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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Speeding Ticket lowered, but insurance hike may get me fired
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:40 pm 
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First time post, and I hope I'm posting in the right area.

So here's my situation. The accumulation of minor tickets (4 in last 3 years) will likely end up getting me fired, as the insurance would be too high for me in a company van. For work, I drive aprox 120,000km a year around Ontario in a company van so I am on the road a lot. That said, I should have known better than just take the quick and easy pay and plea guilty option on my last tickets after reading posts here and at ticketcombat.com.

The ticket:

Was recently in Collingwood for work, and was leaving town on the new HWY 26. The weather was light snow, roads clear. I had never driven on this road before and once I reached the new 4 lane (seperated highway) area I started to accelerate to highway speed. As accelerating I noticed a cop/speed trap and was pulled over for 85 in a 50 km/h. I was shocked when he told me it was a 50 km/h zone for a 4 lane highway with no commercial or residential even close to the road. He noted that there was a sign, and further down the road there was a round about - which I was obviously unaware of as you couldn't see it, and I had never been on this brand new highway. Regardless, I asked him for break as that ticket would likely get me fired. The cop was decent guy, he came back and reduced it to 65 in 50 km/h, no points. I thought wow, thats awesome. Until I soon remembered that insurance companies don't use points they use convictions.

So... I've checked my work van's insurance slip and the policy will need renewing on October 22nd. Which raises a few questions for me, if anyone can help:

-Do insurance companies check driver records at every renewal?

-How soon before the renewal do they generally check the driver records?

-If I take this ticket to trial (in Barrie), is there any chance of getting this pushed past the renewal date (Oct 22nd)?? -- around that time a previous ticket will no longer be on my 3yr driving record.

-At trial, is there anyway to get the speeding charge changed to a non-moving violation (which wouldn't kill my insurance)?

-If I do go to trial, what kind of defense could I have against this? It seems pretty cut and dry. Only discrepancies I can see on the ticket are: he wrote the wrong year for my date of birth; and maybe the fact that he only wrote HWY 26 with no intersection as the location.

-Also, perhap someone could also tell me if the fine is correct (as I've seen different rates per HTA and Ontario Courts Law) - OFFENSE: 65 km/h in a 50km/h zone. CONTRARY TO: Highway Traffic Act (sect: 128) Fine is written as -- Set fine: 37.50 Total payable: $52.50


Sorry to ramble on, but any help is appreciated as I'm pretty stressed trying to figure out what exactly to do on this as it will affect me and family's livelihood.

Thanks - Kev


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Re: Speeding Ticket lowered, but insurance hike may get me f
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:44 am
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kevekev wrote:
-Do insurance companies check driver records at every renewal?


This really depends on the insurance company, but usually not. You can go a whole 3 years before they ever check again. People usually say unless there's been a lot of activity (e.g. New cars on your policy) they don't check. I'd probably think it's just more random than that. I believe it costs them money to check, so checking every 6 months isn't in their interest. I could be wrong on some of these details. Maybe someone in the insurance industry can make things a bit clearer.

kevekev wrote:
-If I take this ticket to trial (in Barrie), is there any chance of getting this pushed past the renewal date (Oct 22nd)?? -- around that time a previous ticket will no longer be on my 3yr driving record.


Quite possibly. You can always request a trial today and plead guilty on your trial date. Requesting a trial doesn't mean they will shove you on the stand on the date they give you. They will have a little pow wow with you and the other 30 people with that trial date. They will try to come to a resolution with you as they don't want to go to trial. Truth is they barely have time to have one trial, let alone a trial for everyone there.

kevekev wrote:
-At trial, is there anyway to get the speeding charge changed to a non-moving violation (which wouldn't kill my insurance)?


You've already had a somewhat significant reduction. I don't think they are going to help you out much more than that, if they even could.

kevekev wrote:
-If I do go to trial, what kind of defense could I have against this? It seems pretty cut and dry. Only discrepancies I can see on the ticket are: he wrote the wrong year for my date of birth; and maybe the fact that he only wrote HWY 26 with no intersection as the location.


If you plan on making a case, these aren't things to lean on. If you request disclosure, the details of where you were stopped may be a little clearer in detail.


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Re: Speeding Ticket lowered, but insurance hike may get me f
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:01 pm
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bend, thanks for the input.

I will apply for trial today. Will they just send out a court date? Or is there an appearance first then a formal court date?

To apply for disclosure, will I need to travel to Barrie to fill out a form or can it be requested over the phone or fax? Is there a better or worse time to request it? Closer to trial date or do it ASAP?

In regards to insurance, this will be the first year I am insured under this company - do you think that lends more or less towards them checking the driving record? This will be my first renewal...


Again, any help is greatly appreciated.


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Re: Speeding Ticket lowered, but insurance hike may get me f
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:53 am 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
most prosecutors will ask for the speed to be amended up to the original speed, therefore you could face 4 points should that be the case, and pending whether your previous offences have points...just something else to be mindful of

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Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Re: Speeding Ticket lowered, but insurance hike may get me f
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:25 pm 
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hwybear wrote:
most prosecutors will ask for the speed to be amended up to the original speed, therefore you could face 4 points should that be the case, and pending whether your previous offences have points...just something else to be mindful of



My main concern really is not to fight this in court but to delay the trial as far as possible... to allow my insurance to renew without this on the my record. Any suggestions?


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Re: Speeding Ticket lowered, but insurance hike may get me f
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
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Location: Ontario
The Crown can only amend the ticket at your actual trial. You can still safely request a trial and attempt to delay the matter without worry.

Quote:
At trial, is there anyway to get the speeding charge changed to a non-moving violation (which wouldn't kill my insurance)?

FYI insurance companies look at all convictions, even things like expired plates, burnt out headlights, etc. They don’t look at what you refer to as “non-moving” HTA violations any differently.


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Re: Speeding Ticket lowered, but insurance hike may get me f
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:01 pm
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So I have responded with option 3, when I hear back from the courts regarding a date -- will that date be the actual trial date or will I meet with a Justice of Peace to ask for and setup a trial date?

Also, does anyone know if you can request disclosure over the phone or by fax? Or do you have to go to court and request it?

Sorry if these are stupid questions... I have no experience with the courts.

Thanks - Kev


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Re: Speeding Ticket lowered, but insurance hike may get me f
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:21 am
Posts: 382
1. The court date you get in the mail will be your actual trial date, so have everything ready to go on that day.

2. You can request disclosure by fax, just make sure to keep a copy of the confirmation page printed by the fax machine so that if the prosecutor claims they never got it you have something to prove to the court that you did in fact send it.


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