Stopped on a Signed Highway $150

flong
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Stopped on a Signed Highway $150

Unread post by flong on

I got this ticket at 4:08 PM. There was a small sign with a "no stopping" icon and the numbers 4-6. I figured this meant "no stopping" between 4pm-6pm.
First of all my vehicle was parked with a paid permit (I was nowhere near the vehicle, I was not stopped). Also I was on Gerrard, which isn't even a major street let alone a highway.
The charge is "STOP - SIGNED HIGHWAY - DURING RUSH HOUR PERIOD"
Comments read: "No stopping, Monday - Friday, 4PM - 6PM, RH Rush Hr., Route"
Set Fine Amount: $150

As far as I know I was not "stopped on a highway". Yes, it was rush hour. They got that part right.
If I am on the 401 during rush hour and park in the middle of the highway is this the same ticket I get?
How do I get this thrown out? I am also worried right now because I live over 100km away from Toronto and asked that they mail me the form to request a court date. Which they mailed, however it was postmarked over a week after the letter inside was written and I received it on the day that it was required to be returned to their office. Does this mean I get an automatic conviction? I sent a note along with it explaining that it would have been impossible to return the form on time and why.
Thank you in advance for your time and help!
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Front Ticket New 2.jpg
The ticket.
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Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

When it comes to traffic offences the legal definition of certain words can be quite different from the word's common usage.

For instance, the legal definition of highway includes all roadways:
"highway” includes a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof
Also, the fact that you were actually parked isn't relevant as being parked would still meet the definition of having been stopped.

In short you don't have a defence based on the charge wording being incorrect. Parking tickets do NOT impact your driving record/insurance, so it's purely an economic decision of weighing the costs of paying the ticket versus your time and expenses driving back and forth to Toronto and spending a day in Court. The Crown may offer you a plea deal to a reduced fine at an early resolution meeting or just prior to your trial.


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

Highway just means a public road as defined in the HTA

You said the sign clearly said no stopping between 4-6 and that it was after 4. So from this perspective you are guilty.

However, you should plead Not Guilty and request a Trial with the officer present. Once you get your notice of trial, you can then request disclosure.

Toronto's courts are really backed up and there is a good chance that your trial date will be 1 to 2 years away and you can then apply to have it dropped because they breached your right to a speedy trial.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


ynotp
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Unread post by ynotp on

In Toronto if you park during either the morning or afternoon rush hour you can not only expect to get a ticket for $150 but ALSO towed (much to the satisfaction of the other drivers that you are causing inconvenience to) costing you another $230 to get your car back. So if you avoided the towing and storage fees, count yourself lucky.


flong
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Unread post by flong on

I'm not sure why my response from a few days ago never went through, but I'll try again.
Thank you very much for your responses. I am absolutely going to request full disclosure, and maybe I'll take a trip to Toronto to do it in their "courtroom". If I'm going to have to pay $150 I want the full experience, right?
Where I am from, parking tickets are $30 as I understand, for everything except parking in a handicap space which I believe is $90. Tickets are used to remind people not to park where they're not supposed to and when not to. They are not issued as revenue to a bankrupt city under the guise of confusing signage and legalese. I was not parked where and when I was supposed to, but the sign said no stopping, and I wasn't stopped. Somebody gave me an Ontario Drivers Licence because I knew what stopping meant at the time. If the definition changed I certainly wasn't informed of it. And why did the parking machine take my money and issue me a parking permit? I was parked legally according to my parking permit. Was I parked and stopped at the same time? I know there isn't a chance in hell I am beating this, but I'm not going to make it easy. I am pissed.
If anybody on this forum has beaten this ticket, could you please tell us a bit about how it was done? Thanks so much.


