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Disobey sign H.T.A 182(2) -- Officer bluffing?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:20 am 
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My first trip to Greyhound bus station in Toronto Downtown(Intersection of bay street and Edward street) and got ambushed by a Cop. Ambush is the best way to describe it. Its like they are waiting for someone to make a mistake. It is sad when the city profits on your mistakes.

1) In my defense, there is no overhead "No Turn" display hanging. It is a "No left turn(7 to 7)" sign on the corner. I took a left from a left marked pavement into Edward street. The sign on the corner was obstructed by 3 greyhound/grayline buses waiting to turn into the station. usually, i am very vigilant for these kind of signs.

2) After i got the ticket, i asked the officer if there were any demerit points given. He said "he has not given me any. But if you fight the ticket and lose, there will be 2 demerit points".

Going by the book, this kind of offense comes with 2 demerit points. Was the officer bluffing(or lying) to make me just pay the fine? Do the officers have the power to withhold the demerit points on a offence. The ticket does not mention any demerit points other than a set fine of 85$(total 110$).

I am personally worried that after paying the fine, i might see 2 demerit points on my record. It will be then be too late to fight the officer.
can I take the officer's word in this regard?

I request all the Gurus on this forum to shed some light at your earliest convenience.

Many thanks in advance,

NightSky.


Last edited by nightsky on Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:16 pm 
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If there is a problem in a certain area, like if many people turn left ilegally where it is against the law to do so, I don't fault the police for standing by and ticketing any offenders they see. That being said, in this case if the sign is obstructed or damaged and the police still try to enforce the rule, I think its wrong. Regardless you got popped and you will soon have the knowlegde to defend yourself.

Start filing for Disclosure (registered mail, keep your sig reciepts) and a trial date. They will need to include the by-law for the no left sign, otherwise the validity of the sign is called into question. If after a few requests you have not recieved full disclosure you can ask for the charges dropped. If they adjourn the trial and give you disclosure you may be able to file an 11b charter violation.

If the crown does their job and you get all that you requested in a timely fashion, you will need to defend yourelf. I see 2 ways that you can do it.
1) You say the sign reads "no left turns 7 to 7" In Toronto they have a bilingual by-law that means all signs like that must be french and english. your discription of the sign doesn't sound bilingual. You dont need to be french to use this as a defence either, there has been precidence set already. DO some research on this site. It has what you need.
2) You state that there were busses at the station that were blocking your view of the sign. This may be more difficult to prove, but if they were obstructing the sign this may help your case. Assuming you didn't take valid pictures on the night in question, I would do some research on how to use photos in the court system, and go down every few days and take pictures of how the sign is obstructed as you state. If it was obstructed the night you got popped you should hopefully be able to find it obstructed later. Get this evedence on a few dates around the same time of day you were charged. SO if you can prove that the sign is often obstructed, it adds credibility to the claim it was obstructed on the night you were ticketed. Maybe take a pic of where the cop was too, especially if he is there again. This could be fun in cross examination.

Lastly Don't beleve what a cop says about dermit points. They only know about fines. Be sure to let us know how it goes. We like updates!


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Thanks beleafer81.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:06 am 
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Many Thanks beleafer81 for the timely advice.

1) As per your advice, i will go downtown and get some photos of the Greyhound buses blocking this sign since this is what got me into this mess. I will certainly keep everyone updated.

2) I was mainly hoping to find out if other members had this experience of paying the fine but not receiving the demerit points. Any of your personal experiences will greatly help me make a decision.

Cheers,

Nightsky.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:05 pm 
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Couple of things:

beleafer81 wrote:
1) You say the sign reads "no left turns 7 to 7" In Toronto they have a bilingual by-law that means all signs like that must be french and english. your discription of the sign doesn't sound bilingual.


Unfortunately, because the case (read: only case) that raised bilingual defence did not go to the Superior Court level, no precedent was set. There is some controversy over this, but if I were in court on a "disobey sign" charge, I wouldn't really rely on bilingual defence. The majority of JPs don't accept it. Toronto actually does not have any by-law or rule committing to French services; it's from the French Language Services Act, which says provincial institutions must enable French speakers to obtain services in French in certain "designated bilingual areas" (e.g. Toronto, Ottawa, Sudbury). O.Reg 615 designates the standard for road signs, and it said in designated bilingual areas they're required - unless the municipality itself didn't commit to providing French services, which Toronto did not. Clear as mud.

Nightsky wrote:
2) I was mainly hoping to find out if other members had this experience of paying the fine but not receiving the demerit points.


