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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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"improper use of headlights"
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:30 am 
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so i saw a cop with a radar looking at incoming traffic and i decided to warn the incoming traffic of the cop and starting flashing my headlights and suddenly i see another cop on my side of the road telling me to pull over. He tells me that he knows what i was doing and that is considered an "improper use of headlights" and carries a $110 ticket but he let me go after i said i was sorry.

Seems to me that he was just trying to scare me and there is no such law. Can anybody confirm this? i would love to actually see where this rule is in the traffic act


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:35 am 
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There is nothing illegal about flashing people to warn them about radar traps. This happened to Brad Diamond of Motoring on TSN, Jim Kenzie wrote about it. The officer was just trying to scare you.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:46 am 
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I wonder if they could also use something like impeding the work of an officer or obstruction of justice :)

I know some states like MD have a law that prohibits flashing headlights.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:13 pm 
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Some officers will mistakenly charge you for producing "alternating flashes of light," which is reserved for emergency vehicles.

I don't know of any law prohibiting such an action during the day, but it is illegal in conditions where headlights are required - can't use high beams within 150 m of oncoming traffic.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:36 pm 
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ahhh excellent, thanks Reflections

for anybody interested in reading what Reflections is talking about, read this: http://www.wheels.ca/Article/Category/article/167046


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:55 pm 
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That was a great read. :lol:

I really like this place and I think I'm going to stick around. I've learned a lot, not just about my own ticket issue, in the past few days I've been here.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:59 pm 
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That being the case:

Welcome aboard, Marquisse! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:03 pm 
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side note: if this was used during times when lights are required it would be improper use and/or fail to use low beam

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:32 am 
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I remember reading about one of these cases that had actually made it to court. The defense argued, successfully, that the accused was attempting to prevent the commission of an offense.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:57 am 
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Proper1 wrote:
I remember reading about one of these cases that had actually made it to court. The defense argued, successfully, that the accused was attempting to prevent the commission of an offense.


I thought that the "offense" would be criminal, not just OHTA related? Just my take on "offense".

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:22 am 
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No, the OHTA goes on about how anybody violating one of its many provisions "is guilty of an offence" (and please pardon my misspelling). Unfortunately, I can't now cite whatever it was that I read. The principle, though, sounds reasonable to me.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:01 am 
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Do you remember what the charge was? I wonder if anyone has actually lost a court case for this under an "alternating lights" charge. Would that set a precedent for this alternate (ha ha, pun) interpretation?

To me, that section prohibits flashing highbeams where the beam alternates between the left and right lamps (i.e., left on, right off > left off, right on > repeat). Otherwise, simply stating "No person shall use highbeam headlamps that produce flashes of white light" seems to be sufficient, without specifying "alternating".

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:33 am 
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Squishy wrote:
Otherwise, simply stating "No person shall use highbeam headlamps that produce flashes of white light" seems to be sufficient, without specifying "alternating".


that offence has to be when "lights are required"

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:08 am 
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:? The full subsection reads: "No person shall use highbeam headlamps that produce alternating flashes of white light on any vehicle other than a vehicle referred to in subsection (1). R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 169 (2)."

Vehicles referred to in (1) are "a public utility emergency vehicle while responding to an emergency and by an emergency vehicle as defined in subsection 144 (1)."

No mention of "when headlights are required," although subsection (1) does say "despite [section which does only apply when lamps are required]". However, since (1) is the subsection allowing a certain action, I take subsection (2) to apply at all times. What isn't clear is what the heck "alternating" means (between sides, or between on/off?).

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:34 pm 
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Squishy wrote:
What isn't clear is what the heck "alternating" means (between sides, or between on/off?).


If the headlights are cycling such that, at any given time, one headlight is on when the other is off, they would be alternating. Only emergency vehicles can legally do this.

Turning your lights on and off, or toggling your highbeam switch, is NOT alternating as both bulbs are either on or off at all times.


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