Turn Not in Safety - Collision

bellaladybug
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Turn Not in Safety - Collision

by: bellaladybug on
Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:57 pm

I was involved in an accident recently and I was given a ticket of turn not in safety. I was wondering if anyone can help me the most effective way of fighting this ticket. I left work on a very snowy day and approached an intersection at the green light and proceeded into the middle of that intersection to make a left hand turn. I waited in the middle and then the light turned yellow. Two cars driving in the opposite direction came to a full stop. I saw a car that was further back in the opposite direction slowing down. The light turned red and then I proceeded with my left turn. I looked at the car that was supposed to have been slowing down, not actually stopping and swerving. He then hit my car on the passenger side with his driver side. A witness came to check if I was ok, and I asked him if he saw what happened. He confirmed that the other driver did come through the red light. The other driver did not come out of his car until the police arrived. I never had the opportunity to talk with him to see what his side of the story was. My witness needed to leave and I took his information down. When I was asked what had happened by the police officer, I gave him my story along with my witness information. The police officer questioned the other driver and then returned with a turn not in safety ticket to give me. When I asked why I was getting a ticket since I had a witness, he stated that the my witness said that he could no longer confirm that the light was red. I am upset that I was given a ticket for this and would like to fight it. What is the best way to win in this circumstance? Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks.


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highwaystar
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by: highwaystar on
Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:40 am

It is going to be a bit hard to win your case since you are the one making the left turn at the intersection and must ensure it is safe to do so before proceeding. As you mentioned, it was very snowy, so the other driver can simply state that they tried to stop but were sliding through the intersection due to the heavy snow.

Now, that doesn't mean you shouldn't proceed to trial. Its possible that the other driver and witness might not show up to court--at which point the prosecution has no substantial evidence to rely on since the officer wasn't there to witness anything. Its also very important to know what the witness actually stated (when you get the disclosure--read his statement). If he says the other driver never made any attempt to stop whatsoever and ran the red light, that could help your case (with regards to attacking the other driver's credibility)-----but still, the case will turn on why you decided to proceed through the intersection (on a snowy day no less!) without waiting to make sure that it truly WAS safe to proceed (i.e. all cars were indeed stopped). After all, one can't just assume cars will be stopping---even for red lights.

So, if I were you, I'd put the matter down for trial, and after getting your trial notice, request your disclosure. Read it over well so you know what weaknesses there are and then decide whether you wish to continue all the way to trial.


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by: iFly55 on
Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:59 pm

I was summoned to the Mississauga Court House as an independent witness for a Careless Driving charge, and I watched a 'Turn Not in Safety' trial unfold. The left turning driver collided with a speeding red light runner. Left turn driver told the courts there were three lanes of traffic ahead of him; vehicles in lane 1 and 3 were completely stopped; lane 2 was empty, and he used the words, "I didn't see any cars in that lane". The light turned red and he initiated the turn.

Moments later a car appeared in lane 2, ran the red light and hit his left turning car. Nobody was hurt, the passenger in the left turning vehicle also corroborated his story.

The driver who went straight through initially stated that he entered the intersection in what he claimed was a late amber, early red. Under cross-examination he later admitted he could've went through on a red.

The JP ruled the left turn driver should've made sure that all lanes of traffic were stopped prior to proceeding; he has to anticipate cars that will run the red light, and that he should've waited longer. Had he waited a few more "moments" he could've made the turn in safety. Even if he's momentarily blocking cross-traffic who have the green light. This particular Mississauga JP found the left turn driver guilty of S.142 (1).

The driver was also also self-represented, the JP spent time looking through case-law and a dictionary to help find the driver not-guilty. But the wording of S.142 (1) was not in his favour.

_____________________________


@highwaystar is correct, you should still request a trial and there is a chance that the other driver and independent witness will not appear. If they don't, the charge will most likely get withdrawn.


bellaladybug
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by: bellaladybug on
Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:52 am

Thanks so much for your advice. I am definitely going to choose to proceed with taking this ticket to trial but it is unfortunate that the officer did not state the weather conditions at the time and also my bad luck of my witness not confirming his orignal story. Would it be a good idea to choose option 2 (Early resolution) at this point and speak with the prosecutor? I am thinking that I could delay the court date a bit and take this option. Once I speak with the prosecutor and all that they offer me is a lessor fine, I can then decline and request a court date be set. I am hoping that my court date will then be later than it would be if I chose it right from the start. I am also hoping that it is delayed so that it will eat up some of the time that it takes for this ticket to be off my record (three years). Is this a good idea?
Some additional questions I have are:
1) When I meet with the prosecutor, will they have the disclosure information a this point or do I need to request it for this meeting? Is the disclosure information only given when a court date is set?
2) If the other driver does not show up to court are they given a ticket for not showing up or is it their choice to be present?
3) I had a witness to the accident and wonder if this person will be automatically summoned to be present in court or would I have to ask him to attend?
4) Would it be beneficial to me to ask my witness to come and talk to the prosecutor with me?


iFly55
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by: iFly55 on
Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:52 pm

bellaladybug wrote:Would it be a good idea to choose option 2 (Early resolution) at this point and speak with the prosecutor? I am thinking that I could delay the court date a bit and take this option. Once I speak with the prosecutor and all that they offer me is a lessor fine, I can then decline and request a court date be set. I am hoping that my court date will then be later than it would be if I chose it right from the start. I am also hoping that it is delayed so that it will eat up some of the time that it takes for this ticket to be off my record (three years). Is this a good idea?
3 year clock starts on the date you're convicted not on the date you were charged. So prolonging the conviction date doesn't assist you unless you have other tickets on your record and you're looking to keep a 3-year separation to save on insurance premiums. The demerit points are the only benefit in prolonging the conviction date because that 2 year clock starts on the date you were charged. So if you're convicted two years after the charge, there would be no points on your record.

Choosing Option 2 will not assist you with the 11b clock either, as it's currently being considered as a "neutral delay".
bellaladybug wrote:Some additional questions I have are:
1) When I meet with the prosecutor, will they have the disclosure information a this point or do I need to request it for this meeting? Is the disclosure information only given when a court date is set?
You will need to request disclosure information prior to the meeting as per the SCC Stinchcombe guidelines. Normally the crown asks for a trial date with the request, you can include the first attendance meeting date instead. Ontario prosecutors require 6-8 weeks to process disclosure requests.
bellaladybug wrote:2) If the other driver does not show up to court are they given a ticket for not showing up or is it their choice to be present?
The other driver will face a $2000 fine and an arrest warrant where they could serve up to 30-days in jail for not appearing.
bellaladybug wrote:3) I had a witness to the accident and wonder if this person will be automatically summoned to be present in court or would I have to ask him to attend?
If that witness is providing evidence in your favour, then you'll have to ask them to attend. If the officer took down their driver's license information at the scene, it's possible they might also be subpoenaed to your trial. You can also bring other witnesses who'll provide character evidence, "your employer, family, friends, doctor, teacher".
bellaladybug wrote:4) Would it be beneficial to me to ask my witness to come and talk to the prosecutor with me?
If your witness is willing to talk to the prosecutor about your case, sure... at this point i don't think it would hurt you.


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