I hope it's ok to raise a question regarding an offence under the Toronto Municipal Code, section 950-504a.
I got a "Prohibited Right Turn" ticket on Saturday in Toronto. I have turned at that T- section several times before on Saturdays. The officer told me that it is now prohibited to make that turn on Saturdays. I really did not notice the sign, and turned as I am accustomed to doing. He also said he charged me under the Code, so that the offence does not carry demerit points. But the ticket is for $115! He also informed me ( very respectfully), that I could always seek a trial.
I looked up the section in the municipal code and it does not show that turning on a Saturday is prohibited, but it does show that Mon-Fri right turns are prohibited all day except during 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The pdf I looked at shows the Code updated as at Feb 4th, 2016. I am guessing it's safe to assume there's an updated version somewhere, which shows an amendment that now prohibits right turns on Saturdays.
I have not been back to the intersection to read the sign.
I wonder if there is any possible defence that I can use, if I seek the "Early Resolution" option to meet with a prosecutor. I absolutely do not want to face a trial, and if there's no defence available, I will pay the fine. But the officer suggested it more than once, so I wonder if there is a defence or a possibility of a fine reduction.
Can anyone say if meeting with the prosecutor can produce a reduced fine? Do they do that at all, if you explain that you did not see the new prohibition on the sign? As people pass a sign regularly, it sometimes does not catch their attention if a change is made, particularly when they add Saturday to the Mon-Fri prohibition.
Will appreciate your input, and thanks.
§ 950-504. Turning movements.
A. Prohibited turns.
When official signs to that effect are displayed, no person shall in any intersection or portion of highway set out in Schedule XXIII in § 950-1322, while proceeding in the direction or emerging from a property set out in Schedule XXIII, turn a vehicle in the direction set out in Schedule XXIII, during the times and/or days set out in
So we need to review Schedule XXIII now... What is the intersection did this occur at? If the schedule actually reads Mon to Fri only, then the sign is irrelevent, and you just need to show what by-law says.
Regardless, I would plead not guilty and request a trial with the officer present. Once you get your Notice of Trial with the trial date, then you can request disclosure (officers notes).
- If the trial date is more than 12 months away, then you will be able to get the charge thrown out because of violation of your charter right to a speedy trial.
- If the date is within 12 months, then just make sure you bring a copy of the by-law and schedules (assuming they say mon to fri only) to the trial and then you can simply show the by-law prohibits turns Mon-Fri but does not say anything about Saturdays, so the charge should be dropped.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++
It was from St Clair East turning right (southbound) on to Inglewood.
I looked at Schedule XXIII again, and cut and pasted the wording here:
"Intersection: St. Clair Avenue East and Inglewood Drive (east intersection)
Times and/or days: Anytime, except during 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Mon. to Fri. (bicycles excepted)"
So I now think the above quoted means that you are ALWAYS prohibited from turning right from St Clair East on to Inglewood EXCEPT during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m on a Monday to Friday. That appears to mean you may never turn right on a weekend either. I am not certain, but it seems to me that the no turning between certain hours signs usually tell you when you're NOT to turn, but this bylaw tells you when you CAN turn. Unless that happens only for the left turns?
I should go back and look at what the sign says though.
I take your point about the bylaw taking precedence, regardless of what the sign says. But again, this bylaw is updated to February 4th, 2016. How do I know if it was updated after that?
Also, am I interpreting the bylaw above, correctly -does it really mean that you may never turn on weekends as well?
You want to go get pciture of the sign and see what it says as well.
If the sign and the by-law do not match, then you want to take the one to court that helps you and not mention the other one.
You should still plead not guilty and request a trial and review the disclosure anyways regardless of sign and bylaw.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++
I appreciate your input.
Strange sign though, most prevent turns during rush hours, not specifically allow them during it.
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !
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