My wife, who has never had a traffic ticket in her life, just got 11 points.
Two tickets: "following too closely" and "failure to stop"
She was on a residential street and was behind a car at a crosswalk waiting for a pedestrian. Pedestrian crossed, they continued. Cop was drivig towards them down a side street , and as they passed he went after my wife.
At the next block there was a red light. Cop was behind my wife lights flashing - car infront of my wife - she was boxed in, stopped, and had nowhere to go but the Cop made no attempt to get out of his car. She saw him and figured he wanted the two cars to clear the intersection. So when the light turned green, my wife made a right hand turn, cop followed zapped the siren and she stopped.
Totally bogus. He told her she had to be a minimum 5 car lengths behind the car infront of her. Was she supposed to stay stopped at the crosswalk and wait for the car in front to get 5 lengths away before proceeding? It's totally a case of him seeing them after they were stopped at the crosswalk, but he had no idea that's what had happened.
Then he said sorry about the points, "maybe you can go to court and I can help you there". So why bother in the first place?
Any help with this would be apreciated
Demerit Points: If a person is convicted of two or more offences arising out of the same time/date and the penalty imposed by the court in respect of any of the convictions does not include a period of licence suspension, demerit points shall only be recorded for the conviction carrying the greatest number of points and, if that number is the same for two or more convictions, points shall be recorded for one conviction only.
- follow too close = 4 points
- fail to stop on right = 3 points (hta sec 159)
- fail to stop = 7 points (hta sec 216)
doesn't help the fact the whole thing is bogus. Following too close is relative to speed and circumstance. There is an 8 foot fence on the corner of his street and the street my wife was travelling on. From his vantage point he couldn't possibly see the crosswalk my wife and the car infront of her were stopped at just prior. He cant even see those two lanes of traffic (we have pictures)
And, my wife did stop at within a block of where he picked her up. She was at a red light with actually not one but 2 cars in front of her. it was a two lane street she was far enough back from the intersection not to cause a hazard if the cop wanted to get out of his car and approach. Instead he waited until the light turned green, she turned the corner and stopped when he followed. Again within a block. Infact she didn't drive more than 200 metres from where he was parked originally.
It seems like the guy was pissed his school zone speed trap was going nowhere and needed to trump something up to meet his quota.
yes, i know there are no "quotas" ... but there are suggestions and peer pressure to "ensure the streets are safe" especially when the amount of tickets handed out have declined.
So write out a list of questions for the officer, prepare a closing statement summing up all your valid points, and go to court and have a JP rule.
The new strategy appears to write lots of tickets per stop, go to court where the Crown will drop one or two of them. The cop is happy to get his overtime pay for court attendance (that's why he suggested going to court). The court is happy to get some money when the poor lamb pleads guilty to something (thinking they got a good deal). Eventually the insurance company is happy to double rates for three years based on the conviction.
See? EVERYONE is HAPPY!
Welcome to Ontario
OR... just fight each charge. At the first trial, ask for a continuance for more time, and ask for all charges to be tried separately (individual court dates). I find JP's are VERY much aware of police and prosecution tactics, and seem quite anxious to rule in the defendants favor if they have a remotely viable defense.
My wife is going to court next week and we have disclosure. She was driving in 50 and had just stopped behind another vehicle at a crosswalk for a pedestrian. After starting up again, the passed an intersection where a cruiser was sitting. He couldn't see the crosswalk from his vantage point (we have pictures) he pulls out and gets behind my wife. The drive a block where there is a red light. My wife is third in the stopped line of traffic. Cop makes no move to get out of his car (his notes say his siren was on but strangely enough no one made a move to clear the intersection). The light turns green, my wife makes a right hand turn - she was in the right hand lane. After turning she sees the cop still behind her so she stops. He gives her a ticket for following too close and failure to stop for a police officer. Only tickets she has ever had in almost 30 yrs driving. 14 points. Totally bogus.
How should we defend? Thanks
I would think that given the severity of the charges you'd want to hire a paralegal or lawyer to represent you. What jurisdiction did this happen in?
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.
It happened in Scarborough
Sorry for the typos in the first post ... lol. To add more detail there is no evidence as to estimated speed or the distance my wife was travelling behind the vehicle in front of her. He only says he told my wife she has to maintain a "minimum" distance of three car lengths. It says so in his notes. Nowhere, is this stated in the HTA. The fact he states she came to a stop at the next block at a traffic light without incident almost seems to contradict his testimony that she was unsafely following the vehicle in front of her, doesn't it? Where does common sense come in? I know ignorance of the law is not a defence but if you are not speeding, and there is no evidence or accusation you were, you haven't rear-ended anyone do you automatically assume the cop, who made no effort to get out of his car when you were stopped, is after you?
Have you looked up any case law regarding "follow too close" on CanLII?
Regardless, like Simon Borys, I'd also recommend a paralegal. If she gets convicted of these charges, she will almost surely have her insurance cancelled and be forced to use the Facility Association, which, generally, runs $12 000 to $25 000 per year.
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca
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