show up on my Ontario driver's record. From what I have been told, this is the case.

Secton 9 of the GPTR states, "The driver of a vehicle on a highway shall obey the instructions of any traffic sign or device applicable to that driver, vehicle or highway." So, from what I understand, it is essentially the same as being charged under the HTA, but without the larger fine and demerit points.

Here's what happened:

Turned left onto the road that I allegedly ran the stop sign. Came up to the stop sign. Stopped at the stop sign, not for 3 seconds or something like that, but stopped. I know that the HTA only requires "even momentarily". Had to proceed a little further due to large trees obscuring my view on the left in order to see if any traffic was coming. Prior to turning, there was a white car in front of me that turned left. The intersection has no white line painted on the ground and the stop sign is about 1 to 1.5 meters from the intersection. There is no crosswalk here either. The road that I was on and got the ticket for ends at this meeting of the other road. You must turn left or right. I turned right onto the new road and then proceeded to the next stop sign. Once again, stopped. Checked that the way was clear and turned left. Of course, always used turn signals throughout all of this. I proceeded down this more "main" road on the base. I looked into my rearview mirror and saw that there were about four cars behind me and that an MP had his lights on at the stop sign that I had just turned left from. The MP turned left, passed the four cars, and pulled me over.

He came up to my vehicle and stated that the conversation was being recorded and that the MP car had video. I confirmed that this is in fact normal for an MP vehicle by speaking with one of my MP friends. Whenever the lights are activated in an MP vehicle, the recording system automatically starts. The MP did not ask me "why did I pull you over?" He told me that he pulled me over because I went right through the stop sign. I told him that I thought that I had done a good stop. He then said that I didn't and that "the white car in front of you didn't do a very good stop". He took my stuff and then later ticketed me. This base has an MP school and there was a student MP with the real MP. The student MP came up on the right of my vehicle. After this and while waiting in my car, I observed the student MP grab the ticket pad from the back of the MP vehicle while I waited in my car. I saw this in my rearview mirror.

I will fight this ticket as I know that I stopped, even momentarily. I will ask for disclosure in order to see where the MP was waiting when he apparently saw me do this offence. Afterwards, I went with a friend to look at the area and if the MP was where we think he was (as I did not see him at all while driving through the area where I got the ticket), he could not even have seen the stop sign as it was obscured by the same trees that had obscured my left view of the intersecting road (as described above).

Also, I find it very interesting to note that the MP actually admitted on a recording that he witnessed another vehicle not do a very good stop, but instead he chose to ticket me. Also, wouldn't a good defence be the following (after getting disclosure, including the MP's notes and the video/audio recordings):

1. Admitting to a white car in front of me, wouldn't his attention have been taken away from me for even a very short time and in that time, I did my stop?
2. Wouldn't I have hit the white car's rearend if I had just blown right through the stop sign?
3. Depending on what the notes say, the MP might not have even been able to see the stop sign due to the trees obscuring/obstructing his view? I will take video and pictures of the area, along with measurements.
4. If I had the intent of running a stop sign, why then did I not get charged for multiple stop sign infractions as I encountered two of them, but only was charged with one? Also, in the "heat of the moment", I remained calm and told the MP that I thought that I had done a good stop. What I'm getting at here is that this would show that my intent was not to run any stop signs.
5. I have had about 2 speeding tickets in the past (can't remember exact number), but none on my record since approx 2003, i.e. well over 8 years ago. No other moving violations.
6. Possibly using the "Resolution Prosecutor" and meeting with him/her prior to the trial in order to plead to a non-moving violation. Will prosecutors even do this and if so, what should I try to get my ticket changed to? Remember, it is only a $65 fine, but it could have an impact on my insurance as a "minor" conviction.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


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Re: Fail to obey traffic sign - stop sign - on military base
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:34 am 
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1. Admitting to a white car in front of me, wouldn't his attention have been taken away from me for even a very short time and in that time, I did my stop?

