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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Turn Not In Safety
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:31 am
Posts: 5
Hello Members!

Regrettably, I have a new scenario with new questions: On Dec. 2012, I was driving close to the intersection of Simcoe St N. (Oshawa) and Commencement Drive (exit of DC's campus). It was 7:00 pm (already dark) and I may have been mislead by a right turn lane which is available for drivers coming into the campus but BEFORE passing the intersection. The right turn lane ends with what would be a mandatory turn to enter the college. I was on my way out of the college and ready to incorporate myself onto Simcoe St. going South. Well, another vehicle encountered me on the same lane.
Thankfully, no personal injuries and 'only' car damages.
Both of us, drivers, went to the Collision Centre Office in Whitby. The other driver went there immediately but I was able to do so the day after. At the collision centre, after filling out all paperwork, I was questioned by an officer (I shan't give his name or ID numbers) who, in the end, proceeded to charge me with TURN NOT IN SAFETY, CONTRARY TO THE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ACT SEC 142(1). I already read that part of the act and I believe the officer went a bit too far in determining the match between the incident and the nature of bracket 1 on the section 142.
Right now I am debating whether or not to dispute the ticket. This offence carries a 2 demerit points and a $110 fine. I may not argue the fact that I might have made a mistake by letting the right turn lane to mislead me into thinking that that was my available lane. What I am concern is my insurance financial repercussions.
I contacted the Insurance Bureau of Canada and they informed me that insurance companies do not look into the Highway Traffic Act to calculate rates but, rather, the Ontario Insurance Act and that the charge will be registered on the latter (and will stay there for 6 years) even though I may succeed in fighting the ticket and get the demerit points down to 0 or have the ticket 'thrown away' on a technicality.

The only way that I can foresee this ticket being thrown away would be proving that the intersection, the nature of the exit lane of the campus, and the right turn-only lane are, as a group, confusing or misleading into a driver being 'fooled' by vehicles either driving to turn or just passing right through the intersection.

Plus... where can one go to to complain of an officer telling me to "be a man about it" and accept the charge? What makes some officers think that they can utter those kind of pejorative comments to drivers?

Input or ideas will be greatly appreciated! =)

Thanks!


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Re: Turn Not In Safety
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:26 pm
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Location: Toronto
I'm not really clear about what happened.

Did you turn across the path of an approaching vehicle, merge into the side of the vehicle or turn into another vehicle's lane?

The insurance company is concerned with two things:
1. Who is at fault for the collision, and how much
2. HTA convictions

You won't be able to change #1. They use Fault Determination Rules and, no matter what happens in court, they still use the rules as they apply to the circumstance you were in. As far as HTA convictions go, this particular offence may result in an increase above and beyond what you'd get for the collision... depends on the insurance company.

As for the HTA charge, you could make a trial request and then request disclosure to see what sort of evidence they intend to bring against you. Being "confused" by the road layout likely won't work as a defence, unless the JP is particularly sympathetic.

As for what the officer said, well, truthfully a complaint likely won't go anywhere, since "be a man about it" isn't really that offensive in the grand scheme of things. Somewhat unprofessional, but that's about it.

_________________
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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Re: Turn Not In Safety
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:01 pm 
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Hello Radar Identified!

Thank you for having read my post and include a reply! =)
To clarify, I was making a right turn from Commencement Drive (the enter/exit “street” to and from Durham College) and, as it turned out, my vehicle collided with a coming through vehicle on the lane I was incorporating to.
In other words, I wrongly assumed that the lane was empty, whereas it was not. I was visually mislead by a “third” lane on Simcoe street which in reality is a right turn lane that ends at the entrance of the campus. That lane was available, not the one I was entering to. That’s what caused the collision.

I have returned to the incident scene a couple of times and the more time I have stood and stared at the whole traffic dynamic on the intersection, the more convinced I am that it could have been, indeed, my mistake.
I had hoped to subpoena the traffic cameras footage of that day. I even contacted the city offices but told me that they do not record anything on traffic intersections. Cameras are there for monitor purposes. I don’t know how truthful that statement would be.

