Hello, hoping here someone can help.
Can you get evidence for whether someone had an advanced green at an intersection? My dad was making a right turn on a red (after stopping) into a plaza parking lot. He got hit by someone making a left turn from the opposite lane. The driver told the officer called to the collision that he had an advance green. My dad said he came out of nowhere which makes me question whether he in fact had the advance green. We went to the intersection another day around the same time of the accident to check how the lights changed. In some instances, there was no advance green, in other cases there was. We asked at a police station about how the lights function at that particular intersection. They weren't able to tell us but said that the advance green is sometimes activated by the number of cars waiting. In which case my dad would have seen the cars waiting to turn.
We are contemplating going to trial with this as my dad did nothing wrong. I wanted to know whether there is some way definitively find out if the guy who hit my dad in fact had an advance green.
Thanks a lot!
What is the exact charge (wording and section number) he was charged with?
If you take it all the way to trial to fight it, somebody who witnessed the accident (usually the other driver) must show up to testify. The officer has to be there as well because they issued the ticket. So there is 99% chance the officer will be there but only a 50/50 that the other driver will show up.
If a witness does show up, then it will basically be your dad's testimony against the witness testimony and up to the Justice of the Peace as to who has the more believeable story. Since you have no proof one way or the other about whether there was an advanced green, I think you would have a hard time making that argument.
Anyways, you have nothing lose by pleading NOT GUILTY and requesting a trial with the officer present. Once you get your Notice of Trial with the trial date, you can then request disclosure (copy of notes of all officers involved, copy of all witness statements). You need to get this disclosure to really decide if you can fight it or not. And you can still just plead guilty and pay it anytime up until the trial starts if you really want to.
The exact charge is unsafe turn HTA 142 (1). You mention that I would have a hard time using the argument that there is no proof that there was an advance green. But this is what the charge is based on -- that the other guy had an advance green. Wouldn't the argument be equally invalid for him?
The officer actually said that someone has be to be charged, so I guess bad luck for my dad (he didn't say the last bit).
Will the guy who hit my dad be at the trial? I thought it was just the officer.
We've asked of disclosure.
A charge of unsafe turn would not be solely dependent on demonstrating whether the other driver had an advanced green or not. The section requires that prior to making any turn, a motorist needs to ensure that the movement can be made in safety and without affecting any other vehicles. Your father would need to demonstrate that he took due care prior to making the turn and couldn't have reasonably foreseen or avoided the other vehicle. Complicating this is the fact that your father would pretty much have to take the stand in his defence, which opens him up to cross examination.
Freya wrote:Will the guy who hit my dad be at the trial? I thought it was just the officer.
Did the officer see the accident? If so, then only the officer needs to show up. If the officer did not see the accident then somebody who did see it (usually the other driver) needs to be there as well.
You wrote: "Your father would need to demonstrate that he took due care prior to making the turn and couldn't have reasonably foreseen or avoided the other vehicle." How can he do this? He signalled before turning, stopped at the red light then made the right turn. So, as far as I can tell, he did nothing wrong. But how can this be proven? The other driver has as much responsibility for making a safe turn as my father, no? This is why I think being able to prove whether there was an advance green, or rather the prosecution not being able to prove that it was, is relevant.
Thanks, jsherk. The officer was called to the scene so he didn't see it. It was the other driver's word against my father's and he got to the officer first, before my dad was able to tell his side of the story. My father was upset and his English is not that strong so imagine he wasn't able to advocate for himself as strongly.
If I get this right get you are not arguing a right of way situation, you are saying that the other driver made a left turn across lanes of traffic on a red light.
Your father was facing a red light and so it was his responsibility to make sure it was safe to proceed. Cars don't 'come out of nowhere'.
I think you'll find it hard to argue.
So, your father had a red light, he is supposed to stop and complete the turn when it is safe to do. From what you are saying, there are 2 scenarios that happened.
1) The light was red for both sides, and the person blew through the red light (highly unlikely).
2)Your father had a red, and the other side had an advanced green (most likely).
Based on the charge, your father did not complete the turn safely because an accident occured, therefore for this, I would recommend requesting disclosure, and if the disclosure is air tight, then best bet would be a plea deal.
Was your father turning onto a road with one lane or two lanes?
Thank you Argyll.
Isn't the other driver also responsible for executing a safe turn?
Thanks, Unlucky Duck. We're going to ask for disclosure and see what the case is.
Thanks, jsherk. He was turning into a plaza. The lane has enough room for 2 cars going in the direction my dad was going but there is no lane demarkation.
Did your father turn and stay to the right side of the lane leaving enough room on the left for the person making the left turn?
Freya wrote:Thank you Argyll.
Isn't the other driver also responsible for executing a safe turn?
Everyone has the responsibility to drive to avoid a collision but if the other driver had a green light and your father had a red then the blame will fall squarely on your father's shoulders.
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