Red light camera ticket. Moving for emergency vehicle

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Red light camera ticket. Moving for emergency vehicle

by: Jerry1010 on
Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:33 am


I received a red light camera ticket. In the picture, you see an ambulance in front of me with flashing lights. I had moved to alleviate the traffic behind me for the emergency vehicles coming behind it.

Is this a possible defense, if so, does anyone know any good case law to justify this position?

Thank you
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by: ynotp on
Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:11 am

The only thing you have proof of is there was an ambulance in front of you with flashing lights. You are obligated to pull to the right and let other emergency vehicles pass not blow through a red light (even if you are trying to be noble). My magic 8 ball says the prosecutor will offer you a substantially reduced fine for pleading guilty and when you plead guilty you can tell the JP that you were trying to allow other emergency vehicles pass but you now know that it is the wrong thing to do and that it was unsafe you should have stopped and made everyone wait.
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by: highwaystar on
Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:09 am

You are charged with an absolute liability offence---meaning, there is no 'due diligence' defense. The only excuse would be to claim a 'necessity'---however, unfortunately, you likely won't meet the test set out in Perka vs. The Queen. Some of the parts of the test I think you'll be challenged with are that the act must be done to 'avoid immediate peril' and 'no other reasonable alternative existed'.

So, unfortunately, while your intentions may have been noble, the law really isn't on your side. There is no defense of due diligence and you won't be excused for necessity.

As previously mentioned, more than likely, the fine will be substantially lowered. You COULD try to go to trial, but the hands of the court will be tied. Besides, as previously stated, the picture only shows an ambulance AHEAD of you; not behind you. You likely have no proof to establish that other emergency vehicles were behind you, which would almost certainly be needed for the JP to hold that it was a 'necessity'.
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by: Stanton on
Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:59 pm

Keep in mind that the law requires even emergency vehicles to stop before going through on a red. Since the cameras are only designed to trip when you enter the intersection above a set speed (typically 25-30 km/hr) it shouldnt have gone off if you proceeded into the intersection from a stop. If you didnt even meet the requirement set out for emergency vehicles, I think your chances or arguing necessity are slim. The risk of proceeding into the intersection without due care outweighs a temporary delay.
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