Improper Left Turn on a four-lane road

ngustian
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Improper Left Turn on a four-lane road

Unread post by ngustian on

I was turning left from Creditview into the left lane of Argentia Road (in Missisauga), while a police cruiser driving the opposite direction turning right into the right lane of Argentia Road. As I saw the cruiser turning right into the right lane of Argentia Road, I also turned left into the left lane of Argentia Road. The officer stopped me and told me that I was wrong, I had to wait until he finish the turn and he gave me ticket for improper left turn - Highway Traffic Act 141 (6). I was sure I did the right thing as during my driving lessons years ago, my driving instructor told me that on a four-lanes road I could turn left to the left lane if the opposing vehicle turn right to the right lane because I was not crossing his path. I want to appeal to the court to drop the charge, and I need some inputs from other people.


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Radar Identified
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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Your driving instructor is right. Waiting for someone who is turning into an entirely different lane to complete their turn would be a bit too cautious. In fact, you completely followed the law. Here is, verbatim, what section 141 (6) of the Highway Traffic Act says:
Left turn, at intersection

(6) Where a driver or operator of a vehicle intends to turn to the left into an intersecting highway, he or she shall, where the highway on which he or she is driving has marked lanes for traffic, approach the intersection within the left-hand lane provided for the use of traffic moving in the direction in which his or her vehicle is proceeding or, where it has no such marked lanes, by keeping immediately to the right of the centre line of the highway and he or she shall make the left turn by entering the intersection to the right of the centre line or its extension and by leaving the intersection in the left-hand lane provided for the use of traffic moving in the direction in which his or her vehicle is proceeding where the lane is marked or, where no such lane is marked, by passing immediately to the right of the centre line of the intersecting highway.
He turned into the right lane, you turned into the left lane. You had right-of-way to the left lane. That's what you're supposed to do. If it all happened as you said, you should win in court without any real problems. Have you requested disclosure yet? This should get you the officer's notes.

Be prepared for the Crown to withdraw it at the last minute after a desperate attempt to get you to plea-bargain. If it does go to trial (not too likely), then question the officer, make sure that he admits that he stopped you for "not waiting," but get him to testify that you turned into the left lane and he turned into the right lane. Then read him section 141 (6), ask him where the "waiting" part is, and in conclusion say that the officer testified that you did exactly as section 141(6) and therefore you are not guilty.

The only scenario I could've seen is if you clearly were going to turn into the wrong lane, but it doesn't sound like it, from what you said.


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hwybear
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Unread post by hwybear on

good work RI!
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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Unread post by Bookm on

Radar Identified wrote:... Be prepared for the Crown to withdraw it at the last minute after a desperate attempt to get you to plea-bargain.
Performance worthy of an Oscar sometimes ;)


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Unread post by ngustian on

Thanks for the advise RI. How do I get a disclosure? If this goes to trial, will I get nailed with Highway Traffic Act 135 (3) - Right of way at unctrolled intersections?
HTA 135 (3):When two vehicles enter an intersection from intersecting highways at approximately the same time, the driver on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 135 (3).

I believe this only applies if both vehicles turn into the same lane.


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Radar Identified
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Unread post by Radar Identified on

To get disclosure, you have to fax, mail (use registered mail or a courier!) or drop off your request to the courthouse. The address is on the ticket that you were given. A clerk will take the information and it will take about 6 weeks (or so) for it to come back to you. More information can be found here:

http://www.ticketcombat.com/step4/disclosurehow.php

The main thing here is that you want the officer's notes. That way you can find out if he saw something you didn't. HTA 135 (3) applies if two vehicles are approaching perpendicular to each other at an intersection. If they were to apply it to your situation, yes, it would have to be a situation where you'd be turning into the same lane. Regardless, you weren't charged under 135 (3). Stopping them from changing the charge is pretty easy, just say to the Justice of the Peace that you came to court to defend against 141 (6) and the Crown has not proven its case on that charge. Requiring you to answer for another charge is unfair and against the principles of justice. Besides, they can't amend the charge after the trial starts. I think there's a better chance that when it does go to trial, the Crown Prosecutor will simply stand up and say "the officer has no evidence, your Worship." Case dismissed!

Good luck with it, but unless there's some other missing detail, I don't think you'll need it. More like patience. And as Bookm said:
Bookm wrote:Performance worthy of an Oscar sometimes
Sometimes, the tactics used in attempts by Prosecutors to get defendants to accept a plea bargain are just ridiculous, especially when the Crown has no case. Be ready for it!


ngustian
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Unread post by ngustian on

Thanks for the input RI. Yesterday, I applied for a court trial! Wish me luck!






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