UNSAFE LANE CHANGE

yogikeung
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UNSAFE LANE CHANGE

Unread post by yogikeung »

First things first, this site is amazing!
It is great to have this kind of resource available for the little guy.

If anyone can offer some feedback or comment in regards to a ticket I received it would be greatly appreciated.

I was heading eastbound on the 401. The road was dry. Visibility was very good with slight overcast. I was driving on the middle lane. Traffic was very light, there was a car in front of me at roughly 6-8 car lengths. I decided to change lanes from the middle to the fast to pass this vehicle. I was going at about 110 km/hr. I applied the signal and also shoulder checked my blind spot. I did not see any car to the side of me nor rear, and proceeded to make the lane change. As I passed the line at about 1/3 car length, I heard a honk and I saw a car behind me from my side mirror. I had full view of the car behind me. When I saw the car behind me and heard the honk, I pulled back to the middle lane. I did not make contact with the car. After pulling back onto the middle lane I looked on my side mirror and saw the car behind me on to be on the fast lane, I continued driving onwards on the middle lane. At about roughly 150 meters out, I noticed from my rear view mirror that the car behind me swirled over from the fast lane (left) to the far right and struck the cement barrier. At this time I was quite surprised. Because of this, I back tracked to make sure everything was ok?. I was issued a ticket for unsafe lane change. The officer did not observe the incident.

My intent is to bring this to trial.

Any comments or advice would be highly appreciated.


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Simon Borys
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Re: UNSAFE LANE CHANGE

Unread post by Simon Borys »

That's actually a really interesting situation. s. 142(1) yields 2 charges: change lane not in safety and fail to signal. With respect to change lane, all it really says is "The driver...before turning...from one lane for traffic to another lane for traffic...shall first see that the movement can be made in safety". So the offence is made out if you didn't first see that the movement could be made in safety (i.e. that the movement was unsafe). The evidence for this is usually that there was a collision or someone had to take immediate evasive action, or some such thing.

However you situation is that a while later (in both time and distance) the vehicle which was affected by your turn crashed. This is an interesting situation because it calls into question the relationship between your turn and the collision. Obviously the longer the time and distance between your lane change and the collision, the harder it is to attribute it to you. As an extreme example, say this situation happened but it was 2 km later that the other vehicle crashed. It would be very difficult in that situation to argue that you caused the collision (which would then be evidence of your unsafe lane change). This is an extreme example, but I trust it serves to illustrate that it's not a simple question of whether you did or did not cause the collision (thereby making your lane change unsafe). That analysis is something of a sliding scale.

Seems to me that, if you take this to trial, it will come down to whether you can articulate that sufficient time and distance had passed such that whatever caused his collision, it was not due to you; in other words you'll have to articulate where you fell on that scale. I think this will largely depend on what the other driver's statement to the police says.
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yogikeung
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Re: UNSAFE LANE CHANGE

Unread post by yogikeung »

Thank you Mr Borys for your feedback.

You've made a pretty good point, I gotta be honest, at the time when I saw the vehicle cut across the hwy, I was not sure if I caused an accident or just witnessed one. It just seemed very odd that the car was always behind me when I changed lanes, and when I pulled away the car was still in the fast lane.

Have a good day, thanks again for your input.


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