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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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collision with police car!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:45 pm 
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Hi there,

Good to see there's a place for all this! I am hoping to get some direction on what to do with this incident.
My wife was turning left onto a main road. A police car had there right turn signal on and was turning onto the same road. She went to turn in front of the car, and the police car turned her signal off and accelerated, changing their mind about turning there. My wife was halfway through the turn, and the police car hit her, damaging her truck. The police car was undamaged. After looking at the damage, there were two witnesses,neither of which we have their names, as my wife was in shock, that stopped and stated they saw the cop had the signal on, and was braking, to which the cop agreed.
The cop then called in her supervisors, who said my wife was in the wrong, not waiting for the intersection to be clear. The supervisor wrote up the accident report and no charges were pressed. We are reluctant to go through insurance as my wife is already had two tickets and charges under her belt, and any more and our insurance will skyrocket. Even though no ones at fault, can our insurance go up? And are the police at fault, or is it my wifes fault? I am laid off and although I'm handy with tools, I don't have the money to put up to fix the truck.
Any help/info is appreciated!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:26 pm 
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The fact that no charges were laid under the Highway Traffic Act is helpful, but the HTA does not determine "fault" for insurance purposes. Fault determination for insurance purposes is made under the Insurance Act of Ontario and Fault Determination Rules. They can look at the collision report and any possible witness statements.

In theory (and it happens occasionally), you could be charged by police for an HTA infraction but be held 0% "at fault" by your insurance provider; conversely, you could also not be charged and held 100% "at fault." Try to get a copy of the collision report from the police, if you don't have it already. The collision report is critical. Were both your wife and the officer facing a stop sign? Did it happen at a traffic light?

Here is a link to the Fault Determination Rules:

http://www.canlii.org/on/laws/regu/1990 ... whole.html

Scroll down to part 12 (Vehicles Travelling in Opposite Direction) and diagram (5). If your wife turned in front of the officer, and the officer was "proceeding straight," then she is considered 100% at fault. However, if both were at a STOP sign, take a look at part 14 (intersections with traffic signs). There are any number of possibilities. You do not have to submit a claim to your insurance company, but you should be aware of section 258.1 of the Insurance Act of Ontario:

Quote:
Notice of accident

258.1 (1) If an automobile insured under a contract is involved in an incident that is required to be reported to the police under the Highway Traffic Act or in respect of which the insured intends to make a claim under the contract, the insured shall give the insurer written notice of the incident, with all available particulars.

Same

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the notice required by subsection (1) shall be given to the insurer within seven days of the incident.

Same

(3) If the insured is unable because of incapacity to comply with subsection (1) within seven days of the incident, the insured shall comply as soon as possible thereafter.


That is available at http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... .htm#BK258.

It is permissible to report the collision but not put the claim in. I can't say with any degree of certainty how reporting it to your insurer but not filing to a claim to fix the truck would affect your rates. I'm sure some regular posters here will have more info on this as well. Any claim you do file for an at-fault collision will definitely bring your rates up.


Last edited by Radar Identified on Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:54 pm 
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I'm pretty sure as long as you don't file a claim and weren't charged with anything, your rates won't be affected (even if you inform your insurance company). Our oldest boy had a wreck a while back. We called insurance for advice. THEY suggested paying the damages in cash to avoid an insurance increase. So even though they KNOW he had a wreck, they won't increase his rates because he didn't file a claim... weird, eh?

I'm not sure I'd try to put the (legal) blame on the copper. Just because a signal light is on, doesn't absolve one from yielding to the right-of-way of the oncoming vehicle. I RARELY trust a guy with his signal on. I know of no section in the HTA that prevents a driver from changing their minds and canceling a signaled turn (even though it totally screws everyone else up!). The HTA makes no allowances for "apparent intentions" of oncoming traffic.

Just my opinion though...


Last edited by Bookm on Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:49 pm 
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Bookm wrote:
The HTA makes no allowances for "apparent intentions" of oncoming traffic.


Very true. And for that matter, neither does the Insurance Act.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:03 pm 
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Bookm wrote:
I'm pretty sure as long as you don't file a claim and weren't charged with anything, your rates won't be affected (even if you inform your insurance company). Our oldest boy had a wreck a while back. We called insurance for advice. THEY suggested paying the damages in cash to avoid an insurance increase. So even though they KNOW he had a wreck, they won't increase his rates because he didn't file a claim... weird, eh?

I'm not sure I'd try to put the (legal) blame on the copper. Just because a signal light is on, doesn't absolve one from yielding to the right-of-way of the oncoming vehicle. I RARELY trust a guy with his signal on. I know of no section in the HTA that prevents a driver from changing their minds and canceling a signaled turn (even though it totally screws everyone else up!). The HTA makes no allowances for "apparent intentions" of oncoming traffic.

Just my opinion though...


He said the copper had his signal on.
Then that the copper hit her in the rear of the car.

If all the post was correct then the copper was in the wrong.

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Viper1

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:32 am 
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Bookm wrote:
The HTA makes no allowances for "apparent intentions" of oncoming traffic.


Wouldn't the driver, who had decided to change his mind to proceed despite his signal and apparent intention, be responsible to ensure that he can proceed in safety?

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"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:51 am 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
For arguement sake, take the cruiser out of this as it does not affect anything (lights,sirens not on).

We have two vehicles, one turning left, one going straight with a signal on

The vehicle going straight always has the right of way. You can never cut across the path of another vehicle(ie 2 lane hwy, 1 vehicle passing 8, lead vehicle turns left in front of vehicle passing, turning vehicle is at fault)

Think both should have been issued tickets.
- Left turn - fail to afford reasonable opportunity to avoid collision
- Improper signal device

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:53 am 
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racer wrote:
Wouldn't the driver, who had decided to change his mind to proceed despite his signal and apparent intention, be responsible to ensure that he can proceed in safety?


Maybe...

But it could get rather complicated I think.

What if I just noticed my blinker has been on for miles, and I cancel it as I approach an intersection. Have I now given up my right to proceed straight through the intersection.

What if an old fellar were to drive for miles with his blinker on, unknowingly. Has he now given up his right to proceed FIRST through the many intersections along his route?

Maybe, but the HTA only states you must yield to oncoming traffic. Nothing about oncoming traffic that "clearly intends" to proceed through the intersection.

And here's a scenario I read about all the time. A guy waiting to make a left believes the approaching car is going to stop for the light which has now turned yellow. It appears to be slowing so he turns in an attempt to clear the intersection before the light turns red, and WHAM! Who gets the blame?


Last edited by Bookm on Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thanks
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:14 am 
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Well no one can say it's not a contestable issue. Thanks for the help and the thoughtful discussion.
Just to clarify, not sure if I did in the first post, the police officer said she was going to turn, was braking, as evidenced by the two witnesses, then changed her mind.
After thinking about it, and with everyone that posted's help, we have decided not to press ahead with insurance, and just fix it ourselves. I'm fairly handy, and it's just easier for everyone.
Thanks for everyones help!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:32 pm 
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You also say that the cop accelerated further, even though it must have been apparent that the collision is imminent. Could that be classified as "using a vehicle as a weapon" or "dangerous driving failing to prevent a collision"?

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"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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