Driving left of centre / lesser charge

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Keegan
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Driving left of centre / lesser charge

by: Keegan on
Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:45 pm

I was hitting the highway a couple days ago late at night and -- admittedly -- got close to the centre line more than once. A car started following me and apparently phoned in a complaint. Sure enough, the OPP swung by, pulled me over, talked about a "reckless" or "careless driving" charge but gave me driving left of centre. Now, there was no opposing traffic, so I think I might be able to evade this charge... but can they trump it up to the reckless charge?


iFly55
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by: iFly55 on
Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:57 pm

they have 6 months from the alleged offense date to charge you with careless driving by ways of a Part 3 summons; did the officer witness you driving passed the centre line? if not, the other driver will have to appear as a witness and testify at trial

were you charged under S. 149 of the HTA? If i'm reading that section correctly, the only restriction is visibility.

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... .htm#BK225
Driving to left of centre prohibited under certain conditions
149. (1) No vehicle shall be driven or operated to the left of the centre of a roadway designed for one or more lines of traffic in each direction,
(a) when approaching the crest of a grade or upon a curve in the roadway or within 30 metres of a bridge, viaduct or tunnel where the driver’s view is obstructed within that distance so as to create a potential hazard in the event another vehicle might approach from the opposite direction; or
(b) when approaching within 30 metres of a level railway crossing. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 149 (1).
Exception
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply,
(a) on a highway divided into clearly marked lanes where there are more such lanes for traffic in one direction than in the other direction;
(b) to a road service vehicle where precautions are taken to eliminate the hazard; or
(c) on a highway while it is designated for the use of one-way traffic. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 149 (2).


Keegan
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by: Keegan on
Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:22 pm

The officer didn't say except to mention the witness and complaint but yeah it's s. 140. Reading it it seems like the absense of oncoming traffic might work as a defence but I really don't want to provoke something more serious.


iFly55
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by: iFly55 on
Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:48 pm

I would file it for trial with your intention to appear and fight the charges; when you receive your notice of trial, request for disclosure.

I wouldn't be too worried about upgraded charges because you chose to fight it; if it was S. 149 then the crown will most likely withdraw the charge based on both parties accounts (you + witness)

i think careless would've been the more appropriate charge based on the complaint, and one the prosecution could potentially get a conviction. but S. 149 is very specific about when it does not want you to be left of centre; it does not appear to apply to your case, there are situations with S. 149 where you can be left of centre with approaching vehicles as-long as you're not near a grade, curve or <30m from bridges, viaduct, tunnel, railway crossing.

S. 149 sounds like the plea-bargain charge the crown would reduce to from S. 130 careless driving at trial.


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