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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Would you say there is room for a Reasonable Doubt?
No; the case is quite clear, your client is guilty. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
It will be a "he says-she says" type of scenario. 14%  14%  [ 1 ]
It's a parking lot not a highway; s199 does not apply. 14%  14%  [ 1 ]
The charge should be dismissed at trial. 57%  57%  [ 4 ]
There is no reasonable prospect of convicction. 14%  14%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 7

HTA s.199 - Duty to Report Accident
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:55 pm 
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Location: Hamilton, ON
It was alleged that my client was involved in an accident in a parking lot. At the time he was late for a meeting in one of the plaza's offices and he was a little late.

The complainant alleged that my client's vehicle collided with his and that my client was at fault.

Immediately after the alleged incident my client found a parking spot, parked his car and proceeded to his meeting.

The complainant called the Police and as a result my client was charged with Failing to Report an Accident under s. 199 of the HTA.

My client denies having been involved in the alleged collision.

Disclosure essentially depicted the complainant's version of the incident and indicated that my client would have been at fault, which obviously the Officer believed.

In his notes, the Officer estimated approx. $500 - 1000 in damages.

The Officer did not complete a Motor Vehicle Collision Report.

The relevant statute follows:

HTA wrote:
Duty to report accident
199. (1) Every person in charge of a motor vehicle or street car who is directly or indirectly involved in an accident shall, if the accident results in personal injuries or in damage to property apparently exceeding an amount prescribed by regulation, report the accident forthwith to the nearest police officer and furnish him or her with the information concerning the accident as may be required by the officer under subsection (3). R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 199 (1); 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table.


HTA - R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 596 wrote:
Damage to Property Accident Report
11. For the purpose of subsection 199 (1) of the Act, the prescribed amount for damage to property is $1,000. O. Reg. 537/97, s. 1.


What do you think is going to happen? Any suggestions?

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:37 pm 
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No MVC report = non reportable collision, therefore, no ticket. That's just lazy to claim it is over $1000 for the purpose of the ticket but under so you don't have to complete and MVC.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:46 pm 
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Fail to report has to involve a collision, injury or damge over $1000

Obviously the other driver will have to be there. Only thing I can think of is the other driver brings in a collision estimate/bill over $1000, which should be in disclosure?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:55 pm 
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Under $1000 = not reportable... perhaps as shown by no MVC report?? I'd think the Prosecutor should withdraw the charge.

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WITHDRAWN
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:05 am 
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He guys, thank you for your comments.

I thought that more people would be participating, but I guess just a few -the few good ones- carry this forum on their shoulders. :D

You were all correct!!

The amount set by regulation is $1,000 and the accident should be reported under s. 199(1) only if it results in damage to property apparently exceeding that amount. Not $1K, but more than $1K.

By policy, the prosecutor should withdraw the charges before the trial if there is no reasonable prospect of conviction, just like in this case.

Radar Identified wrote:
I'd think the Prosecutor should withdraw the charge.


Accordingly, the charges were withdrawn.

See the Crown Policy Manual on reasonable prospect of prosecution at:
http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.c ... eening.pdf

And the whole thing at:
http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.c ... efault.asp

But what if the Officer had estimated the damage between $900 - $1,500?

Or if the complainant came to court with an estimate made during the week after the accident for $1,100.?


Cheers.


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Re: WITHDRAWN
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:09 am 
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Biron wrote:
But what if the Officer had estimated the damage between $900 - $1,500?

Or if the complainant came to court with an estimate made during the week after the accident for $1,100.?


Well, I lost a case this spring in regards to fail to remain, but quick side tracking by the defendant (only sent one bill with paralegal for a "rad repair" worth $400) paralegal presented the one bill, before I had a chance to speak with prosecutor.
Transport hits deer. Driver stops on shoulder drives away, I am on scene in under 5min, follow the leaking rad fluid off hwy, over the over pass, back onto hwy to a rest stop, where the ground is covered in fluid. Buddy wondered why I was there as just finished calling a tow truck. I estimated about $3-5000. Here is pricing for the parts I got from a local established transport repair shop: Radiator bent in, leaking ($1500+). Front grill destroyed ($500+). Hood cracked and missing a chunk ($1000-2500+), drivers side headlight assembly cracked ($500 sold in pairs), signal light destroyed ($100).

Anotgher item of interest. We obtain estimates for cruiser repairs. One car had a 8inch scrape down to the paint (about 1/8" wide just in front of the driver's side rear tail light) and abrasion on the rear bumper. Think lowest was $700. Just to show how easy it would be to be over $1000

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Dear or bear?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:40 pm 
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Hey hwybear:

hwybear wrote:
Well, I lost a case this spring in regards to fail to remain


Was there a trial or was the charge withdrawn? In other words, was it the JP or the prosecutor who left the defendant go free?

I guess you mean fail to report, which triggers the issue of damages. Under s. 200, the driver must remain at or forthwith return to the scene of the accident, regardless of the damage.

Assuming he was charged with fail to report, in my opinion you were correct and the defendant should have been convicted. If you carefully read the statute it refers to an estimation of the damages at the time of the accident:

HTA s.199 wrote:
…if the accident results in … damage to property apparently exceeding an amount prescribed by regulation…


There isn’t anything in that section that would include an exception or that would prescribe a defence by the defendant providing a document with the actual damage at the time of the trial.

The estimation of the damage for the purpose of this section is defined by what a reasonable and informed person would estimate.

