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Fail to obeylane sign 154 (1) (C)
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:47 am 
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Hey guys, just got this ticket today and I was wondering if I could get some advice on this ticket.

At: Eastbound Steeles Ae E at Townsend Rd.
Offense: Fail to Obey Lane Sign
Section: 154(1)(c)
Fine: $110

Situation: This was in the morning and going eastbound on Steeles prior to getting onto the 404 SOUTH onramp. There's a right turn lane (right only) that everyone uses to just go straight onto the on ramp and I was caught using it. Typically what you're supposed to do is stay in the lane next to it and once you cross the intersection, you make a lane change to the right to get onto the on ramp.

I have looked at this thread: http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic569.html and it looks that several of you pointed out the issue of being able to leverage the fact that the sign is not in French.

I am also looking to take some photos of the area tomorrow but on first glance, the sign isn't easy to notice. I don't think it's actually on the corner where the right turn takes place and instead is located across the street on the adjacent corner (I don't know if that makes sense but people that go through the area should know what I'm talking about). I need to confirm though...

Any help would be great. Going to go with the Trial Option tomorrow and set up the trial date.

Thanks!!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:42 pm 
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If the sign has only English writing on it, then I believe that in this case, yes, you could argue it is an invalid sign. And I know the area you're talking about (not the sign specifically), but EVERYONE goes straight through in the turning lane. The only caveat about the bilingual defence is that for the sign to be invalid when it is English-only, it has to be in a designated bilingual area... which the city of Toronto is. However, York Region (Steeles being the boundary between the two) is NOT a designated bilingual area and the sign can be in English only and still be valid. I think, if I recall correctly, the actual boundary line is literally inches north of Steeles so the bilingual defence might work here. Make sure that you cite the R. v Myers case... don't have a link to it right now but I'll post it later.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:46 pm 
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thanks for the response!

Yes EVERYONE takes the straightaway.

I took some pictures of the area and the sign is pretty clear and before the actual turn on the right side.

It's the black sign with white right turn arrow. It says "buses excepted"

Can I really cite what you're talking about? Since...the only text on this at all is "buses excepted"?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:22 am 
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The best explanation for the "bilingual defence" is right here:

http://www.ticketcombat.com/step5/bilingual.php

The section you were charged under is, as you said, 154(1)(c)

Quote:
any lane may be designated for slowly moving traffic, traffic moving in a particular direction or classes or types of vehicles and, despite section 141, where a lane is so designated and official signs indicating the designation are erected, every driver shall obey the instructions on the official signs.


As dumb as it sounds, yes, "bilingual defence" works for many different types of signs, even if you don't speak French. It won't work for STOP signs, for example, but it should work for this particular one, even with the little "BUSES EXCEPTED" blurb. It is not a bilingual sign. If the sign had no writing at all and just the turning arrow on it, well, then this wouldn't work. Yeah, I know, laws work in weird ways.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:35 am 
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Radar Identified wrote:
The best explanation for the "bilingual defence" is right here:

http://www.ticketcombat.com/step5/bilingual.php

The section you were charged under is, as you said, 154(1)(c)

Quote:
any lane may be designated for slowly moving traffic, traffic moving in a particular direction or classes or types of vehicles and, despite section 141, where a lane is so designated and official signs indicating the designation are erected, every driver shall obey the instructions on the official signs.


As dumb as it sounds, yes, "bilingual defence" works for many different types of signs, even if you don't speak French. It won't work for STOP signs, for example, but it should work for this particular one, even with the little "BUSES EXCEPTED" blurb. It is not a bilingual sign. If the sign had no writing at all and just the turning arrow on it, well, then this wouldn't work. Yeah, I know, laws work in weird ways.


Wow this page is so thorough can't believe I missed it when I was looking at ticketcombat.com.

You are the man! Thanks alot!!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:22 pm 
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Just thank ticketcombat, he's got all the info. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:21 pm 
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hello all,

Just an update...

