Ok so I have not found anybody here with success on this charge yet, although I may be wrong. My trial is coming up soon so here is what I am planning.
Late October, returning from Barrie (delivering forms for speeding charge) I get into a car accident. Carma?
London, Intersection of Highbury and Dundas, Traffic Lights.
Conditions: Dry Roads, Clear sky, 23:00 (very dark) No obstructions to visibility.
Traveling NB Highbury (50km/h) turning left onto Dundas. Impacted on right doors from SB traveling vehicle.
Charged with:Left turn, across path of approaching vehicle
(5) No driver or operator of a vehicle in an intersection shall turn left across the path of a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction unless he or she has afforded a reasonable opportunity to the driver or operator of the approaching vehicle to avoid a collision. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 141 (5).
I was coming home from Barrie traveling NB on Highbury approaching Dundas. With intentions of turning left, I perform all the usual stuff (signals, decelerate, enter turn lane, etc.)
Crosswalk lights were changing so I was anticipating an amber light while approaching intersection. Immediately after crossing white line and entering intersection light changes to amber. There were 2 cars still coming straight through so I was required to wait in intersection before I could clear. Light turned red. There was one more vehicle that I could see cresting the hill on the other side of the intersection but was plenty far enough away to see the red and stop in time. Last foreseeable danger(car) passed and I proceeded to clear the intersection. Then with a BANG and a BOOM there goes my first accident. That last car was apparently speeding up trying to follow their, lover, in the car ahead. (I find this out after the accident)
911 is called. I was mildly hurt mostly from flying glass shredding my right arm and face.
First officer appears 20min after the incident. Ambulance never showed despite the fact EMS was requested.
Next cop shows up 5mins later and relieves first officer copying all notes that first officer had completed.
Street gets cleaned off, cars towed, and the guy who hit me and witnesses all leave. I'm required to perform first aid on myself using a first aid kit from the 50's (Alcohol pads were dry) that the officer had in his trunk because the officer didn't want to touch me. I was given a ticket because I was still too juiced on adrenaline and shock to think to dispute it. I'm all by myself on a nearly desolate st. with the officer when he asks me if I need anything else. I responded with a "how bout a f$#kin ride home?".
I would never ever swear at an officer under normal circumstances, but I'm justifying it with diminished cognitive capacity from the impact. Needless to say, I got my ride and my faith in the response system for London emergencies is now non-existent.
My trial is on the 25th of MARCH and these are my ideas. Please scrutinize and/or elaborate.
There was a MV Accident report, a narrative, officer notes, and 5 witness statements included in my disclosure package.
One witness statement was from myself but I do not recall talking to any officer about what happened (and I do remember that night quite clearly).
While there seems to be substantial bias in favor of the ticket I believe otherwise. Every statement made by a witness details that I was in an accident and that I crossed the path of the other vehicle. Nothing more. There are no details about the road conditions or what color the light was and didn't mention any other factors such as if anyone was speeding (although that would be negligible in court).
Essentially I am going to be the only person in the court room as a witness that can shed any light upon any details. The officer cannot dispute anything because he was not there and no one else has been summoned as a witness.
Originally I was planning on stating the other driver ran the red light therefore breaking a superseding law to obey a traffic signal and causing the accident but then I found this.
 At the intersections controlled by traffic lights, such as the intersection of Kingsway and Knight Street, left turning drivers enter the intersection on a green light, if needed stop and observe the approaching traffic executing their intended manoeuvre only when it is safe to do so, that is when no approaching vehicle constitutes an "immediate hazard". The foregoing duty applies irrespective of what colour the light is facing the left-turning driver after their entry and stop inside an intersection.
R. v. Patricia Veronica Moreno Munoz, 2006 BCPC 351 (CanLII)
Now it is my belief that the prosecutor or JP may end up stating the color of the light did not matter and throw this argument out.
(Please keep in mind that my strategies are still sort of half baked and incomplete so I probably will be wrong.)
My new strategy is to, while questioning the officer, elaborate on how he believed that the charge was appropriate for the situation and how he determined that I had not afforded the driver who hit myself enough time to avoid the accident.
1) the officer was not present at the time of the accident
2) the witness statements are inconclusive; and
3) any recollection that was not recorded has now degraded to the point that witnesses cannot be questioned again for more detail
I feel as though the officer is going to be challenged in answering my questions.
-I then present my side of events
claim that I don't remember (Ebbinghaus's Memory Curve) a damn thing therefore providing even less facts about what happened.
A dismissal based upon inconclusive evidence is what I am aiming for.
