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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Need advice: Improper use of HOV lane /No driver license
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:46 am 
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City of Toronto is in shortage of money and I was stopped by one of their collecting agent (a.k.a A Cop) this morning.

Background:

I was preparing to make a right turn on the right lane. It is a bus lane (HOV lane) and the cop said that I cut in too early - the law states that I can be on a HOV lane no more than 60 meters before making a right turn at the intended intersaction.

Personaly I don't think I broke the law, but I didn't argue as the cop is always right.

In addition, I forgot my driver licenses at home and he issued another ticket to me for this matter.

I was driving my wife's car that was registered to her parent's address (i.e. not my own address).

Ticket specifics:

Ticket #1
- Improper use of HOV lane, HTA Section 154.1(3)
- The cop didn't have my driver licenses and he put my middle name as my family name on the ticket
- The cop didn't have my driver licenses and he put my in-law's address as the address on the ticket
- The cop didn't have my driver licenses and he didn't put my driver licenses number on the ticket

Ticket #2
- Driver fail to wear complete seatbelt assembly, HTA Section 106(2)
- Not sure why this is "seatbelt" related - the cop said that the ticket is for me not having my driver license with me
- The cop didn't have my driver licenses and he put my middle name as my family name on the ticket
- The cop didn't have my driver licenses and he put my in-law's address as the address on the ticket
- The cop didn't have my driver licenses and he didn't put my driver licenses number on the ticket

Need Advice:

1) What's the best way to fight off these tickets?
2) Would all those "technical errors" (i.e. wrong family name, emtpied driver licenses field, wrong address) help me to fight these tickets off?


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 4:50 pm 
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To fight the charge, send the ticket in pleading not guilty, and make a disclosure request. In the disclosure request, ask for an explanation and clarification of the charge.

154.1, I believe, applies only to the "King's Highway," at least if I read it correctly. This would be roads like the 404 or 403. I don't think a Toronto surface street counts. "Disobey sign" might be an appropriate charge, depending on the circumstances. I haven't read anything that says you must be within 60 metres of the intersection before joining the lane to turn. I think some more info from the officer's notes would help you proceed. Also, I think that the HOV lanes in Toronto require a by-law to be designated as such, but I'll have to look into it. If that's the case, the disclosure package would require a certified copy of the by-law showing that they are transit/HOV lanes; if it is not included, could motion for a stay based on improper disclosure. There are other ways of contesting it, but better to get the background information from the officer/Crown first.

As for not having the license, the failure to wear seatbelt may be intended as punishment for it, but that is not the correct charge. Should be beatable, at least on paper. As for the errors and omissions, they will be corrected at trial. For the ticket to be dismissed as invalid, the errors have to be HUGE, basically meaning no offence date, defendant is not named, ticket is not signed, offence is not included, or something like that.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 5:28 pm 
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Toronto HOV lanes are not bilingual!

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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 6:03 pm 
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TC, reading 154.1 it appears to apply only to the King's Highway. Incorrect charge?

horus1219, which street did this occur on? There are several possible issues here that may help you fight the charge. Might want to go back and photograph the area with a time-date stamp on the photo so you can present it in court, as a starting point. With a little more info there's a good chance you could put together a solid defence on this case.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 7:06 pm 
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The King's Highway includes highways 2-148 along with the 400-series and the QEW. The most popular HOV road in Toronto is probably Don Mills, which as far as I know is not a King's Highway (it's Regional Road 12 or something like that).

I'm not sure if a highway retains the King's Highway designation when responsibility for the road is turned over to a local authority.

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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 9:35 pm 
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Hmmm... so if it was Dundas Street (hwy 5), Markham Road (hwy 48 ), Yonge Street (hwy 11), Avenue Road (hwy 11A), Kingston Road (hwy 2), "King's Highway" might apply, depending on designation. However, none of them, AFAIK, have HOV lanes.

Quote:
Regulations for high occupancy vehicle lanes - 154.1.

(1) Where a part of the King’s Highway has been divided into clearly marked lanes for traffic, the Minister may by regulation designate any lane as a high occupancy vehicle lane for that part of the King’s Highway and may make regulations,

(Snipped)

(d) providing for the erection of signs and the placing of markings to identify high occupancy vehicle lanes and the entry and exit points for high occupancy vehicle lanes;

(3) No person shall drive a motor vehicle in a high occupancy vehicle lane or enter or exit a high occupancy vehicle lane except in accordance with this section and the regulations made under it.