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

I don't disagree with you that Toronto's parking fines are extremely high. Parking in a handicap spot carries a higher fine then a careless driving conviction. In fairness to Toronto however, congestion is so bad that they really need to add a strong disincentive to prevent people clogging roadways during rush hour.
flong wrote: the sign said no stopping, and I wasn't stopped. Somebody gave me an Ontario Drivers Licence because I knew what stopping meant at the time. If the definition changed I certainly wasn't informed of it.
That's incorrect. Being parked would absolutely fall under the definition of stopping a vehicle, both in a legal sense and common sense perspective. No parking zones allow brief exemptions to load or unload passengers and cargo whereas no stopping zones do not.


flong
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Unread post by flong on

To be fair, the sign had an icon of a stop sign crossed out. I reiterate, I did not stop as I do at a stop sign like the sign suggested. I parked, paid for a permit, and left my vehicle. You don't do that at a stop sign, yet there is the stop sign. I actually used common sense to decipher the sign, which turned out to be a mistake. I am not from Toronto so I am not privy to the rules through the media or word of mouth. And apparently neither were all the owners of the cars on both sides of the street with tickets on the windshield.
In my town it is clear as a bell where you can park and where you can't. They could make it easy to understand in Toronto too, but I understand they need the money too badly to prevent people from parking infractions.
Has anybody beaten this ticket? So far there has been useful advice on how to delay it until it's thrown out. But I am not so sure that they're going to be throwing out $150 tickets so fast like they did the $30 ones. I have a feeling I'll be going to "trial" much sooner than expected.


daggx
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Unread post by daggx on

Unfortunately beating this ticket outright will be hard. The sign you describe sounds like it meets the specifications for signage set out in the Highway Traffic Act, so you won't be able to argue improper signage. The fact that the parking meter still took money even though parking was prohibited during that time period is obnoxious, however I don't think it will work as a defence in court. That having been said, I think the city should reprogram them reject payment and flash a warning on the screen during times when parking is not allowed. I think the only way to win will be to try and find a technicality, such as unreasonable delay or officer no show. You can start by requesting disclosure and seeing what notes the officer made and to see if the officer took any pictures. There is always a chance that something in the disclosure might point towards a defence.


UnluckyDuck
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Unread post by UnluckyDuck on

flong wrote: Somebody gave me an Ontario Drivers Licence because I knew what stopping meant at the time.


http://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/900615
It's part of your G1 written test to know what the sign means. Look under stopping signs.
flong wrote: They could make it easy to understand in Toronto too, but I understand they need the money too badly to prevent people from parking infractions.
No Stopping means No Stopping, period. Parking is considered stopped. Pulled over is considered stopped. Broken down is considered stopped. In each circumstance, your vehicle is not moving, therefore, IT IS STOPPED.
flong wrote:the sign said no stopping, and I wasn't stopped.
If you can, please explain to me how to park a vehicle without stopping it?

OK. I'm done with my rant, now time for some advice.

The court system for Toronto is extremely backed up, taking 1-2 years for your trial date. What I suggest you do is follow jsherk's advice and plead NOT GUILTY. By taking over 10 months to get a trial date, they have violated your 11b right to a speedy trial. Therefore, you could file a form 4F and have the charge dismissed that way. Search 11b on the forum and there will be plenty explanation to help you out.


hecubus
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Unread post by hecubus on

Stanton wrote: That's incorrect. Being parked would absolutely fall under the definition of stopping a vehicle, both in a legal sense and common sense perspective. No parking zones allow brief exemptions to load or unload passengers and cargo whereas no stopping zones do not.
Right, and to further complicate matters, there exists "no standing" zones. These zones allow a vehicle to stop in order to load/unload passengers but NOT cargo.

So a "no stopping" zone does not permit stopping for any reason; one cannot stop to unload/load passengers nor cargo, and one cannot park a vehicle.


flong
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Unread post by flong on

Thanks everyone for your help.
Just one thing UnluckyDuck, the url above shows me what the sign looks like but doesn't explain what "stopping" is. I guess what I'm looking for is somewhere in Toronto by-law where it defines "stopping". Indeed the stop sign with the "red interdictory stroke" through it is the sign in question.
I am going to call tomorrow and ask if I've been convicted automatically for the reason mentioned in my first post in this thread.


daggx
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Unread post by daggx on

I don't think you will have been convicted by default yet, although it never hurts to call and check. Typically with a parking ticket if you don't respond within 15 days they will send you a notice of impending conviction in the mail which gives you an additional 15 days to respond before they go to court to get a default judgment against you.

The definition of stopping is set out in section 1 of the Highway Traffic Act and reads: “stop” or “stopping”, when prohibited, means the halting of a vehicle, even momentarily, whether occupied or not, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or of a traffic control sign or signal; (“arrêt”)

http://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90h08






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