This is a strict liability offence and due diligence is available to the defence.

In other words, although a defendant may not be able to estimate the damages, he or she –also as a reasonable person- should make sure that by not reporting she or he is not breaking the law. What did he do to get a reasonable estimate?

Otherwise anyone could get away by stating that he/she didn’t know how to estimate the damage and "never thought it would be over $1.000".

hwybear wrote:
…but quick side tracking by the defendant (only sent one bill with paralegal for a "rad repair" worth $400) paralegal presented the one bill, before I had a chance to speak with prosecutor.


I guess it was the prosecutor who let the defendant go. The paralegal cannot give evidence to the court. If the defendant is not there, the prosecutor’s evidence will prevail.

Further, the bill cannot be accepted as evidence unless is certified by the author, in this case whoever wrote it. And the prosecutor would have had the opportunity to cross examine and ask about the other damages.

hwybear wrote:
I estimated about $3-5000. Here is pricing for the parts I got from a local established transport repair shop: Radiator bent in, leaking ($1500+). Front grill destroyed ($500+). Hood cracked and missing a chunk ($1000-2500+), drivers side headlight assembly cracked ($500 sold in pairs), signal light destroyed ($100).


That’s enough to convict, unless the defendant shows that your estimate is unreasonable. The burden of proof in this case is shifted.

You may also look at s. 201:

HTA wrote:
Notification of damage to trees, fences, etc.
201. Every person who, as a result of an accident or otherwise, operates or drives a vehicle or leads, rides or drives an animal upon a highway and thereby damages any shrub, tree, pole, light, sign, sod or other property on the highway or a fence bordering the highway shall forthwith report the damage to a police officer. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 201.


I wonder if the dead dear is part of the damage (?)

hwybear wrote:
Anotgher item of interest. We obtain estimates for cruiser repairs. One car had a 8inch scrape down to the paint (about 1/8" wide just in front of the driver's side rear tail light) and abrasion on the rear bumper. Think lowest was $700. Just to show how easy it would be to be over $1000


We are in the wrong profession, we should open a body shop.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:06 pm 
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It was a simple fail to report. No trial, it was between prosecutor and paralegal. Does not bother me one bit, our prosecutor is awesome and is one of the best, if not the best we have ever had. I quite possibly could have wrote my synopsis up with not enough points covered, therefore was my fault. Every one I lose, I will never lose on that point or missed evidence again, only get better with age....hmmm so does wine!!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:07 pm 
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Hwy;

I was taught long ago by a retired MNR CO that

"you never win or lose in court.....you just go and present evidence".

Good words to live by.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:57 pm 
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The Stig wrote:
Hwy;

I was taught long ago by a retired MNR CO that

"you never win or lose in court.....you just go and present evidence".

Good words to live by.


Actually, you bring to court the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, to the best of your knowledge.

I would add, with the help of your good conscience.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:03 pm 
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The Stig wrote:
Hwy;

I was taught long ago by a retired MNR CO that

"you never win or lose in court.....you just go and present evidence".

Good words to live by.


absolutely great words. Have heard them many a time before.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:27 pm 
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hwybear wrote:
but quick side tracking by the defendant (only sent one bill with paralegal for a "rad repair" worth $400) paralegal presented the one bill, before I had a chance to speak with prosecutor.


That's beyond obvious BSing by the defendant, IMO. I had relatively minor damage to my car thanks to two hit-and-runs in a parking lot. There's nothing like coming back to a freshly damaged car. :x Of course, whoever hit my car fled. We're talking a little bit of crinkling and scrapes, but nothing huge, on a Honda Civic. Total body shop bill = $3300, and that was after painstakingly seeking out eight estimates, and making sure that I went with a reputable repair shop. So if a transport hit a deer...

Then again, maybe he did just repair that radiator and is driving around with defective equipment. Hmmm... does he drive through your patrol area often? :wink:

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Fail to Report
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:46 pm 
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You are representing a "Client" and your asking for advice on a forum????

Doesn't sound to me that you should be representing anyone. Are you a licensed paralegal? You have to be licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada to be representing people in court.

The charge of Fail to Report accident can occur anywhere. If involved in an accident that is "apparently over an amount prescribed by statue" the driver or person in charge of the vehicle must report the accident forthwith to the police.

The amount prescribed by statue is 1000 dollars.

Your information here is that the damage was apparently between 500 to 1000 dollars.

Sounds to me like the charge fits, and your "client" is guilty of the charge.

As a qualified licensed paralegal with a background in hit and run accidents, I would have approached this case with my client in an entirely different manner to win it. Doesn't sound like you did too much to win the case...

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Breathalyzer Tech, Radar/Highway Patrol
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:50 pm 
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Without getting into too many details, it seemed to me that Biron was trying to poll the group for interest's sake rather than to seek advice... but I could be wrong.

Also, I would like to point out that the charge was withdrawn. Result at the end of the day is what his client wanted: No conviction. And, obviously if his "client" was "guilty" of the charge, he would therefore have done a good job in getting the charge withdrawn, no?

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Traffic Ticket
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:56 pm 
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Well I wouldnt want this guy representing me, doesn't sound to me like he knew what he was doing.

You dont know why the charge was dropped, probably the officer or witness didn't come to court. I don't think he did anything, certainly he was not qualified to represent anyone at a trial.

Certainly Byron is not forthcoming as to why the charge was dropped...

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Breathalyzer Tech, Radar/Highway Patrol
Licenced Paralegal


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