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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Ticket mistake?
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 8:56 pm 
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I got a ticket for Careless Driving, section 130 of the OHTA. Thing is, I was driving down a residential road, not even a dividing lane in the centre. The definition only mentions highways, and also mentions other roadway users. The road was empty at the time. Not only that, but the officer didn't write down his full name and miswrote the year of my car.

And I just confused, or does that section not even apply to me?


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:03 pm 
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I believe OHTA will apply to every public street in Ontario.

Btw, What did you do? Hit a parked car? :D

Why were you charged with careless?

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 1:12 am 
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I accelerated too quickly and apparently got some wheelspin, then I did a rolling stop through a stop sign.

Quote:
Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition his or her licence or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than two years.


Notice the highway, I'm assuming that can't apply to roads that aren't highways.


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 1:18 am 
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Since the cop was there and witnessed the act, I think your best bet is a plea bargain.

Residential streets are applicable for careless driving charges.

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 1:41 am 
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But where does it say that? The ticket referenced section 130, and section 130 only mentions highways.


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 1:54 am 
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MadCow wrote:
But where does it say that? The ticket referenced section 130, and section 130 only mentions highways.


The law can be technically written, and in the OHTA the word "highway" refers to many different words.

Interpretation, general Definitions

Section 1. (1)

“highway” includes a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof; (“voie publique”)

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 2:29 am 
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Well that's just stupid. One of the reasons I hate legal systems. Hopefully I can at least lower the offence or soemthing in court. Careless driving is pretty damn serious and I really don't want to go through all this right now.


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 2:39 am 
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Well its the Law lol! Don't know how you plan to change it.

I would consult with a legal aid for this matter. This site can refer you to a local traffic ticket agent, just fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

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Re: Ticket mistake?
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 6:38 am 
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MadCow wrote:
Not only that, but the officer didn't write down his full name and miswrote the year of my car.


I do not write down my full name either....first initial and last name only.

Some officers write down the year of the validation sticker in the "year" area, others write the year of the vehicle.

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 10:58 am 
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Well this officer only wrote down his first or las name, it could be either. Another thing I don't understand is the "witness" checkbox on the ticket. He checked no, even though there were 3 others in the car with me, and at least 20 others who saw what happened.


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 4:05 pm 
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MadCow wrote:
Another thing I don't understand is the "witness" checkbox on the ticket. He checked no, even though there were 3 others


In short it is a check box to let the person charged know that there either IS or is NOT a witness to the offence that could provide evidence for prosecution.

This box is used for collisions, where there is an "independant witness" to the incident, OR if there is a traffic complaint and the person provides a statement to the police, where that evidence provides grounds for the charge. Another time the check box could be used is if there is another officer involved (ie speed intercept program, where one officer obtains a vehicle's speed and the other officer stops and charges the driver)

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 11:36 am 
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Careless driving
130. Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition his or her licence or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than two years. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 130.
Territory without municipal organization


If you have previous experience in traffic court, you may be comfortable defending yourself by challenging the particular elements of the offence as highlighted above. If it's your first time, you risk losing due to your own inexperience with the process. You don't want to risk high insurance rates for such a serious offense.

I think you have two choices:
1) pay for a lawyer to represent you (maybe $500-$600)
2) go down to the prosecutors office and talk to the Crown. It's quite common for the the Crown to propose a "plea bargain" (to avoid a costly trial). If you have a clean record, one minor conviction probably won't affect your insurance rates (for the next 3-years). So you may wish to have the Careless charge amended to just the stop sign charge ($115/3 points). I have 6 more months to go on MY stop sign charge before I'm "clean" (takes three years). I plead away TWO other charges to avoid trial. My insurance never went up though my company was well aware of the conviction.

In order to have more time to research your options, you should plead not-guilty on your ticket and get it to the courthouse within 15 days of the offence. Then sit back and wait for your court date to arrive in the mail.

Careless Driving has to be one of the most "wishy-washy" charges in the HTA. It's so vague and can be applied to almost anything. I have some case-law on the subject at work. I'll follow up with more info when I review it (over the next day or two).

Don't panic


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Bookm wrote:
Careless driving
130. Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition his or her licence or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than two years. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 130.
Territory without municipal organization


If you have previous experience in traffic court, you may be comfortable defending yourself by challenging the particular elements of the offence as highlighted above. If it's your first time, you risk losing due to your own inexperience with the process. You don't want to risk high insurance rates for such a serious offense.

I think you have two choices:
1) pay for a lawyer to represent you (maybe $500-$600)
2) go down to the prosecutors office and talk to the Crown. It's quite common for the the Crown to propose a "plea bargain" (to avoid a costly trial). If you have a clean record, one minor conviction probably won't affect your insurance rates (for the next 3-years). So you may wish to have the Careless charge amended to just the stop sign charge ($115/3 points). I have 6 more months to go on MY stop sign charge before I'm "clean" (takes three years). I plead away TWO other charges to avoid trial. My insurance never went up though my company was well aware of the conviction.

In order to have more time to research your options, you should plead not-guilty on your ticket and get it to the courthouse within 15 days of the offence. Then sit back and wait for your court date to arrive in the mail.

Careless Driving has to be one of the most "wishy-washy" charges in the HTA. It's so vague and can be applied to almost anything. I have some case-law on the subject at work. I'll follow up with more info when I review it (over the next day or two).

Don't panic


Thank you so much :) I want to get representation, I would much rather get it dropped completely because I'm a new driver that kind of stuff just isn't good for my record. And that's exactly what I think of careless driving, it can be applied to any traffic offence really.

I'm going to call up a few places today and tomorrow to get prices and maybe advice.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 10:07 pm 
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Careless Driving is intended to apply to drivers' who's actions would be considered inadvertent or negligent. I wouldn't think this section applies to your situation. You conducted yourself in a purposeful way. No negligence was present. There are other sections of the HTA that would apply to your scenario. They weren't used. The officer was being lazy (IMO). He probably knows that most people plea down to a lesser charge without going to trial. It's risky going to trial. You could get a JP that just doesn't like you, or is having a bad day.

It would be important to prove that you were diligent and fully aware of your actions, and that there was no risk to other motorists or pedestrians. You would need to explain (in your defense) that you accelerated quickly to get a "feel" for the tuneup you recently performed ;) . You may have been confronted with a small patch of gravel on the road causing minor wheel spin.

It is important for the Crown to show that there is no reasonable explanation (due diligence) for the driving. If the defendant can provide an explanation, he is entitled to an acquittal. (R. v. Skorput 1994 O.J nO. 763)

(r. v. namink 1979 27 Chitty's L.J. 289 (Ont.Co.Ct.) spells out the requirements for conviction for Careless Driving.
1) Driving without "Due Care" and "Attention", and
2) Driving without "reasonable consideration for others using the highway".

It would cost between $10-$20 (per case-law) for your lawyer to print them out, but they're great evidence to submit in court. Very few Justices would consider ruling in difference to a Court of Appeals' ruling. Just show the court how these rulings apply to you and you should be on your way!

Good Luck


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 11:56 pm 
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Well the road was completely empty at that part, not even parked cars. If there was wheelspin, which I doubt it would be because there was alot of heavy stuff in the back, and its a fwd vehicle. I just don't believe that there was wheelspin though, I've never experienced it with this car on asphalt. Anything less grippy though and it comes easily.

Again I can't thank you enough for your help. I'll mention these cases to my paralegal once I get one. :)


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