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Snow Clearing of Car Question -Section 74 (1A)
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:02 pm 
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Hello good people. My wife got stopped at a RIDE check and received a ticket for $110. The offence committed was listed as: Sect.. 74 (1a) "no clear view to sides" of the car.

She was driving a 2001 Dodge Caravan. The highway traffic act says in section 74(1A): "No person shall drive a motor vehicle upon a highway,
(a) unless the windshield and the windows on either side of the compartment containing the steering wheel are in such a condition as to afford the driver a clear view to the front and side of the motor vehicle;"

My question is: What does the expression: "either side of the compartment containing the steering wheel" actually mean? Does this mean that the driver is in one compartment, and the people in the next seat behind the driver are in another compartment? Or does the term compartment mean the whole car interior? It seems vague to me.

The car was cleared of snow at the front, the windows directly on either side of the driver, the next middle side windows were cleaned as well. The only side windows not cleaned were the third section where the windows tilt out and the rear of the vehicle. That is not necessary to see properly. The mirrors cover this area fine. Do I have a basis of fighting this ticket? What is your opinion? Thanks all!!!

In my opinion I feel this is a useful law that promotes safety, but in this case I think the ticket was excessive, and the snow was not blocking my wife's side view. I think this law should not be used as a way to make money for the government a'la "cash cow".


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Re: Snow Clearing of Car Question -Section 74 (1A)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:13 pm 
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It was always my understanding that it applied to the windshield (obviously) and the windows in the front seats (particularly because of their view to the mirrors).

Obviously, not all cars come equipped with windows behind the driver and a cube van type vehicle may not have a rear window to begin with. I don't even believe you have to clean the rear window as having mirrors supersede having a clear view through the back. Although, it would be nice to just clean it off anyways.


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Re: Snow Clearing of Car Question -Section 74 (1A)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:52 pm 
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Thanks Moderator for your reply. I tend to agree with your assessment of the word "compartment". The fact that the steering wheel is mentioned seems to narrow down the area in the car that is discussed in the traffic act.

The one thing however I do not have access to is whether this point has been raised (I am sure it has) and a ruling has been given through the courts that the side of the compartment refers to all of the sides of the car. This information could be accessed no doubt by hiring a paralegal firm to fight this ticket. This I wont do as no points are involved and the fine is not exorbitant.

This has made both of us aware of this traffic regulation and will no doubt aid us in making sure the whole car is cleaned off before driving. I think though that I will encourage her to fight this ticket for the reasons discussed.


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Re: Snow Clearing of Car Question -Section 74 (1A)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:43 pm 
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bstratton wrote:
This information could be accessed no doubt by hiring a paralegal firm to fight this ticket. This I wont do as no points are involved and the fine is not exorbitant.

This has made both of us aware of this traffic regulation and will no doubt aid us in making sure the whole car is cleaned off before driving. I think though that I will encourage her to fight this ticket for the reasons discussed.


Insurance companies don't care about points - they don't track them. The points are for MTO to assess your ability to drive according to the rules of the road. Get too many and they call you in to explain why your license shouldn't be suspended.

Insurance companies look at only convictions and may raise your rates. Even paper convictions like failing to show registration etc... can raise your rates.


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Re: Snow Clearing of Car Question -Section 74 (1A)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:01 pm 
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Good point. If the insurance company is going to view this infraction as an equivalent to let's say a speeding ticket, then that is another reason for my wife to fight this charge.


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Re: Snow Clearing of Car Question -Section 74 (1A)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:04 pm 
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I would have her plead NOT GUILTY and request a trial with the officer present. Once you get your notice of trial, then you can request disclosure (officers notes). Once you get the officers notes you can then see what the officer said about which windows were blocked.

Was anybody else in the vehicle with your wife?

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+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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Re: Snow Clearing of Car Question -Section 74 (1A)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:45 pm 
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No only my wife was in the vehicle. I was thinking on the same lines. We are going to get the disclosure to see what windows he is referring to. This will help direct our trial direction. Thanks.

There may be an opportunity for a resolution meeting (by phone or in person) to get these charges dismissed, but usually I believe this is for people who want to plead guilty to a lesser charge. They might dismiss if the ticket is glaringly and obviously in error. I highly doubt however the prosecution will budge and dismiss this charge at this point, so a trial is probably going to happen. I can still request a trial after this resolution meeting I believe.


Last edited by bstratton on Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Snow Clearing of Car Question -Section 74 (1A)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:00 pm 
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If there was an obvious mistake on the cops part, and it sounds like there was, the prosecutor should just withdraw the charge as there is no likelyhood of conviction. Only the front windshield, and the windows in the driver's compartment need to be clear. If the cop is saying it was because of windows in the rear that were not able to afford the driver a clear view, the cop was wrong. Disclosure should bring to light what the officer was talking about.


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Re: Snow Clearing of Car Question -Section 74 (1A)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:18 pm 
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Yes you can still request a trial if you don't like the results of the resolution meeting.

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+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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