If you wish to pay the fine, that's certainly an option, but you WILL get the demerit points. If the officer believed that you could avoid demerit points by paying out of court, he is wrong. If you pay the fine or go to court and lose, you get the same demerit points at the end of the day. The only way to avoid it is either plea-bargain to a charge that doesn't have demerit points, or get the charge withdrawn/dismissed or be found not guilty.

For information on what you need to do to submit photographs in court, read these Guidelines on Submitting Photographs.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:41 pm 
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Sorry if i spoke too soon. I thought Toronto was "bilingual". RI knows his stuff. You should be fine with the obstructed sign defence. And even so You may never have to use it if they delay your trial and/or do not give you your disclosure.

Read the ticket combat website. Its VERY informative.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:18 am 
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You didn't actually speak too soon... If the road is a provincially-controlled highway, the signs must be bilingual, even in Toronto (e.g. hwy 401). On those roads, bilingual defence would apply. :shock:

The reason "bilingual defence" first came up is because the articling student who was representing his boss (R. v. Myers case... defendant was ticketed for a left turn at Bay and Edward... hmm...) made the argument that although the city did not commit to bilingual services, the province did. Therefore, according to the argument, because the driver's provincial record and demerit points would be affected, bilingual signs would be required as per O.Reg 615. :shock: And then O.Reg 615 goes on to say municipalities can be exempt if they so choose. :shock: I don't understand it either...

But yes I agree... visit:

www.ticketcombat.com

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:09 pm 
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Radar Identified wrote:
If you wish to pay the fine, that's certainly an option, but you WILL get the demerit points. If the officer believed that you could avoid demerit points by paying out of court, he is wrong. If you pay the fine or go to court and lose, you get the same demerit points at the end of the day. The only way to avoid it is either plea-bargain to a charge that doesn't have demerit points, or get the charge withdrawn/dismissed or be found not guilty.

url]


Hi Radar Identified,

Thank you for the update.

On a side note, i did talk to my Insurance company(of course, i never gave my name). His frank opinion was that the rating system varies from Company to company and also depends on how clean my driving record is. e.g, If i never received any points or tickets before the company will take it easy on me. At times even with no points the ticket itself is enough to raise the insurance rates.

So, going down fighting it is.

cheers,

Nightsky.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:53 pm 
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nightsky wrote:
On a side note, i did talk to my Insurance company(of course, i never gave my name). His frank opinion was that the rating system varies from Company to company and also depends on how clean my driving record is. e.g, If i never received any points or tickets before the company will take it easy on me. At times even with no points the ticket itself is enough to raise the insurance rates.


Yep. Insurance companies are tricky. My company forgives one or two very minor tickets with no increase. I have one conviction in the past three years (speeding 15 km/h over limit), they know about it, but no increase. One more ticket = $200/yr surcharge.

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I sent a PM
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:20 pm 
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Hi Radar Identified,

I sent you a PM. I hope you can throw some light on the new developments.

cheers

Nightsky.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:05 pm 
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Response sent a couple of minutes ago...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:39 pm 
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Hi Radar - when you say O. Reg. 615 goes on to say a municipality is not required to comply (s. 52) is it not simple enough to argue that while the municipality may not be required, that does not exempt the province from the requirement of bilingual services in Toronto and as both the HTA and POA are under provincial jurisdiction, bilingual signs are required to enforce the sign under those acts? s. 52 points to s. 14 of the FLSA, which clearly refers "all or specified municipal services to the public." When the sign is used to enforce provincial legislation, is it then required to be bilingual under s.2&5 of the FLSA despite any municipal-service exemption granted by s.52?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:41 am 
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That's what they argued in R. v. Myers. If the JP is willing to listen, that might work if you construct the argument properly. Most of the time, they are not willing to listen.

The way I read O.Reg 615 as a whole is: "municipalities in designated bilingual areas must have bilingual signs, unless the municipality doesn't want to." If the municipality itself commits to being bilingual, then the bilingual signs are required. If the road is a provincial highway (401, hwy 3, hwy 17), then bilingual signs are absolutely required.

The FLSA itself is set up to ensure French-speakers are able to receive services in French. It also has this:

Quote:
7. The obligations of government agencies and institutions of the Legislature under this Act are subject to such limits as circumstances make reasonable and necessary, if all reasonable measures and plans for compliance with this Act have been taken or made.


The way I read it, this gives them leeway to put in bilingual services or not, and because O.Reg 615 specifically provides an exemption, they aren't required to post bilingual road signs.

Take note - I used to be a big fan of bilingual defence. But with so many cases having been rejected by JPs, I don't recommend its use anymore. If someone's willing to try it, that's great, but I'm not one of them.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:28 pm 
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I guess it'll take someone to actually appeal the JP's ruling on the FLSA defense, and follow-thru with it to get a higher court ruling.


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