Defense for disabled parking ticket? Help!

Beayn
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Defense for disabled parking ticket? Help!

Unread post by Beayn on

I've read many stories on this forum and read through a lot of the Ticketcombat site, which I think is very helpful!

Relevant info:

I accidentally parked in a handicap spot. The blue on the pavement was covered with snow, and the sign on the post was not visible from the parking spot. I did not see it on approach because I had intended to park on the other side of a giant SUV, which happened to be hiding a small car. I stopped, but with no place closer to my destination, I backed into the spot behind the SUV, making sure not to get too close to the sign that says "no parking here to corner". I was unaware that same post had a sign for the handicap spot I just parked in. I am used to these things being clearly marked with a visible sign.

When I came back 1.5 hrs later, I had a $300 ticket, and the snow had melted enough that I could see the blue paint. The ticket had been written 10 minutes prior, meaning the blue paint was visible for his photos (the city apparently take photos of every infraction).

I've read that people here think the sign should be facing traffic, however I believe it should be facing flat to the curb, so that it is completely visible from the parking spot AND on approach. Regardless of what I believe though, is that any kind of defense? Not being able to see the sign from the parking spot?

If not, the only other thing I could find was the provincial requirement for size of the sign. It apparently has to be 45cm high, and this sign was roughly half that size. There are no bylaws for our city that say the sign can be smaller that I could find. The bylaws only list a maximum size. There are other bylaws that prevent signage that detracts from the "character" of the neighborhood, but since it was a down-town area, I don't think that would matter, plus it's vague.

Furthermore, the sign is in English only, but it is an area that is covered under the French Language Services Act. This means the sign has to be larger than the 45cm to accommodate the extra text according to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act....

Is this a defence that would work?

There is a slight possibility he wrote my plate number down wrong. It starts with an A, but on the ticket it looks like an H. It may just be a carbon paper issue though, without seeing the original paper which could be an A.

Irrelevant ranting below...

This ticket annoys for several reasons. According to the ticket, I could have parked on the sidewalk,, or on the other side of that post, blocking the corner (and traffic visibility), or backwards on the wrong side of the road and only got a $35 ticket with the option to pay early for only $25. The very obvious parking infractions are cheap, but the one parking spot that can be camouflaged, hidden, or hard to notice is a crazy $300. Hell, I could have blocked a fire route with people dying in a burning building and only been charged $50 with a $35 pay-early option. Then they only give you 14 days to pay, the same amount of time for a $35 ticket.

On top of this, I was in my personal vehicle doing a service call for my job, which required me to use my personal car because they booked too many service calls that day (something they do on purpose to make me use my car). My boss actually laughed when I told him I got a ticket for $300 while doing the service call he asked me to do, so I'm pretty sure he won't help pay it. Then there is the fact I was actually servicing a Doctor's office who needed their computer fixed RIGHT AWAY to retrieve medical records for a handicapped patient who was already there and NOT parked in that spot!!! I suspect his was the giant SUV parked next to the spot...

I have a baby girl to be born in two months. I don't make a ton of money, so I have to try to fight this ridiculous ticket to either have it waived or reduced a lot.. $100 I would have paid, $300, my pregnant wife won't be eating for a week.


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

I fully agree that the fine seems very high, especially when you think that most traffic offences that put people in danger aren’t nearly that high.

In terms of your defence, typically markings on the roadway are irrelevant, only the actual signage is legally enforceable. What city did this happen in?


Beayn
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Unread post by Beayn on

Stanton wrote:I fully agree that the fine seems very high, especially when you think that most traffic offences that put people in danger aren’t nearly that high.

In terms of your defence, typically markings on the roadway are irrelevant, only the actual signage is legally enforceable. What city did this happen in?
I know by itself the blue paint is not enforceable, but I think if it's visible in the photos, it's something the Prosecutor will note. The city is Temiskaming Shores in northern Ontario. I went back to the site today and measured the sign. I guess it looked smaller up on the post. It is the regulation 45cm high, so now the only thing I have is that the sign is not visible from the parking spot, which after reading various stories on this forum, I don't think will fly.


bend
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Unread post by bend on

Beayn wrote:I know by itself the blue paint is not enforceable...
It depends on the city bylaw. For example, in Mississauga there is no mention of any blue markings being required at all. In that city any markings on the floor would be simply for convenience and not required. However, Brampton specifically has dimensions for the handicap symbol to be painted inside the spot.

Temiskaming Shores has no mention of blue markings. The only requirement seems to be a sign.
Beayn wrote:... so now the only thing I have is that the sign is not visible from the parking spot, which after reading various stories on this forum, I don't think will fly.
Appendix 18 in the Temiskaming Shores Traffic By Law has a list of all handicap spots, directional location, and a description of the spot.

For example, Brampton specifically state that the handicap sign is to be placed in the centre and front of the spot. The reason these decisions are left up to the city is because every city is different. Nearly all of Temiskaning Shores handicap parking is located on street, where as Brampton's are in parking lots. So signs placed in the centre of the spot is not feasible. Reasonable placement of the sign is facing traffic so it's visible to everyone as they drive, just like every other sign. Unreasonable is a sign facing the curb that is only visible once you park and leave your vehicle.

Seems like you might be out of luck.


daggx
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Unread post by daggx on

Since this offence won't affect your insurance, the only real issue is the fine. It might still be worth booking a trial date and seeing if you can work out a plea deal with the prosecution for a lower fine. Since you don't have a history of this type of offence you will probably have a good chance of getting the fine reduced, also showing that the fine will cause you and your family significant financial hardship might help your case.


Beayn
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Unread post by Beayn on

bend wrote:Reasonable placement of the sign is facing traffic so it's visible to everyone as they drive, just like every other sign. Unreasonable is a sign facing the curb that is only visible once you park and leave your vehicle.
Thanks for looking all that up! Though I do think that a sign facing the curb can be seen on approach from at least a few spots away, and once in the spot, which would cover the odd case like mine where you had to back into the spot. Even if one insisted on there being a sign facing directly toward traffic, a sign posted on the back of said sign would solve the problem as well, making it visible from within the parking spot.


stefanturner
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Unread post by stefanturner on

Just file for trial, request disclosure and hope for the best. If they don't show up your good, if they do you can probably work out a deal. Or hope they make a mistake.

Check the by-law, there are often clauses for conditions that make the by-law not apply to you. Those are your best defenses.






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