So I put in 4 requests for disclosures through the fax and received nothing in return

September 29, 2009
November 2, 2009
December 2, 2009
January 11, 2010

Trial is February 19, 2010
I received my notice of trial August 24, 2009
Offense on April 8, 2009

It's getting close to the 1 month mark and reading about all this goodness regarding 11B and doing the paper work in order to stay the proceedings (with the 4F, Factum and Affidavit). With 4 requests and a trial date hoving past the 10 month mark, should I go for the stay.
http://www.ticketcombat.com/step4/paperwork.php

Just to clarify, if the stay is "passed", then everything is literally frozen in time and not revisited correct? The charges aren't let go and I am not convicted..just nothingness?

And in regards to the order of operations of going to court on my date, what if I go to court and realize that the cop isn't there, can I just bail on the Stay idea?

Finally, do I have valid grounds for a stay or should I just start preparing my Bilingual defense? What's my go-to move now?

Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:50 pm 
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If you've sent four faxes and still have not received disclosure, and you kept records of those faxes, you should be able to get a stay. I'd go for it. Beware the pre-trial trap; the Crown may attempt to hand you the disclosure package on the day of the trial. Do not accept it and complain to the JP if that happens. You should then be able to force an adjournment that is pre-emptory on the Crown (their fault, in other words) which keeps the clock ticking on the 11B issue.

If the trial date has gone into 11-12 months, an 11B motion should work as well.

If the stay is accepted, then yes, that's the end of it - "nothingness," as you said.

As for bilingual defence, we've seen some controversy about it. The argument may work but it is not bulletproof and you'd need to be very careful and technical in making the presentation. You'd have to exclude any reference to the Myers case in doing so. Check out this link under Courts & Procedure:

http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic1061.html

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:14 pm 
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willsterstyle wrote:
hello all,

Just an update...

So I put in 4 requests for disclosures through the fax and received nothing in return

September 29, 2009
November 2, 2009
December 2, 2009
January 11, 2010

Trial is February 19, 2010
I received my notice of trial August 24, 2009
Offense on April 8, 2009

It's getting close to the 1 month mark and reading about all this goodness regarding 11B and doing the paper work in order to stay the proceedings (with the 4F, Factum and Affidavit). With 4 requests and a trial date hoving past the 10 month mark, should I go for the stay.
http://www.ticketcombat.com/step4/paperwork.php

Just to clarify, if the stay is "passed", then everything is literally frozen in time and not revisited correct? The charges aren't let go and I am not convicted..just nothingness?

And in regards to the order of operations of going to court on my date, what if I go to court and realize that the cop isn't there, can I just bail on the Stay idea?

Finally, do I have valid grounds for a stay or should I just start preparing my Bilingual defense? What's my go-to move now?

Thanks in advance!


I was going to reply "way back when" but others said close to the same thing I would have said.

I think if you bring in the fax proofs, your charge will be stayed.

That intersection is real bad for signs.

I think that they are different now then when you passed through it.

I always just show up and watch from the back.
No plea to DA or anything.
I don't even tell them I am here.
I just wait for judge and "listen"

Most likely you will get to see a bunch of other cases like yours.

Just watch what the others do!

70% guilty to lesser charge.
20% bylaw of some kind (you have wait for them to think it up)
9% dropped /free to go
1% lose all (full charge)

Good luck and keep us posted.

Cheers
Viper1

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An update....
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:39 am 
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Filing for a Stay based on section 7:

So this process wasn't the smoothest and being unfamiliar with the whole system made everything that much more overwhelming.

I had everything written up and prepared 6 copies of the document package

So I got to the Scarborough court house and first thing I do is go to the desk to talk to those ppl that hand out the ticket numbers. I told her I needed to get it signed by the court clerk and so she sent me up to see the Justice of Peace for some reason on the second floor.

I go up to the second floor and through the security scanners and then tell the receptionist I need my Affidavit signed by somebody.

The JP comes and he's puzzled as to what I'm doing and at first he was only going to sign one copy. Then I explained to him what I was trying to do and he was all impressed and then eventually signed all 5 copies. At this point I figured okay...one for the clerk...one for the prosecutor's office, one to mail to the attorney general of Ontario, another to the attorney general of Canada and then another for myself....good...