I thought I might have had a chance on getting demerit points or the ticket being dismissed under the statement that the intersection may be considered, visually, misleading with the third lane being visible from the other side (the right turn to campus one). Of course, insurance premiums are a big concern as well.

However, since there were no witnesses to the collision, no camera footage, the only things I have for evidence are the photos I took of how the intersection looks like when about to do a right turn. You can see three lanes, but you since I was making a right turn on red lights, I am the one responsible to make a SAFE turn, no mattering how the road may look like. Am I correct?

Right after the collision, I assumed that the other vehicle was driving too close to the edge of the lane and that that was the reason for the collision. My statement mentioned a lot of assumptions (eg. the vehicle was coming at high speed, which I cannot prove). In the end, the officer concluded that there were “too many red flags” in my statement.

My biggest disappointment came from the way the officer treat me. I’m not expecting all hugs and a flower bouquet, but I certainly don’t think that the expressions like “The door is there! Be a man and leave!” and screaming at me “Drive safely” in a very ironic and sarcastic way is justifiable. I don’t know why some officers believe they are entitled to say whatever they feel without being called upon if they know they are being unprofessional.
Had this been another type of service scenario, those expressions would have been reason for a staff-boss talk. It may be that some officers are exempt of corporate “heads-up” when they know they are taking it too far.
:(


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Re: Turn Not In Safety
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:13 am 
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loccicase wrote:
I had hoped to subpoena the traffic cameras footage of that day. I even contacted the city offices but told me that they do not record anything on traffic intersections. Cameras are there for monitor purposes. I don’t know how truthful that statement would be.


They are also used to monitor traffic volumes, or particularly with a college/university campus, they often are linked to campus security/police that look for suspicious people who may be hanging around. I would believe the city official.

loccicase wrote:
However, since there were no witnesses to the collision, no camera footage, the only things I have for evidence are the photos I took of how the intersection looks like when about to do a right turn. You can see three lanes, but you since I was making a right turn on red lights, I am the one responsible to make a SAFE turn, no mattering how the road may look like. Am I correct?


Correct.

I think you might want to look at plea-bargaining to a lesser charge, based on your description of the events.

_________________
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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Re: Turn Not In Safety
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:31 am
Posts: 5
Thank you Radar Identified for following my post and taking time to reply. =)

I have decided to acknowledge the fact that I must apply all safety measures when turning (and in any road scenario), so I will be paying my ticket without disputing it. I think the important matter was that nobody was hurt and that it will be a lesson and a valuable experience. This is my first ticket ever within 10 year of driving experience so can't be that bad.

Now, something odd happened: I called the Traffic Court Office in Oshawa to pay the ticket over the phone. After two times of reviewing and searching, they haven't found my ticket and they have no record of the officer having submitted the ticket. I got scared. The (very nice) lady on the phone instructed me to wait for an officer to "knock on my door" within the next 6 months with a request to go to court... Yikes!! I don't want to go to court, I made up my mind and am willing to pay the fine. I even asked her if the other driver could be planning on starting legal action against me but she told me that that is not the case.

She also told me to keep record on our phone conversation (she gave me her name) and that when the officer visits me, I should pull out all that call history and the fact that, as of today, I owe nothing to the traffic court.

This smells fishy.. could the officer be plotting something? He may be starting legal action or some kind of revenge? =(
Dunno..


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Re: Turn Not In Safety
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
The officer probably simply failed to submit the ticket in time, which would be a nice break for you. What the clerk was referring to was the fact that the officer still has six months to lay the charge, but would now have to do so by way of summons instead of a regular ticket.

Even if you’re summonsed to Court, you can still simply plead guilty and pay the fine without going to trial. I honestly wouldn’t worry about it.


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