Actually innocent, would this be adequate proof ? Sue them?

ehmmm
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Actually innocent, would this be adequate proof ? Sue them?

by: ehmmm on
Sun May 22, 2011 5:48 am

Got a ticket for Red Light, proceed before green making a left onto King while going south on Spadina. Its only a $325 fine. I don't really want to cause too much hassle, but this was clearly an abuse of power.


My Claim: front row passenger and I both claim seeing only the green lights, and proceeded after oncoming traffic was clear.

Officers claim: Agreed that the lights to go forward was green, but claims streetcar light was was red (see this picture from google maps).

One thing I realized afterwards, is that the ticket was given out at 3 am. But the streetcars stop operating at 1 am in Toronto. After that the street car lights sync with the main traffic lights, and the situation the officer was claiming would be impossible.

This pic shows you how the intersection looks like, notice the red lights when the streetcar is coming. This is the type of situation in which the officer claims I made the turn.
Image
Google Street View

http://www3.ttc.ca/Routes/index.jsp (TTC general info saying all streetcars end at 1am)
http://www3.ttc.ca/Routes/510/Northbound.jsp (detailed information on the route that runs on Spadina)


The time is marked clearly on the ticket. The TTC schedule speaks for itself.

After streetcar service end time it is a fact that the light is synced on that intersection. But I don't know how to prove this in court, maybe making a video of that intersection around the same time of night on a different day.


You think I have enough to win in court if the officer shows up ?

Also after this incident, I am kinda worried that the cop will change his story and say that the main traffic light was also red or something like that.

The cop car was actually following us for over 3 blocks, I am a young male with dark skin. There was really no good reason for them to pull me over.
Is it possible to file a complaint of some sort against them.


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by: Radar Identified on
Sun May 22, 2011 10:39 am

From what I'm seeing, the ticket you received was (more or less) correct. What you actually did is best described by a charge of "disobey lane light." It has nothing to do with the streetcars. The officer just chose his words poorly. If the officer shows up in court, your best bet is to plea-bargain to "disobey lane light," (0 demerit points and $110 in fines, I believe) because that's really what happened. Now for the explanation:

The "streetcar lights" he was referring to are actually left turn signals (the ones at the top of the pole), which, in your photograph, are red. You cannot turn left if those lights are red. They do not sync with the main lights after the streetcars stop operating. There's a sign in between them that says LEFT TURN SIGNAL. The actual streetcar signal is below them, with four lights, and the sign TRANSIT SIGNAL above them. (Notice the much smaller traffic light which seems to be completely black about mid-way up the pole? It has filtering panels so that the only ones who can see the signal clearly are the streetcar drivers.) The transit signal simply shuts off when the streetcars stop running, but the left turn signal does not. The left turn signal would have shown you a green arrow indicating it is okay for you to turn left, which, based upon the fact that you "waited for oncoming traffic to clear," indicates that you didn't have that. A left turn signal does not "sync" with the main traffic lights after a certain hour, because then you'd have a green arrow for you, with the oncoming traffic also having a green light. THAT would be impossible, unless the traffic light malfunctioned. The left turn signal operates around the clock, but it only turns on for a short time per cycle to allow people to turn left. You seem to have confused the left turn signal with a streetcar signal.

Racial prejudice has nothing to do with why you were stopped. Next time you're out at 3 AM, just look at random passing cars and try to identify the race of the driver. I bet you can't. Claiming the officer was racist will not help you in court.

If you want to risk going to trial, if the Prosecutor is smart, should the officer mention the "streetcar lights," the Prosecutor will clarify: "Do you mean the transit signal or the left turn signal?" At which point, the officer will almost surely state "the left turn signal." If he states the "transit signal," well, then, you would win. Transit signals only apply to the TTC vehicles. I suppose you could argue the wrong charge was used (proceed before green instead of disobey lane light), but I'm not sure that would work.
* 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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by: Stanton on
Sun May 22, 2011 1:02 pm

Agree with Radar Identified. I used to live right around there, the left turn signal only illuminates when southbound traffic has a red light. It does NOT turn off when the streetcars stop, since it's there to help you make safe turns 24 hours a day.

Edit: And I'll add that any type of lawsuit would be pointless at this time. As stated above, the chances any racial profiling was involved are slim to nil. Furthermore, it sure sounds like you committed an HTA offence, so the officer was certainly justified in stopping you. Three blocks is not some huge distance to have been followed, assuming the officer was even following you.

If you go to Court, the JP dismisses the charges and finds the officer to have fabricated evidence, then you may have grounds for a lawsuit. As is stands rights now, it simply sounds like the officer was just doing his job, and because you misunderstood how the signals work you thought he must have been making up a charge.


ehmmm
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by: ehmmm on
Sun May 22, 2011 4:52 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

1. I am not serious about the race thing, mostly just really upset last night after getting into this discussion with my friends about the whole streetcar explanation for the ticket the officer gave.

2. I think there is some confusion about my wording, I do understand that the transit signal that applies to streetcar drivers vs the left turn lights that I was actually referring to.
The left turn signal would have shown you a green arrow indicating it is okay for you to turn left, which, based upon the fact that you "waited for oncoming traffic to clear," indicates that you didn't have that. A left turn signal does not "sync" with the main traffic lights after a certain hour, because then you'd have a green arrow for you, with the oncoming traffic also having a green light. THAT would be impossible, unless the traffic light malfunctioned. The left turn signal operates around the clock, but it only turns on for a short time per cycle to allow people to turn left.
This is only true if the signal just cycles between a green arrow and red

What I am saying is that in this case the left turn signal was a solid green, as opposed to a green arrow so even though I didn't have right of way, I could proceed once the traffic cleared. My thinking was that the only reason that the left turn would be red when the other lights are green when the other lights are green is if a streetcar is approaching, otherwise it would sync.
Agree with Radar Identified. I used to live right around there, the left turn signal only illuminates when southbound traffic has a red light. It does NOT turn off when the streetcars stop, since it's there to help you make safe turns 24 hours a day.
If this is true then I am definelty guilty. Actually feel better about paying up if that is the case.
If the officer shows up in court, your best bet is to plea-bargain to "disobey lane light," (0 demerit points and $110 in fines, I believe) because that's really what happened. Now for the explanation:
Thanks for this information. I don't mind the fine.


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by: Radar Identified on
Sun May 22, 2011 5:13 pm

Well if the left turn signal was a solid green then you were incorrectly ticketed. The streetcar signal obviously does not apply to you so, if that's what happened, then I would plead not guilty. However, I would provide some evidence (video or whatever) that shows that this situation can indeed happen at the intersection. Bring your passenger with you and the testimony plus video should be sufficient.
* 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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