Improper left turn

Ww54
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Improper left turn

Unread post by Ww54 on

I was involved in an accident last month. I was proceeding along a street with cars parked adjacent to the curb. Approaching an intersection I saw a large truck and trailer parked against the curb (no brake lights, or turn signals) so I presumed he was parked there. I approached the intersection, following the same path as all the other traffic, just to the right of the centre line. When I and was almost at the rear of his cab, he pulled out and commenced a left turn. I blew my horn and swerved into the oncoming lane but could not get out of the way. He sideswiped my car with his trailer and did $12,000 in damage. When I asked why he had not signalled or he shrugged and said "I was making a big left turn". (Ultimately the insurance companies determined he was at fault.) When the Police arrived I explained my story and they said he had the right of way because it was a "single lane highway, even though it was wide enough for two cars.". When I pointed out the cars parked in the lane against the curb he said "they shouldn't be there" ! So they charged me with an improper left turn ! The officer added "it was the least he could charge me with". I was not turning left by the way as I was planning on continuing straight through the intersection. I have photos of the accident scene showing the rear axle of the truck, after it struck me, still up against the right curb, where other cars were parked. I also took photos of other large trucks making that turn from a position adjacent to the centre line - not from the curb ! This is not right that I should have to incur the inconvenience and expense of having to fight this. Am I missing something ?


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hwybear
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Unread post by hwybear on

Even I'm baffled on this one. I don't know how you obtain a turn offence when going straight.
Is there more to this (ie: witness statements)?
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


Ww54
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Unread post by Ww54 on

I think the officer assumed I was turning left given that's what I should have done given my destination (which he asked for). The directions were on a sign totally obscured by the truck and located on the far side of the intersection. This was my first time in the community. I only saw the sign when the tow truck picked up my car and the truck moved away. Having not visibility of the sign it was my intention to continue straight. I was proceeding cautiously, assuming it would be a four way stop, even though the truck blocked all view of the corner. I was concerned about being T-Boned by a vehicle from the right which I would not be able to see coming because of the truck. The officer's reasoning seemed to totally focus on the fact that, no matter where the truck was he had the right of way. When I pointed out the parked cars on the right along the street and asked if all of them had a right of way as well ? He said they shouldn't be there !

To the best of my knowledge there were no witnesses as no one was interviewed at the scene. Only statements were taken from Truck Driver and me. Will find out I guess when we see their evidence and Police Report.


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Radar Identified
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Unread post by Radar Identified on

Well this charge should be beatable. You weren't turning, you were taking evasive action. Sheesh. If you get on the witness stand and testify about the circumstances, it's likely that you will be found not guilty. He was stopped, no signal, nothing - then he suddenly started moving and cut you off.

See what disclosure gives you. The Prosecutor may withdraw the charge upon review of the evidence.
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Unread post by Traffic Law on

I agree you should take this to trial. I suggest to concentrate on wrong charge being laid instead of scrutinizing actions of the truck driver (also important) or providing explanations. Keep in mind, prosecution needs to provide evidence for the allegation before you would even have to mount a defence.


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Unread post by Ww54 on

Thanks for the sound advice about focussing on it being the wrong charge. Is it possible they could then just turn around and charge me with something else or are they more likely to just call it a day ? I'm just concerned about the officer''s comment to me that "he wasn't there - so he could not know what happened - but this was the least he could charge me with " ?


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Unread post by Traffic Law on

Depending on jurisdiction, prosecution might just withdraw the charge but you should be prepared to advance your argument in any event. It is better to be overprepared than not prepared at all. I suggest you read up on "motions for non suit" and "directed verdicts".

Good luck.






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