Maybe his attention was just split. Doesn't mean he wasn't paying enough attention to you to notice whether you stopped or not.

2. Wouldn't I have hit the white car's rearend if I had just blown right through the stop sign?

Not if you were going slowly. Is he alleging you blew through at a high rate of speed, or just that you didn't stop?

3. Depending on what the notes say, the MP might not have even been able to see the stop sign due to the trees obscuring/obstructing his view? I will take video and pictures of the area, along with measurements.

That's a possibility, but he doesn't necessarily have to see the sign from his position. What he has to be able to see is the stop line (if there is one) or whatever else designates the place you are required to stop.

4. If I had the intent of running a stop sign, why then did I not get charged for multiple stop sign infractions as I encountered two of them, but only was charged with one? Also, in the "heat of the moment", I remained calm and told the MP that I thought that I had done a good stop. What I'm getting at here is that this would show that my intent was not to run any stop signs.

The allegation is that you ran 1 stop sign and were ticketed for that offence. You can claim that your intention wasn't to run stop signs, but I don't think that's particularly relevant to the allegation of running that 1 particular sign.

5. I have had about 2 speeding tickets in the past (can't remember exact number), but none on my record since approx 2003, i.e. well over 8 years ago. No other moving violations.

I'm not sure what the question is here...

6. Possibly using the "Resolution Prosecutor" and meeting with him/her prior to the trial in order to plead to a non-moving violation. Will prosecutors even do this and if so, what should I try to get my ticket changed to? Remember, it is only a $65 fine, but it could have an impact on my insurance as a "minor" conviction.

As I understand charges under the GPTR, s. 9 is a catch all charge. Regardless of what offence you commit under the HTA (that would have been a chargeable offence on public property), you are just charged with s. 9 of the GPTR. Therefore, there is no distinction when you're charged with that between moving and non-moving violations and there's no other charge to plea to. Also, I don't believe that a conviction under the GPTR goes on your driving history.
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Re: Fail to obey traffic sign - stop sign - on military base
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 1:08 am 
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Location: Ontario
I’ve never seen a GPTR conviction on a driving abstract. I suppose it could be simply because they’re rare, but I’d lean towards Simon’s opinion that they probably don’t get recorded. Ontario has reciprocal agreements with other Provinces and a few States, but the agreement doesn’t list anything Federal. I know many municipalities have bylaw infractions for stop signs and other HTA offences that never appear on your abstract unless they have demerit points assigned to them.

Just out of curiosity what leads you to believe it will show on your licence history? I'd kind of like to know for sure if it does or not.


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Re: Fail to obey traffic sign - stop sign - on military base
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 1:56 am 
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The MP is alleging that I went right through the stop sign. The exact quote is "Fail to obey traffic sign - stop sign". He never charged me with speeding or anything like that. There is no line on the road.

As for the GPTR, I have had a really hard time finding much info on it, besides the actual regulations themselves, but this is much, much less detailed than the HTA. If there is no distinction made between moving and non-moving violations for the GPTR, then this would make sense as to why everybody I speak with has never seen it on a driver's record. I have both MP and civilian police friends that have told me this. However, I am getting contradicting info from the MPs on base. I went to the MP station on base and asked if this would go on my driving record and they said that a conviction under the GPTR would.

I also looked for info on any agreements with Ontario and the Federal Government for reporting, but couldn't find anything. My concern here is that if it is a Federal Act that I am charged under, why is the military using a provincial act, i.e. the Provincial Offences Act, and a provincial court of justice to prosecute offences that alledgely took place on federal property, i.e. a military base? This would then concern me since this is the same court that deals with charges under the HTA and convictions under the HTA definitely affect the driver's record.

My civilian police friend recommended that I contact the Ontario MTO in order to determine if convictions under the GPTR would in fact go on a driver's abstract. I am also thinking about asking the Provincial Court office. Do you have any recommendations on where I could find out for sure if a conviction under section 9 of the GPTR would end up on my provincial driver's abstract?

