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Definition of a U-Turn
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:35 am 
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High Authority

Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
The following case has been getting a bit of attention in the media lately, thought it was worth sharing.

City of Brampton v Robinson 2017 ONCJ

Short version is that a motorist made a three point turn where u-turns are prohibited (he pulled into a driveway, backed out then went the opposite direction). At trial he argued that he never made a u-turn since that would be one continuous motion. He was convicted. While this is a non-binding decision, it's worth noting the Court's logic, which even traffic lawyers seem to agree with. Basically the HTA states that it's illegal to "proceed in the opposite direction" and that a u-turn does not need to be a continuous motion. The signs are there to prevent people from turning around, even if they try to be creative about it.


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Re: Definition of a U-Turn
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:07 pm 
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VIP

Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:30 am
Posts: 785
Interesting. I would have said that a three-point turn on the roadway is a u-turn but that once you use a driveway and leave the road then the actions are split. But then I don't have a law degree !

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Re: Definition of a U-Turn
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:45 am 
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It appears that the issue is not that he used the driveway, but that he only partly used it and didn't fully leave the roadway. Therefore it is just a regular 3-point turn just like if the road had a shoulder instead of a curb with driveways. If he had gone fully into the driveway and then backed out it would be a different story but I agree with the ruling on this one.

This reminds me of another question regarding private driveways: if you are waiting to turn right but there is a long line, and also a business like a gas station at the corner with entrances on both roads, it is lawful to "skip the line" and go through the parking lot? I don't see why it wouldn't be (aka lawful but rude) but some people seem to think otherwise.


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Re: Definition of a U-Turn
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 1:15 pm
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EphOph wrote:
This reminds me of another question regarding private driveways: if you are waiting to turn right but there is a long line, and also a business like a gas station at the corner with entrances on both roads, it is lawful to "skip the line" and go through the parking lot? I don't see why it wouldn't be (aka lawful but rude) but some people seem to think otherwise.


Could be illegal under the Trespass to Property Act if there were signs posted banning it, but otherwise I'd have to go with "lawful but rude".


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Re: Definition of a U-Turn
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:09 am
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The JP's wording made it clear that even if the driver had pulled far enough onto the driveway to have been deemed off the highway, but had only done so momentarily, it would still have been considered a U-turn. If I'd been in that situation, I probably would have killed the engine, grabbed something from my car and gone to the front door as if I were making a delivery. That probably would have been a sufficiently long stop. The officer wouldn't be able to check the door and maintain continuous eye contact of my car.

As for the "legal but rude" question, the JP never addressed the issue of a possible trespass, so using the driveway probably wouldn't be considered trespassing. I remember my Young Drivers instructor teaching me a two-point turn (stop just past the driveway, reverse onto it and drive off it to the left), but saying I should never do one because it's technically trespassing. I'll admit I've done some. It's probably not worth anyone's time to prosecute a driver for trespassing for simply making a two- or three-point turn.


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Re: Definition of a U-Turn
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:41 am
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whaddyaknow wrote:
EphOph wrote:
This reminds me of another question regarding private driveways: if you are waiting to turn right but there is a long line, and also a business like a gas station at the corner with entrances on both roads, it is lawful to "skip the line" and go through the parking lot? I don't see why it wouldn't be (aka lawful but rude) but some people seem to think otherwise.


Could be illegal under the Trespass to Property Act if there were signs posted banning it, but otherwise I'd have to go with "lawful but rude".



I thought this was an offence. Something along the lines of avoiding a traffic control. Or am I thinking of a jurisdiction other than ON?


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