Failure to Yield at Uncontrolled Crossing

April
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Failure to Yield at Uncontrolled Crossing

Unread post by April on

I left my home at 4 am to pick up my daughter from downtown Toronto. When I passed the major intersection south of my house there were two police cars in the middle of the intersection and one officer waved me through the intersection.

When I returned with my daughter at 5:30 am the police cars were still in the intersection. I slowed down as I approached the intersection but the police were no longer directing traffic. There were no other cars in the road and I proceeded through the intersection. There are three traffic lights in a row, very close to each other (less than 0.3 kms between all three lights). The two other lights were green and I fully admit that I didn't notice that the lights at the first intersection were out, but I did see the work crew out of the corner of my eye. My attention was focused on the police cars and I was looking for the officer directing traffic because it was very dark.

I was charged with failure to yield at an uncontrolled intersection under s.135 of the HTA.

I have never had a ticket before. Do I have any chance of fighting this?


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Squishy
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Unread post by Squishy on

What did you fail to yield to? You said there were no other vehicles on the road.
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April
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Unread post by April on

That is just it, there were no other cars. I DID slow down, which is really all I have to do to yield.

It is supposed to be treated like a four way stop, I know that, but that is not what the ticket says.


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Squishy
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Unread post by Squishy on

That's not my understanding. A four-way stop requires stop signs or a flashing red signal. An uncontrolled intersection is not a stop sign - you yield to vehicles already in the intersection (or who will enter the intersection before you do), and should you arrive at the same time as another vehicle, the one on the right has right-of-way. In the case of continuous traffic, then this translates to pretty much a four-way stop, but not when no other cars are present. Meaning, with no other cars present, you were not required to stop or even slow down.
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April
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Unread post by April on

And I would have to of been on the right, and therefore having right of way even if another car arrived at the same time as I did. The east/west to the right of me was closed.


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Unread post by OTTLegal on

I believe its the wrong charge, at an intersection where the lights are out you are suppose to come to a full stop and then when the way is clear you can proceed across the intersection as you would for a stop sign.

The ticket the officer gave you has 3 demerit points on it. If you read the Highway Traffic Act, it says for this section that,

"Every driver approaching an intersection shall yield the right of way to any vehlcle in the intersection that has entered it from an intersecting highway"

This section doesn't fit for what the officer says you did, unless there was other traffic coming that you did not yield to...

There has to be other traffic approaching the intersection, and that traffic had to have had the right of way....
Chris Conway
Retired Toronto Traffic Officer, Hit & Run Squad Detective,
Breathalyzer Tech, Radar/Highway Patrol
Licenced Paralegal


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Radar Identified
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Unread post by Radar Identified on

I agree, I think the wrong charge was used. Makes it easier to beat in court.

Get a trial date, make a disclosure request, and see what they come back with. The officer's notes should tell the story, and that's probably all you'd get as far as disclosure goes in this case. Just don't let the Crown know that the officer seems to have charged you under the wrong section.

The officer will probably show up for the trial. They may offer you a plea bargain for a reduced charge. It's your decision at that point. Sometimes (Bookm can tell you) the Crown Prosecutors will put on a real performance to try to get you to take a plea bargain, only to turn around minutes later and withdraw the charge in court. It doesn't always happen that way, but it can, particularly after they review the evidence and realize "oops, wrong charge."

If it does go to trial, this is what I'd suggest: Keep a copy of the section you were charged under. You'll get to cross-examine the officer. Ask him to describe where the other traffic was, what you did, etc. Basically you want him to state that there was no traffic for you to yield to, and the road to your right was closed. At that point, read section 135, ask him if he agrees that this is the section. Then point out that, by his own testimony, he admits that you complied with section 135. In closing, state that the Crown appears to be describing the elements of a different charge, and has failed to prove its case for the charge brought before the court. Then ask for it to be dismissed. Easier said than done...


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Unread post by viper1 on

{If it does go to trial, this is what I'd suggest: Keep a copy of the section you were charged under. You'll get to cross-examine the officer. Ask him to describe where the other traffic was, what you did, etc. Basically you want him to state that there was no traffic for you to yield to, and the road to your right was closed. At that point, read section 135, ask him if he agrees that this is the section. Then point out that, by his own testimony, he admits that you complied with section 135. In closing, state that the Crown appears to be describing the elements of a different charge, and has failed to prove its case for the charge brought before the court. Then ask for it to be dismissed. Easier said than done...}


When they tried to get me to agree to a reduced fine
I mentioned about the research I have done the cop went up and told the DA my answer.

A big bag of paper-work/pictures helps too. They will rather let you go free then have you show 10-20 others how to beat the charge.

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Vioer
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use at your own risk"


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

viper1 wrote:When they tried to get me to agree to a reduced fine
I mentioned about the research I have done the cop went up and told the DA my answer.
Did they drop the charge?


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Unread post by Squishy on

Which section deals with an out-of-service traffic signal? I was under the impression that it just became an uncontrolled intersection, unless the signal "failed" into a blinking red light. There is no need to stop at an uncontrolled intersection if there is no one to yield to. I think this was the "right" charge, but a misunderstanding of what you are required to do at the intersection. Am I forgetting a relevant section of the HTA?
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Unread post by viper1 on

Radar Identified wrote:
viper1 wrote:When they tried to get me to agree to a reduced fine
I mentioned about the research I have done the cop went up and told the DA my answer.
Did they drop the charge?
yes they did.

Cheers
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use at your own risk"


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Squishy wrote:I think this was the "right" charge, but a misunderstanding of what you are required to do at the intersection.
That's definitely possible.
Squishy wrote:Am I forgetting a relevant section of the HTA?
I don't think so.






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