Is this a motion of Non-Suit? If so how should I evoke it in court properly?
Anyways that's what I've got planned. Let me know how I'm wrong. I'm not pessimistic, I just want to strike down any of the prosecutors arguments.
I'll add more detail upon request.
If the witnesses state that the vehicle disobeyed the red light, particularly if it accelerated, you could have a case. The other driver should have been charged with Red Light - Fail to Stop. I think the best defence here would be focusing on the fact that everything appeared to be clear, you believed it was safe to turn, and were faced with a sudden change of circumstances that a reasonable and prudent driver could not have reacted to (ie other driver accelerated to make it through the red). You'd have to show that you clearly saw the vehicle and, based on your driving experience, know that with the estimated distance and apparent closing speed, it looked more than reasonable for you to make the turn - as well, the light had changed to red and a reasonable driver would've expected the oncoming driver to stop. The fact that you yielded to the two cars prior to the collision could help.
They'll need witnesses from the collision to get a conviction, unless the officer is a reconstruction expert (probably not). If the "victim" is in court, cross-examine very thoroughly. The more you can make it look like the other driver impulsively accelerated and was not driving in a reasonable or responsible manner, the better it is for you.
BTW - if you can at least get several witnesses to indicate that the other driver did enter the intersection against a red light, this should exonerate you of fault for insurance purposes. (The Fault Determination Rules place fault on the driver who disobeys the signal, regardless of HTA conviction.)
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca
Hmmm, well I was told that the only witness present in court (other than myself) would be the officer.
Are they required to have a witness that was present at the scene in order to obtain a conviction?
As well the one witness who told me that the other driver accelerated to try and make the light does not have a witness statement. I was wondering if I should go and get one from him but I want to know how to do it properly before I do anything. I don't want to have the prosecutor try to screw me with tampering with a witness.
ManlyMinute wrote:Are they required to have a witness that was present at the scene in order to obtain a conviction?
More or less... unless the officer is a collision reconstruction expert.
ManlyMinute wrote:As well the one witness who told me that the other driver accelerated to try and make the light does not have a witness statement. I was wondering if I should go and get one from him but I want to know how to do it properly before I do anything.
Better idea would be to have him appear in court as a witness and testify.
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca
Apparenly my optimism was short sighted. I went to court last week and I flat out lost. As well I feel like I was taken adventage of over and over again. Here's how it went:
1) In my disclosure I asked for the names and information of the witnesses who were to attend my trial. I was told olny myself and the officer.
2) I showed up and there was 3 witnesses and the officer pesent to testify. I asked for an adjornment because I was told that there was going to be no additional witnesses there. As well I explained that there was one more witness that would testify in my behalf but I didn't bring him because I didn't know who was summoned and I felt it wasn't necissary if it was just myself against the officer.
I was denied and forced to proceed with the Justices reasoning that, I knew when my trial was and I should have been ready.
I don't feel comfortable with that at all. Is it correct for a Justice to do that?
3) Aside from myself and the driver who hit me all other witnesses were facing perpendicular to myself waiting at a red light.
4) The officer never took a statement from myself. While testifing I asked a series of questions which led to a number of answers I found outstanding. The officer admitted to never taking a statement from myself and as well admitted to making a witness testimony for myself regardless.
Is that legal? I thought that was pergery.
He admitted copying the notes of the first officer on scene.
He thought there was an ambulance on scene. There was not.
He thought my car was silver. It was black.
On many occasions he contradicted himself and displayed zero recolection of what happened.
5) The other 2 witnesses that testified thought my car was red and the only other real information they gave was that the light they were facing was red. They stated they were not paying attention to the colour of the light I was facing.
6) Finally I argued that none of the witnesses can remember a damn thing and the officer was clearly incompident in how the events were dealt with.
7) The Justice (female, not that it matters) convicted me stateing that it is me verses the guy who hit me. Me saying the light was red. Him saying it was green. But since the other two witnesses said that the light they were facing was red, the light I was facing had to have been green and therefore she found my guilty.
8 ) I timed the light intervals at the intersection. Both lights are red for 2.5 seconds.
So now I'm appealing and feel out of my league again. Can someone help show me in the right direction? Maby also help form/focus my arguements.
Now, I would:
1 - pay the ticket
2 - file the appeal ($150~)
3 - request the transcript ($10~) of lost trial
4 - read...
See if there is anything unclear from cop's own testimony. Point them out. Request more disclosure if needed, enlist your witness to come, or at least give a written statement.
Anything else anyone might add
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"
www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com
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