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Police Cruiser driving backwards
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:31 pm 
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I was driving eastbound on a 4-lane road (2 east, 2 west) and attempting to make a left hand turn into a private driveway. While I started to make my turn a police cruiser travelling in reverse in the westbound lanes hit me so hard that he took out my driver's side wheel. His view was blocked on his left as was mine because there was a construction pickup parked in the left westbound lane. The officer told me he was reversing in order to close the 2 westbound lanes further east in order for the road to be painted. Upon the Sargent's "investigation" he found me at fault for violating the Highway Traffic Act Sec 142 sub 1 saying that I made an unsafe turn. He told me that I should have looked backwards to my left to make sure there weren't any cars coming in reverse. I don't believe I violated any section of the act. However is it legal for ANY vehicle to be travelling in reverse on a main roadway?? They didn't charge me with any offense because "my view was blocked by the construction pick-up". The insurance adjuster was flabbergasted when I told her that the Sargent said it was my fault. I twice asked for the officer's information (name, insurance) and I was refused twice. I was never given a copy of the police report nor did I sign anything. I did make a statement with another officer that reported to the scene that I was assured was "locked" and cannot be changed after making it. This whole things seems extremely wrong. Can anyone shed any light on this situation?? I have attached a picture of the accident in case my description of it is confusing.


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Re: Police Cruiser driving backwards
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Location: Ontario
Technically it's legal to reverse on a roadway if done so in safety. The only applicable charge off the top of my head would be careless if it wasn't done with due care and attention. Section 157 makes it illegal to reverse on a highway with a speed limit of 80 km/hr or more, but police are exempt.

As for fault determination, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The Sargent may believe you were at fault under Highway Traffic Laws, but the insurance company has their own set of rules. If you weren't charged with anything, it will fall to the insurance company to decide who is to blame. The police will have to provide them (and you) with a copy of the report once it's been completed.

And as stupid as it sounds, technically I'd agree you were in violation of section 142(1). Similar scenario is you've signalled and started to turn left off the roadway. Someone behind you decides to overtake you from the left and t-bones your car. Who's at fault? Technically the driver who turned according to the HTA, even though I agree you're not expecting traffic from behind.


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Re: Police Cruiser driving backwards
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:27 pm 
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Well he was going pretty fast when he hit me. It definitely wasn't a slow crawl as it should have been since his view was blocked.


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Re: Police Cruiser driving backwards
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:34 am 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
anony wrote:
Well he was going pretty fast when he hit me. It definitely wasn't a slow crawl as it should have been since his view was blocked.


By the photo, doesnt appear the cruiser even has damage on the rear, so wasnt going that fast. Maybe 5-10km/hr, which does not seem unreasonable.

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Re: Police Cruiser driving backwards
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:33 am 
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The insurance adjuster will get all of the relevant information. I wouldn't worry too much about the officer's failure to hand it over. They'll track down the York Regional Police's underwriters and deal with them.

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Re: Police Cruiser driving backwards
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:15 am 
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5km/h wont cause that kind of damage to the front of the vw.. even still 10km/h in reverse is pretty darn quick to be moving in reverse when your view is obstructed

from a reasonable persons point of view the cop is entirely at fault imho...even though the law may disagree in this weird case. If you didnt get charged I wouldnt worry too much about it. theres a reason why they didnt charge you...he knows he screwed up ;) So just chalk it up too them covering their own butt


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Re: Police Cruiser driving backwards
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:49 pm 
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breakfast wrote:
from a reasonable persons point of view the cop is entirely at fault imho...



But it comes down to the insurance which doesn't always see it from a reasonable persons POV..


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Re: Police Cruiser driving backwards
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Wow, what a tough break. Wrong place at the wrong time. As there were no charges, that's one thing in your favour. It appears the insurance may rule in your favour as well. Good luck, hope it works out for you.


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