Next I go to the prosecutor's office up on 4th I think it was and the lady said she can only stamp 2 more . I tried to explain to her I needed more but she said..."no just two..that's all I'm allowed to do". Then these two paralegal guys come along and they try to scare me about how my document is all wrong and that they need to hire real highway paralegals blah blah. Anyways they tell me that all I need to do is Fax it in since the line up for the attorney general's office is ridiculous...so then I worked out the math again.

1 for the clerk, and then 1 more which would act as fax copies and then the final copy I keep for myself. So that would work out. The prosecutor's office would keep one.

Back I go down to the court clerk (same lady as the one that assigns tickets on the ground floor) and I told her I needed to give her a copy and needed a final stamp on my copy which I got.

Okay all done. I go back to work and fax the two copies to the Attorney Generals (Ontario/Canada) and all was done.

Then comes the twist. I filed all this on Jan 13 and then on the 15th I get a letter from the mail from the Court saying that my disclosure note is available in response to my fax back in September. Keep in mind that my court date is the 19th.

Soooo that's great. One month prior they finally decide to get it to me and now what do I do? Do I pick it up? These past two weeks i've been legitimately on the road for work so no chance of picking it up and I can't exactly get somebody else to pick it up since they need a signature.

Advice?

Hope the details above help anyone else going through this process.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:33 pm 
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willsterstyle wrote:
Soooo that's great. One month prior they finally decide to get it to me and now what do I do? Do I pick it up? These past two weeks i've been legitimately on the road for work so no chance of picking it up and I can't exactly get somebody else to pick it up since they need a signature.


Yeah, I'd go pick it up. It seems like an interesting coincidence that, 2 days after the stay application is filed, they deliver the disclosure... probably not a coincidence, either. :roll: The bad news is, I don't really think the JP will give you a stay since the package was available 1 month prior to trial. Anyways, at this stage, you are 10 months since the offence date. If the officer does not show up for trial and they try to get an adjournment, the next filing you'd make would force a stay (11B - unreasonable delay).

I think the best course of action is to pick up the package and review the officer's notes, and whatever else it contains. Maybe they forgot to include something, you never know. When you do go pick it up, I'd suggest observing a few trials - see who's successful and who falls flat on their face, take notes and learn from it. (And some of them will goof so badly you will have a hard time not laughing. You won't believe what people say and do - especially if this is the Scarborough courthouse.)

Anyone else have other thoughts?

willsterstyle wrote:
Then these two paralegal guys come along and they try to scare me about how my document is all wrong and that they need to hire real highway paralegals blah blah.


:lol: I wonder if I know who one of them is... While it is true that a paralegal would put together a formal, official-looking 4F and file it properly, if you've done your homework (as you have), you can put one together that achieves the same result in the end.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:40 pm 
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Thanks Radar Identified for your useful insight once again.

One other thing that I was hoping to use if I were to plead my case...and I'm hoping if someone can tell me this would make any bearing on the case is...

Image

From the picture above, I estimate that the distance between Steeles and Townsend Rd. i merely 30m.

The whole reason why people don't follow the right turn only rule is because there's barely enough time for you to go from the proper lane and make that merge to the right.

But the counter argument I can see this being...it's only a problem because people don't follow the sign and so therefore you're simply disobeying the lane sign because others are which is unacceptable...

Great I just talked myself out of this argument...so nevermind!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:17 pm 
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Well I think your map gives it away.

Cheers
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:47 pm 
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So today was the day and everything worked out! The cop didn't show and the ticket was dismissed.

Great!

Thanks to everyone for contributing!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:46 pm 
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Congratulations! :D Well, you did a lot of work, better to go in prepared like you did and get an "easy" win, as opposed to hoping for the officer not to show and arriving unprepared.

And yeah... they really need to re-do that intersection. The lane you were in should go straight onto the 404 and they should have an additional right turning lane for Townsend. Oh well... it's not like Steeles Avenue doesn't have bigger problems anyway...

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