This past week-end I drove to Quebec with my 3 year old Son to visit my parents. During the visit we went tobogganing, I used my Dads car (wagon) becuse it has room for the tobogan. While driving, I was talking to my wife on the phone when I see the police behind me. I thought I was getting pulled over for routine check, cause it was such a rural area and I know I wasn't doing any wrong.
To my surpise, the officer handed me a ticket (obviously after getting all my papers) for $115 and 3 points ouch!!!
Do you think I should fight this? The officer could have given a warning since I was not from Quebec, and he had to know that I had no idea cell phones are not aloud to be used while driving a vehicle in Quebec because of the shock I was in when he handed me the ticket.
Any ideas or suggestions?
Unfortunately, when in Rome do as the Romans do. You should know the laws of a place you are travelling to.
The bad news about traffic tickets in Quebec is that the $115 is the base fine. If you choose to fight the ticket, they will hit you with a huge court surcharge, as well as raise the fine if you get convicted. At least they used to. Also, in Quebec the officer does not have to be physically present in the courtroom and can testify via written submission or a videotape, so the "officer not showing up" gamble doesn't work in Quebec. They can read the officer's notes and that's good enough to convict you!
The odds of winning any traffic ticket in Quebec without some legal help is almost nil. If you choose to fight it, definitely talk to a lawyer who has experience dealing with the Quebec system (paralegals cannot represent you in Quebec). That's probably your best option at this point, if you want to contest the charge.
Ontario and Quebec have traffic ticket reciprocity, so any conviction in Quebec will show up on your Ontario driver record... however, because talking on the cellphone while driving is not illegal (for now) in Ontario, MTO may not be able to transfer it directly. They might, however, re-code it as a different or similar offence. I can't say for sure, but it's possible.
So after calling many places, court houses, police, MTO, etc... Not one of them think that they can transfer the points because there is nothing in Ontario that they could put the points against.
I hope so, because I really don't want to have those points on record.
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