I was driving west on lakeshore at Bathurst, and there's that fork in the road where Fleet street is. So if going on lakeshore east of bathurst onto fleet street, you have to turn right and go straight.
| LW | T | F |
| LE |
- LW = Lakeshore west of bathurst
- LE = Lakeshore east of bathurst
- T = Turning onto bathurst from Lakeshore
- F = Fleet street
I was pulled over and given a ticket for 144(9). Now, the only sign regarding this at all is in between LW and T which says "Keep left". I have always assumed that to mean "keep left on lakeshore and don't go into the turning lane". It seems as that entire intersection is confusing, because I've seen many people including cops do the same maneuvre I just did.
Do I have a case? Was it even illegal? "Keep Left" isn't exactly the same thing as "no right hand turn" or "no through traffic". Is it even a legit sign to be contrary to 144(9)?
Edit: Here's the location on google maps:
The only thing I can think of is that there is a no left turn on to Fleet St. sign posted for people going northbound on Bathurst. If you are going westbound on Lake Shore you have to make a right onto Bathurst and then a quick left onto Fleet St. I wounder if he is alleging that this violates the no left turn sign posted for northbound traffic on Bathurst.
I think he is talking about the "keep left" sign. But if he is, then it's really, really ambiguous.
That whole intersection is a bit odd. While the keep left sign is an enforceable sign I wouldn't have thought it would apply to what you are describing. From Google Maps it looks like it is meant for people going straight ahead on Lake Shore to make sure they go to the left of the barrier there, so they don't wind up going westbound in the eastbound lane on Fleet Street or into the street car right of way. I guess if I were in your place I would file for a court date and then request a copy of the officers notes through disclosure. Once you see his notes regarding the incident it might become clearer as to what exactly he thinks you did wrong. Once you know that, then you can start planing a defense to the charge.
Yeah, that was my thinking regarding the intent of the sign as well.
Is ambiguous signage a defense? I wonder if I can contact the city somewhere and get a ruling on that intersection from a city employee that I could use in court.
Ambiguous signage might form part of a due diligence defence if the offence is one of strict liability.
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.
How would I know if 144(9) is strict or absolute liability though? Does anyone know?
In 2008 the Court of Appeal said that the presumption was of strict liability for HTA offences (Brampton v Kanda), however that is only the starting point. Many offences have been addressed in specific cases both before and after Kanda. You'd have to do your research.
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.
I was wondering, are there any laws or bylaws regarding where a sign is placed in the intersection? Do they have to be ahead of you, or can they be off to the side facing the other direction?
Also, I was in court today (got an adjournment), but the JP had mentioned that if the sign is visible, it's an absolute liability case. Is that true? I'm also not sure what she meant by 'visible'. Does off to the side around a corner count as visible? What would be a good way for me to argue that this is strict liability?
Thanks for the help!
Would regulation 615 (the 60m visibility thing) apply in this case?
Anyone? I have my trial date again soon, I'd like to know if I can successfully use regulation 615?
Also, if I just received disclosure today and my trial is on Monday, am I supposed to submit photographs ahead of time, or can I just do it during trial?
While approaching Bathurst going w/b on Lakeshore there is a Green/White sign that reads, "Fleet St. via Strachan Ave": http://goo.gl/maps/hmrby
Black/White 'Keep Left' sign appears to stop w/b lakeshore drivers from driving into e/b fleet street drivers: http://goo.gl/maps/IjBm0 Although there are plenty of 'Do Not Enter' signs to protect those e/b fleet street drivers.
The question then becomes, what sign can they place there so that w/b lakeshore drivers at bathurst do not enter w/b fleet street? I guess they could place a 'no-straight through' sign? overall the intersection appears to be designed so that only s/b bathurst drivers can access w/b fleet street at that intersection.
Where exactly do e/b fleet street drivers go at the Lakeshore/Bathurst intersection? Can they enter e/b lakeshore? are they forced onto n/b bathurst?
When the green light appears for w/b lakeshore drivers at that intersection, maybe there is also a left-turn green light for e/b fleet street drivers/streetcars to turn left on to n/b bathurst... therefore doing your manoeuvre would cause an accident?
Can you tell us about the disclosure that was provided today?
Regulation 615 does not apply because that 'keep left' sign is clearly visible to w/b lakeshore traffic approaching bathurst. Unless that sign was snow-covered or advertisement-covered at the time you were stopped?
Make sure you follow the guidelines on how to introduce photographs at trial: http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic1765.html
You can introduce the photos at trial, you don't have to submit them to the courts/prosecutor's office ahead of time.
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