My husband was involved in an accident on the weekend. He was pulling out of a plaza driveway. There was no stop sign there as far as he can remember. There was a fair amount of traffic on the street he was pulling onto.
He saw a space to pull out which he felt was a safe amount of space. As he was turning onto the road he noticed that the oncoming car was driving faster than he expected and not slowing down at all. He sped up to avoid the collision but the other car still hit the rear of his vehicle really hard and spun it around.
The police officer said that, since it could not be determined how fast the other car was going (the driver said she was going 50kph), that my husband was at-fault for entering the highway at an unsafe time and he got a ticket for failing to yield to traffic on a through highway contrary to HTA 136(1)(b).
There wasn't much damage to the other car comparatively. Our car is looking like a possible write-off at this point.
We are feeling unsure if we should challenge this ticket at all. There were a lot of people around but no one acting as a "witness".
A couple of points (OK several):
1. Was there a stop sign? Go back and check. If there wasn't, then the charge is wrong.
2. If there was a stop sign, is it a real stop sign, created by municipal by-law or is it one of the small private property stop signs that are not legal?
3. Was the police officer an accident reconstruction expert? When did the car behind start to brake? Were there skid marks? What speed was your husband traveling upon impact? Does the damage indicate a high rate of speed?
Now ask yourself whether you want to get into all of this to prepare for trial? On the other hand, you might get lucky, the woman who hit your car may not show up (therefore no witness), case dismissed. Or you and the Crown could negotiate a lower charge.
You've got options, you need to consider them.
Fight Your Ticket!
I wanted to say thanks for the reply. This is a fabulous forum. It is so great to have a sounding board to check things out before committing to paying a ticket or fighting it.
We decided not to fight it because really saving $110 or part of $110 was not worth the trouble at all, buying a new car and the insurance was certainly the main $$ issue.
Really the whole thing mainly felt really unjust. I can't say whether the officer was an accident reconstruction expert or not (not sure how to tell). There was no stop sign but really it doesn't matter much to us whether we are charged with 136(1)(b) or 139(1), and whether or not we could save $110.
It's mainly us having to pay so much (insurance and buying a new car) for another driver being at least as reckless as my husband that just won't sit right with us.
It seemed, in our opinion, that the other driver didn't brake at all and was likely speeding, just considering how fast she was approaching, how hard she hit the car, how quickly cars are able to completely stop when they are going 50 and that my husband had time to realize there was a danger and had time to speed up to try and avoid it - and he did avoid most of it, the other driver only hit the rear bumper/taillight really hard instead of the doors.
It just sucks that it's considered completely the fault of my husband, who pulled out of the driveway, simply because there is no solid evidence and because he could always have waited for an even larger space - even though the other driver could have been speeding and completely oblivious to the traffic around. There is just no way to prove things for certain.
Anyway, thanks so much for your insights.