Using Centre Lane Improperly

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Radar Identified
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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Marquisse wrote:This is what I'm thinking on this. I go to trial and as a defense tell the justice that I did not commit an offense because the subsection 154(1)(b) cited specifically allows what I did, which was to prepare for a left turn, abort it, and merge again with traffic. When the The officer/prosecutor alleges that I used the middle lane to overtake another vehicle, I will point out that this too is allowed under the subsection.
I think this is a valid defence. Since you're a paralegal I'm sure you're comfortable with court proceedings. I also like your strategy of plea-bargaining and if it does not work, then go to trial. See if they can offer you a municipal by-law infraction, because that will keep the ticket away from your driving record and, more importantly, your insurance company!


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Unread post by Marquisse on

Thanks RI!

I am not comfortable in court proceedings, though. As a paralegal, most of my work is in drafting and researching in RE law. I've been to court and I know the law through education, but I've yet to argue a case in a Provincial Offenses court. That's why I wanted to hear from others regarding the validity of my argument. Of course the Justice will be the final arbiter, but it's good to bounce ideas off of others.


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Unread post by Bookm on

Marquisse wrote:... When the The officer/prosecutor alleges that I used the middle lane to overtake another vehicle, I will point out that this too is allowed under the subsection.
As Squishy pointed out, I don't think it is allowed. I have only seen a "shared" passing lane once; on Hwy 11 up near New Liskard. All the other shared centre lanes I have seen (including in my city) are clearly marked with left turn arrows. I don't think those arrows can be ignored.

But I still think you have a good case. The officer clearly believes you used the centre lane to pass a vehicle. He has no way of really knowing your intent. he can only form an opinion. I'm sure lots of people get in the turning lane only to find it impossible to complete the turn for one reason or another. You just have to explain your reason to the JP.


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Unread post by Marquisse on

Hi Bookm,

I agree, but where the confusion comes in is in the subsection cited. Can they argue that according to the section I was charged under, I commited no offense, but that the appropriate subsection is actually 154 (1)(c) and then change it? This is why I have no intention of letting the prosecutor know beforehand of this and will only present this argument if it comes to trial.

If for safety reasons I had to abort the left and re-merge (because I knew that to use the centre lane to continue on was not allowed and there was no place for me to make the left turn into), I'm asserting a defense of necessity.

I am making too many assumptions or have procedure wrong?


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Unread post by Squishy on

154 (1) (b) applies only to a three-lane road. You were on a five-lane road, in which case you can argue that this clause neither prohibited nor allowed your actions (with strong emphasis on "did not prohibit").

I'm not sure if they can turn around and issue a new ticket, though.
Last edited by Squishy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by Bookm on

Ya, I'd do the same as you Marquisse. I would keep my questions (and closing statement) specific to the subsection listed on your ticket. If the crown tried to amend the ticket, I would object as I have appeared on my court date to defend myself against the charging document only. I would argue that amending the ticket would deprive me of the right to a fair trial on this, my scheduled court date, and the cost of missing another day from work if a continuance were granted, is too high.


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Unread post by Marquisse on

I did some further digging and found that the French Language defense likely won't work for me because the City of Hamilton is only included in the 25 regions that must comply with the French Language Act as it existed on December 31, 2000.

Waterdown did not amalgamate to become part of the City of Hamilton until January, 2001 and was previously a part of the East Flamborough Twnshp.

That little bit of digging I do believe saved me a red face in court!!! :oops:


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Unread post by racer on

Just a question - did you request/get the disclosure package yet? It would be funny to defeat officer based on his own notes...
"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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Unread post by Marquisse on

No, I haven't received a date yet, so I haven't been able to request disclosure. Once I look over it, I'll decide then whether or not to defend myself or hire someone to.


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Unread post by Marquisse on

Just an update here. Do you know that I haven't received a date yet for court?! I called at the end of August and she said that they are backed up (this is the at the John Sopinka courthouse) and to wait another three weeks. Well, it's now 5 weeks later.....nothing in the mail. WWYD? Call again? I'm going to request disclosure the moment I get notice, but pass this off to a classmate of mine who works at a Traffic Ticket place just around the corner from my work. They've got the experience to do it, but I'd like to be there to see it.


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Unread post by racer on

Well, apparently now you can ask for disclosure before even getting the court date, as some members have indicated. I don't get why though...
"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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Unread post by Radar Identified on

I'd try calling them again.
racer wrote:Well, apparently now you can ask for disclosure before even getting the court date, as some members have indicated.
Once the PON is filed by the officer, the Crown Prosecutor can look up the info and track down the officer (get the notes, etc). So it's in the system, even though the court date hasn't been set yet.


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Unread post by Marquisse on

.....sorry edited wrong message!!!!
Last edited by Marquisse on Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Unread post by Reflections on

Marquisse wrote:Well, I called the John Sopinka courthouse again yesterday and, finally, have a court date for mid-January. Do any of you know if I can get the forms for requesting disclosure online, or do I have to stop into the courthouse again to obtain one (the previous copy handed to me in July is severely dog-eared from being in my purse for so long)?
Try:http://www.ticketcombat.com
http://www.OHTA.ca OR http://www.OntarioTrafficAct.com


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Unread post by Marquisse on

I went to court on Thursday and ended up asking for an adjournment because the crown gave me disclosure (about 3 lines of the officer's notes :roll: ) 30 seconds prior to calling my name.

The officer's note mentioned that he saw me drive in the centre lane for about 200-300 meters. IMPOSSIBLE. Look, I'm no police basher like we often get here, but this guy is F.O.S. There is no way this fibber saw me driving that distance (not that it matters, section 154.(1)(b) does not prohibit it anyhow) because there is a HILL that he crested just as I was entering the lane to my right! When I saw this I thought "how in the world do I discredit a police officer who is not being truthful in his notes in a palatable way in court!?"!

So, I asked for an adjournment to consult a paralegal I know. I think I'm going to ask him to represent me because now I am piqued.

I conducted myself with professionalism when addressing the court and, quite frankly, I think surprised and P.O'ed the officer because when I turned around to leave, he gave me his best stink eye. I smiled, bowed to the justice, and left.

Anyway, there's my dramatic update. The crown tried to say the late disclosure was due to my error and late request, but I told the justice that the reason for the late request for disclosure was due to the PO Office's failure to provide Notice for Trial.






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