I am positive that I get no demerit points as the MP who stopped me stated this to me at the traffic stop, my MP friend told me this, and the MPs at the MP station on base told me this. Plus, the GPTR has no reference at all to demerit pts.


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Re: Fail to obey traffic sign - stop sign - on military base
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 11:19 am 
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Location: Ontario
I wouldn't get too hung up on the whole Provincial Court thing. Provincial Courts handle a variety of offences, many of which you get tickets for, but they still don't show on your driving abstract. Just contact someone who knows for sure. I'd agree with your friend that the MTO would be the best resource to contact. They're the ones that manage the licence database that stores abstracts. I can't imagine the level of telephone hell you'll have to go through to speak with someone in the know, but probably be worth it.


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Re: Fail to obey traffic sign - stop sign - on military base
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:11 pm 
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I spoke with the MTO Driver Control office today, after having some fun phone issues. The entire morning on hold, then had to go to a meeting so had to hang up, phoned back in the afternoon, the call system wasn't working, and finally got through around 2:30 p.m. today.

In a nutshell, the lady at MTO was very nice and polite and took the time to pull out the conviction tables. She said that the only thing on her tables that closely resembled a GPTR reference (it was under the Act that creates the GPTR, which is the Government Property Traffic Act) was for speeding. She asked me if speeding was listed as section 20 in the GPTR and I said yes. She then said that there was no other reference to the GPTA or GPTR for any other offence that woud impact my driving record. Thus, a conviction for section 9 of the GPTR should not affect my driving record. Sweet !!!!

The lady even told me that if for some reason it shows up on my Ontario driving record, phone the MTO Driver Control office back and a correction to my abstract would be initiated.

That is probably why most police, lawyers, etc. that look at Ontario driving abstracts never see anything related to the GPTR.


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Re: Fail to obey traffic sign - stop sign - on military base
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 2:32 am 
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Good to know. I guess since section 9 is a catch all for so many different offences, the MTO couldn't really list a specific conviction on your abstract.


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Re: Fail to obey traffic sign - stop sign - on military base
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 11:23 pm 
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Forgot to ask. The ticket that the MP gave me only states the street that I received the ticket on, along with it being a defence establisment, in the particular county. However, I thought that the ticket had to indicate at which stop sign the offence took place, i.e. list the intersection on the ticket?? This particular road is not that long, but it does have four stops signs on it. Would the ticket that I am issued with have to indicate the intersection at which I received the ticket?

Thanks.


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Re: Fail to obey traffic sign - stop sign - on military base
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:55 pm 
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Probably not. I've rarely heard of JP's making an issue out of no cross street. But I think it would be even less of an issue with yours, since the specific offence isn't even failing to stop at a particular stop sign at a particular street.

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Re: Fail to obey traffic sign - stop sign - on military base
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:12 pm 
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Completed and gave the back of the ticket to the Barrie Provincial Offences Court today. Plead not guilty. The lady confirmed to me that the ticket was filed within the 7 days. I asked if I could speak with the prosecutor prior to the trial since I will be posted (moved) this month to a new city and I want to solve this prior to then. She told me that this is not done in Barrie.

Also, she told me about the Canada Post strike and stated that it "was my responsibility to know my court date and contact them if I didn't receive anything in the next 4 to 6 weeks". Reading other websites, I know that this is not true as it it the court's responsibility as long as I have provided all necessary info for them to contact me (as I did).

Also, I went to the prosecutor's office and asked if they could mail me the disclosure once I ask for it. The lady told me that they don't mail and I would have to pick it up or have someone do this for me.

My question:

1. What impact will the Canada Post strike have on this. Will the prosecutor be able use this as an excuse if they don't provide me with the info in time, i.e. within 10 months?

Thanks.


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