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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Re: No light on bike after dark
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:29 am 
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Wow, apologies for triple posting but I was able to find it.


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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:41 am 
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Here is SET FINE list:
http://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/how-do- ... hedule-43/

Then you add this:
http://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/000161

Then you add $5 court costs and you get Total Payable.

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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:02 am 
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Thanks! I've filed the Notice of Intention to Appear and requested disclosure so we'll see what that brings! And the provincial offences office is talking to me about the case via e-mail so I'll take that as a minor victory on the non-lawyer agent, acting-for-my-friend front -- hopefully they'll agree to it in court, too. This could change with disclosure, of course, but so far my 2 lines of defence are sidewalks not being "highways" per case law and a nominal error on the ticket: "motor vehicle involved, no" is not checked meaning motor vehicle involved when it was a bike. I'm sure this won't get much weight but I'll argue that draws all the evidence into question.


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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:24 pm 
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The motor vehicle involved not being check will hold zero weight. Minor errors on the ticket hold no weight in these offences.

The sidewalk not being a highway is the main one for sure though!

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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:46 pm 
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Ah, okay! Then I'll drop my offence notice argument. My thought was that it might represent a small inconsistency and possibly call the reliability of the officer's notes into question but it the justice won't give it any weight, I'll forget it. Curiously, as far as representing my friend goes, do you think I should file a Notice of Motion asking the court to allow me as non-lawyer agent or go through all of it orally at trial?


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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:43 am 
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I usually send a letter (not a motion) signed by the person you are acting for.

See this thread: topic7284.html and download the PDF file linked in the second post, and read the very first page.

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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:08 pm 
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Well, things are moving along, slowly but surely!

I've been e-mailing the prosecutor and he agreed not to object to my representing my friend. I also got disclosure which is really only the officer's notes. I'll post what the officer's notes say below:

driving north-bound on Steward
observed bicycle, no
lights. Turned around
finally cyclist stopped. Female. Before
speaking she started swearing.
"what you *EDIT* want?" Explained
why stopped. Female said give me the
*EDIT* ticket, then it will go on the
fridge with all the other tickets. Explained
this could have went different, no reason to
be swearing. She is late for work at --------.
No light on front or back, says she can't
afford a *EDIT* light. Continued swearing and
insulting police through dealings. Weather clear,
roads dry. Dark outside.

So far, our defence is my friend cycling on the sidewalk -- R. v. Green set non-binding precedent that sidewalks are not highways. The notes don't say either way so I'll have to cross-examine the officer or consider having my friend testify. Big thanks to jsherk finding and posting the case law! The officer also didn't note what time sunset was and given the offence's specificity on time, I'm hoping to use this try at reasonable doubt.


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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:37 pm 
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What time did this actually occur? The time will be on the ticket. Then google "time of sunset on such and such a date" and let me know what time the sunset was that day.

And as a side note, she is not being charged for swearing so it has nothing to do with the charge so anytime the officer starts to testify anything about what she said, you should object immediately and say "objection - what she said is irrelevent and not admissable."

And also to clarify, in the first post you posted the WRONG law. On the ticket it looks like HTA 62(17) which says:
Lights and reflectors on bicycles, etc.
62 (17) When on a highway at any time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres or less, every motor-assisted bicycle and bicycle (other than a unicycle) shall carry a lighted lamp displaying a white or amber light on its front and a lighted lamp displaying a red light or a reflector on its rear, and in addition white reflective material shall be placed on its front forks, and red reflective material covering a surface of not less than 250 millimetres in length and 25 millimetres in width shall be placed on its rear. 2015, c. 14, s. 21 (2).

Now in the notes the officer notes that it was "dark outside" so this will probably be sufficient to meet the "due to insufficient light" element of the charge regardless of the sunset time.

But there is still the "highway" element that they must prove which is where the sidewalk comes in. Can she testify that she never went on a road and only stayed on the sidewalk with her bike?

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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:42 am 
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Location: Ontario
Keegan wrote:
The officer also didn't note what time sunset was and given the offence's specificity on time, I'm hoping to use this try at reasonable doubt.

As I believe Jsherk is suggesting above, that will be somewhat dependent on what time the offence actually took place at. For instance if your friend was stopped at 1 a.m. the Justice of the Peace will no doubt be satisfied the offence took place during the required period of time. If it was at 9 p.m. in the middle of summer, it might be easier to raise doubt.

jsherk wrote:
And as a side note, she is not being charged for swearing so it has nothing to do with the charge so anytime the officer starts to testify anything about what she said, you should object immediately and say "objection - what she said is irrelevent and not admissable."