Would think that since subsection (1) says this applies to a "King's Highway," the road the offence took place on would also have to be a King's Highway, not a local road.

I'd try to trip them up with the improper by-law disclosure. If they don't give you a certified copy of the by-law, 15 days in advance of the trial file a motion for a stay based on improper disclosure. That will stop the trial in its tracks. As for the 60 metre rule, I have no idea where that came from, I can't find any reference in the HTA, maybe it's under one of those obscure O. Regs.

Also, at trial, when you get a chance to ask the officer quesions, read section 154.1, highlight the point that it seems to describe a "King's Highway." Ask if the road was a King's Highway; if not, state that the charge should be dismissed as it appears that 154.1 does not apply to the road you were on. If they try to change it to "disobey sign" or go through the sign route, show a photograph of the sign(s) nearest the offence. You should be able to use the bilingual defence and show that the signs are not valid, as ticketcombat was saying. Here's info on the bilingual defence:

http://www.ticketcombat.com/step5/bilingual.php

As for the seatbelt infraction, a simple "was I wearing the seatbelt or not" should be sufficient, but check the officer's notes carefully when you get them. The HTA allows you to identify yourself with your correct name and address if you are "unable" to provide your driver license, presumably for circumstances like if it has been misplaced or forgotten. (I'm not condoning driving without your license on you but let's face it, if we can misplace our wallets from time to time it can just as easily happen with a license.)


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:45 pm 
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Assuming that this was not on a King's Highway, I think the charge should have been under the City of Toronto Municipal Code 400-21, or the old Metropolitan Bylaw 132/93. I can find neither of those online, so I can't read the text to determine if either specifies a 60 m limit.

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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 11:12 pm 
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No by-law disclosure and the bilingual defence should kill the first ticket.

RI, check this out
Quote:
Meaning of “designated”, ss. 141, 153 and 154

152. For the purposes of sections 141, 153 and 154,

“designated” means designated by the Minister or by any person authorized by him or her to make the designation or designated by by-law of a municipality. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 152.

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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 1:34 pm 
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This might fit in somewhere for your discussion...

“King’s Highway” includes the secondary highways and tertiary roads designated under the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act;

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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 1:53 pm 
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I got nailed like that on Dundas. The funny part is that I had paper stubs to prove that I was going to make a turn 100m ahead (I was expensing the parking fees) and he still nailed me with a ticket. Making a lane change and a turn on Dundas at 9am within 60m is suicide. Fortunately at least I had all of my papers/equipment up to spec. They need to change that bylaw to about 150m.

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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 3:29 pm 
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Another HTA section that needs re-working. Why not just say "highway"?

Well, to avoid any confusion, toss that one; going with the two options that TC said are the best way to go: Quash on improper disclosure or bilingual defence.

FiReSTaRT wrote:
They need to change that bylaw to about 150m.


Yeah no kidding. I don't even know why anyone would bother enforcing exactly 60 metres, either. In 99% of cases there are no buses or taxis anywhere near you.


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 4:55 pm 
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yeah, that is another one through-out the HTA....varying metres...30, 60, 100, 150m.....just make it all the same thru the whole legislation....or maybe reference it to the respective speed zones.....

ie: 50km zone is 50m, 60km zone is 60m etc...

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Re: Need advice: Improper use of HOV lane /No driver license
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:38 am 
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During my research online for an upcoming court date I came across this forum, and specifically this thread, and wanted to chime in about my experiences:

A family member was stopped driving in the "bus only" lane on the southbound stretch of William Allen Rd. last spring in Toronto. The charge laid was for "improper use of the HOV lane - 154.1 (3). Thanks to information shared in this thread I now know the 154.1 (3) specifically refers to the King's Highways, and as such William Allen Rd. is exempt from said by-law.

