Handicapped zone parking $300 - badly marked?

iceno9
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Handicapped zone parking $300 - badly marked?

Unread post by iceno9 on

Hi,

I was unfortunate enough to get a $300 ticket which I will contest in court....heres the scenario and here are my questions.
On the street in question, there are 3 spaces designated to handicapped....the first is clearly marked by a post and pay meter in blue. The second (where I parked), has no road markings, no post or sign but the meter is a double meter shared with the 3rd position behind where I parked.

Now - it was dark, raining and I did not notice the fact it was a handicapped spot.....mainly because there was a vehicle in the spot behind which obscured the dual meter a little. Furthermore, I was not looking for a pay meter because when I originally drove into the first position, I noticed a sign saying pay meter was valid only Mon-Fri 9am till 6pm and it was 8pm....therefore when I reversed into the second spot, I was not looking for a meter to pay! I assumed the front spot was the only handicapped spot!

options:
- I can plead the above, suggesting insufficient marking - particularly as the meter was obscured and lack of road and sidewalk markings
- I can plead I wasn't even in a handicapped space and that I was actually in a different spot altogether...i.e. the officer made a mistake!?

Now - there are no photos taken by the officer...I have asked and there arnt any....so in theory it is one word against another. Would this work, have they got to prove beyond reasonable doubt or will they just take the officiers word?
Can a so called 'fixed $300' penalty actually be reduced? Or is it an all or nothing scenario?

What is my best plan of attack when I go to court? Advice please.

P.S. I am new to Canada from the UK....so maybe not familiar with all the laws etc


bend
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Unread post by bend on

iceno9 wrote: - I can plead the above, suggesting insufficient marking - particularly as the meter was obscured and lack of road and sidewalk markings
You should probably look up the bylaws from the city you were charged in. They'll outline the way a handicap spot should be labelled. Some places make no mention of any road markings, others do. Arguing the requirements and not knowing them to begin with is probably not a good step.
iceno9 wrote: - I can plead I wasn't even in a handicapped space and that I was actually in a different spot altogether...i.e. the officer made a mistake!?
If you want to plead not guilty, you can do that.
iceno9 wrote:Now - there are no photos taken by the officer...I have asked and there arnt any....so in theory it is one word against another. Would this work, have they got to prove beyond reasonable doubt or will they just take the officiers word?
They don't need to provide any visual proof.
iceno9 wrote:Can a so called 'fixed $300' penalty actually be reduced? Or is it an all or nothing scenario?
There's a possibility they may make an offer to reduce the charge to something similar with a lower fine.


daggx
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Unread post by daggx on

Here is a link to the minimum signage requirements for disabled parking spaces as set out in the Highway Traffic Act. As bend pointed out, you should also look at the by-laws for the city in which the ticket was issued as they may require additional signage or markings over and above the minimum required by the Highway traffic Act.

http://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/900581


iceno9
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Unread post by iceno9 on

Ok thanks guys....i did actually find that link myself as well...section 11 eludes to the fact each space must have appropriate signage.
Now the link below spells the same thing out more clearly in that EACH space must have signage...in other words, one sign for multiple spaces is not sufficient
http://gaates.org/DOPS/section_2_6_4.php

City was Peterborough for reference


iceno9
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Unread post by iceno9 on

Here are the Peterborough by-laws...
http://www.peterborough.ca/Assets/City+ ... By-law.pdf

The following is in there...
13.1 Designation: ACCESSIBLE PARKING SPACES are established where an OFFICIAL SIGN to that effect is displayed.

So i could claim that no sign was present for this particular parking spot?


iceno9
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Unread post by iceno9 on

...another question....have they got to disclose the officers notes if i ask for them in advance? I am wondering what he has written in terms of the signage, vehicle position etc


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

You could try to claim no sign was present for that spot. Depending how good and argument you make, will depend on whether the JP accepts it or not. No guarantee, but worth a try.

You definitely want to ask for officers notes in your disclsoure request. That is their entire case against you! No notes, means no case. You can not prepare properly without seeing the notes first. Yes they must give them to you if you ask.




+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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