Yes and no. The OP's friend actually speaks to the offence by stating they can't afford lights. Nothing wrong with objecting to any statements, but there would likely be a "voir dire" (essentially a mini trial within a trial) to determine if the statement was made voluntarily and can be admitted. I'd hazard a guess that the Crown won't really care that much. The case is pretty straightforward even without the statement.

jsherk wrote:
But there is still the "highway" element that they must prove which is where the sidewalk comes in. Can she testify that she never went on a road and only stayed on the sidewalk with her bike?

This is really key. Any idea how long the officer watched your friend for? If they testify to your friend leaving the sidewalk or using a crosswalk, etc., your main defence is problematic.

Regardless though, please keep us posted on the outcome. Interesting bit of caselaw.


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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:33 am 
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A bit of a tangent but this refers back to the other thread about whether or not to speak to the police. Without having been there I would suggest that the OP's friend talked themselves into a ticket here. Sometimes a bit of politeness and civility will result in a warning whereas this alleged behavior will almost always result in paper being laid.

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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:07 am 
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Thanks, everyone, for your help and input on this!

The time on the ticket is 10:30 pm. Unfortunately for us, very definitely after sunset. Does the Crown need to have *some* supporting evidence or testimony to establish when sunset was or can the court rightly, in all honestly, assume the offence was after? Either way, Jshek, you make a good point about "insufficient light" being an easy win for the Crown because of the officer noting it was "dark outside." I could possibly try to raise some doubt as to the officer's accuracy estimating 150 metres to establish its insufficiency? but I doubt this would hold up very well.

And agreed, she definitely didn't handle the stop well at all. I didn't really know how, uh, unfriendly it was until I got the officer's notes in disclosure. She probably did talk herself into the ticket. It strikes me as interesting, though, the officer spent much more time noting their conversation than the actual offence... kind of bicycle, whether she was on the road or sidewalk, etc.


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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:03 am 
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Ontario Court of Justice: Schedule 43 – Last Updated: September 1, 2015: Improper bicycle lighting 62(17) $85.00
You will find the short form wordings for each charge as well as the fines on that site.


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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:15 am 
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Keegan wrote:
The time on the ticket is 10:30 pm. Unfortunately for us, very definitely after sunset. Does the Crown need to have *some* supporting evidence or testimony to establish when sunset was or can the court rightly, in all honestly, assume the offence was after? Either way, Jshek, you make a good point about "insufficient light" being an easy win for the Crown because of the officer noting it was "dark outside." I could possibly try to raise some doubt as to the officer's accuracy estimating 150 metres to establish its insufficiency? but I doubt this would hold up very well.


When the officer testifies, if he does NOT say what time it occured and does NOT mention it was dark outside, then when it is your turn to cross-examine you can say (before you ask any questions) "motion of non-suit - officer did not provide any evidence that it occured after sunset or that it was dark enough to require lights, so they have failed to prove a required element of the charge and it should be dropped". However if officer mentions either the time or that it was dark then I think you would have a very very hard time convincing the JP otherwise. So in my opinion, if officer mentions either the time or that it was dark then it would be a waste of time even trying to go down that path.

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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:31 am 
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Also, if you read the officers notes, he does not specify where he saw the bike in his notes, so you need to listen closely when he testifies. There are 4 possible things he could say as to where he saw the bike:
(i) He saw the bike, but does not say where it was.
(ii) He saw the bike on the sidewalk only.
(iii) He saw the bike on the road only.
(iv) He saw the bike on the road and the sidewalk.

Response to (i):
If the officer does NOT say where he saw the bike, then when it is your turn to cross-examine you can say (before you ask any questions) "motion of non-suit - the officer said he saw the bike but gave no evidence that the bike was actually on the road/highway and therefore they have failed to prove a required element of the charge and it should be dropped."

Response to (ii):
If the officer says he saw the bike ON THE SIDEWALK only, then when it is your turn to cross-examine you can say (before you ask any questions) "motion of non-suit - the officer said he saw the bike on sidewalk only but gave no evidence that the bike was actually on the road/highway and therefore they have failed to prove a required element of the charge and it should be dropped. Case law of R. v. Green agrees that the sidewalk is not the road/highway. I have copy of case law if you would like to see it."

Reponse to (iii) and (iv):
These two are the tough ones because the officer testified he saw her on the road. This will take some tricky cross-examining to bring doubt to that element in these cases.

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Re: No light on bike after dark
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:31 am 
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You can only play the motion of non suit card after the Crown has tendered all of their witnesses. Once the Crown has concluded their case you can make the motion. I am still having a very hard time with the whole sidewalk not being a part of the highway thing. Even ditches are considered highways if between the property lines, why wouldn't a side walk?


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