I am fighting the charge on my family member's behalf. I requested disclosure 6 weeks before the first court appearance (the disclosure request form states 6-8 weeks are required for processing) and didn't receive it in time for the first appearance. When I arrived in court the prosecutor told me I requested disclosure "too late" and that she "likes to request disclosure no later than 8 weeks" before the scheduled court date. I told her I was told informed otherwise by the administrative clerk, and she instructed me to wait until after court proceedings concluded so I could receive disclosure from the officer who was in attendance. The case was adjourned for a month because my family member wasn't present with me, and I did indeed receive disclosure from the officer after court.

It's been a couple weeks since then, and with a couple of weeks left to go before the scheduled second appearance I'll be attending court once again to request another adjournment. My family member will not be able to take time off work on the scheduled court date (her employer refuses time off during a hectic period) so I'll be asking the judge for some leniency in this regard and will request any other future date (without the officer in court today to chime in about the date). In addition I'll be informing the prosecutor that I received improper disclosure from the officer (officer's handwriting illegible - requesting typed notes AND no by-law disclosure) and that the 4 weeks between the first court appearance and second scheduled court appearance wasn't enough time to put a repeat request through for disclosure once more. I'm confident the prosecutor will oblige, but if he/she won't I plan on making the same argument before the judge. I presume it's in the court's benefit to give me adequate time to receive proper disclosure.

I'll post updates here.


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Re: Need advice: Improper use of HOV lane /No driver license
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Notice of Trial wrote:
During my research online for an upcoming court date I came across this forum, and specifically this thread, and wanted to chime in about my experiences:

A family member was stopped driving in the "bus only" lane on the southbound stretch of William Allen Rd. last spring in Toronto. The charge laid was for "improper use of the HOV lane - 154.1 (3). Thanks to information shared in this thread I now know the 154.1 (3) specifically refers to the King's Highways, and as such William Allen Rd. is exempt from said by-law.

I am fighting the charge on my family member's behalf. I requested disclosure 6 weeks before the first court appearance (the disclosure request form states 6-8 weeks are required for processing) and didn't receive it in time for the first appearance. When I arrived in court the prosecutor told me I requested disclosure "too late" and that she "likes to request disclosure no later than 8 weeks" before the scheduled court date. I told her I was told informed otherwise by the administrative clerk, and she instructed me to wait until after court proceedings concluded so I could receive disclosure from the officer who was in attendance. The case was adjourned for a month because my family member wasn't present with me, and I did indeed receive disclosure from the officer after court.

It's been a couple weeks since then, and with a couple of weeks left to go before the scheduled second appearance I'll be attending court once again to request another adjournment. My family member will not be able to take time off work on the scheduled court date (her employer refuses time off during a hectic period) so I'll be asking the judge for some leniency in this regard and will request any other future date (without the officer in court today to chime in about the date). In addition I'll be informing the prosecutor that I received improper disclosure from the officer (officer's handwriting illegible - requesting typed notes AND no by-law disclosure) and that the 4 weeks between the first court appearance and second scheduled court appearance wasn't enough time to put a repeat request through for disclosure once more. I'm confident the prosecutor will oblige, but if he/she won't I plan on making the same argument before the judge. I presume it's in the court's benefit to give me adequate time to receive proper disclosure.

I'll post updates here.


Update:

After several court appearances requesting a rescheduled date, I appeared before the Justice. I explained that I didn't receive proper disclosure after my initial request as the disclosure I received from the officer didn't include a certified copy of the City of Toronto by-law (pertaining to driving on a City of Toronto road with an HOV lane). The prosecutor interjected several times, expressing confusion at the discussion I was having with the Justice and kept stating "I don't understand, this is a highway traffic act matter!" - I took that to mean she thought I was arguing for a certified copy of the HTA, which I wasn't. When I explained to the Justice I didn't received a certified copy of the City of Toronto by-law he understood where I was coming from, because when the prosecutor interjected, again, and stated on the record that she "didn't know about any such by-law and doesn't have any such by-law" the Justice held the case until the end of the session. When I was called back up I reiterated my case and the prosecutor reiterated her confusion, again, to which the Justice replied on the record that "the prosecutor has failed to provide you with the copy of the by-law, you have certain rights, go investigate." Another court date was then chosen and I left.

My question now is which step/s do I take in relation to the Justice's comments in order to have the charge dismissed/stayed? I haven't seen any specific posts from someone else that was in the exact same position so any help is greatly appreciated!


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