got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

bez
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got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by bez »

Here's the situation:

There's a set of traffic lights just before the bridge and I was in the left-most lane just before getting onto the bridge. At that point, the lane is open to all traffic but once on the bridge it becomes a reserved lane. The traffic was backed up in the middle lane the entire length of the bridge. At the lights the cars in the middle lane could not even get onto the bridge on a green light. So I got onto the bridge put my turn signal on and started looking for an opening but the cars were not even moving and I kept on going. I also had a bus behind me. The only option was to stop in the left-most lane and wait, blocking the entire lane. I kept on going and went all the way to the end of the bridge and stopped at the red light just before getting off the bridge. My turn signal was on the entire time. The police car was parked on the median, facing the oncoming traffic, just before the end of the bridge. The cop got out and asked for my licence. He said I was in a reserved lane. I said I was aware and that I had tried to merge unsuccessfully. He went back into his car and came back 2 minutes later with the ticket.

Ticket says: Improper use of high occupancy lane, Highway Traffic Act 154.1(3), $110

all the other information seems to be correct except my apartment number in the address is missing.

Do I have any chance of fighting this?


bez
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by bez »

Just to add to this, I live in Quebec but got the ticket in Ontario. This offence carries 3 demerit points in Ontario. How does that translate onto my Quebec driver's license?


jsherk
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by jsherk »

Was it a BUS lane or was it a HOV lane?

You will have to check how a conviction from Ontario will affect you in Quebec:
http://legisquebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/ShowDo ... 20r.%2022/
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


bez
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by bez »

It was a HOV lane. The sign says bus, taxi or vehicles with 3 or more occupants.

I read that document but there is no mention of Highway Traffic Act 154.1 in the agreement.

This is a list of traffic offences carrying demerit points in Quebec and there's nothing on HOV.
https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/drivers-lice ... it-points/


Whenaxis
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by Whenaxis »

First, I would like to ask where exactly this took place (i.e. name of the road/highway).

In order for the charge to be valid, you need to have been on a King's Highway designated for HOV lanes.
Check this: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/050620#BK10 and see if the road you were traveling on is listed there.
(HOV lanes are only designated on certain sections of Highway 404, Highway 403, Queen Elizabeth Way, Highway 417)

If you weren't traveling on one of those roads, you weren't traveling in an HOV lane as per section 154.1 of the Highway Traffic Act, and you were not charged with the proper offence.


bez
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by bez »

Whenaxis wrote:First, I would like to ask where exactly this took place (i.e. name of the road/highway).

In order for the charge to be valid, you need to have been on a King's Highway designated for HOV lanes.
Check this: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/050620#BK10 and see if the road you were traveling on is listed there.
(HOV lanes are only designated on certain sections of Highway 404, Highway 403, Queen Elizabeth Way, Highway 417)

If you weren't traveling on one of those roads, you weren't traveling in an HOV lane as per section 154.1 of the Highway Traffic Act, and you were not charged with the proper offence.
It took place on the Portage bridge in Ottawa. It's an inter-provincial bridge between Quebec and Ontario and I got pulled over in the southbound lane where the bridge ends and intersects with Wellington Street. Looking at the google map I just noticed that the address on the ticket is incorrect as well. It says "intersection of Wellington St. and Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway". Wellington does not intersect Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway, it becomes it and not even at the point where it intersects the bridge but one block further west of the bridge.

Here's a google map link o the exact location:
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.4202011,-75.7106253,16z

I checked that link and this bridge is not mentioned in it. Also, the HOV sign on the page does not look exactly like the one on this bridge. Below is a google street view of the sign.
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.4208427 ... 56!6m1!1e1


iFly55
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by iFly55 »

You need to read REG 620/05 High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/050620

HTA S154.1 ONLY applies to small sections of Hwy 403, 404, 417 and QEW with regulatory HOV-lanes. During the Pan-Am Games they made temporary amendments to the law in order to enforce HOV-lanes.

I do not understand why LEOs in ON write HTA tickets for HOV lane offences in inner-city roads; they have to write by-law tickets, in the Greater Toronto Area it's $65 set fine + $15 victim surcharge + $5 court fee = $85 total fine

This by-law ticket does not affect your insurance or demerit points; it's basically a parking ticket.

You should be able to get this ticket dropped with very little explanation at your early-resolution meeting; there is "no reasonable prospect for a conviction" if it goes to trial.


jsherk
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by jsherk »

Whenaxis wrote:First, I would like to ask where exactly this took place (i.e. name of the road/highway).
In order for the charge to be valid, you need to have been on a King's Highway designated for HOV lanes.
Check this: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/050620#BK10 and see if the road you were traveling on is listed there.
(HOV lanes are only designated on certain sections of Highway 404, Highway 403, Queen Elizabeth Way, Highway 417)
If you weren't traveling on one of those roads, you weren't traveling in an HOV lane as per section 154.1 of the Highway Traffic Act, and you were not charged with the proper offence.
+1 :)
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


bez
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by bez »

iFly55 wrote:You need to read REG 620/05 High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/050620

HTA S154.1 ONLY applies to small sections of Hwy 403, 404, 417 and QEW with regulatory HOV-lanes. During the Pan-Am Games they made temporary amendments to the law in order to enforce HOV-lanes.

I do not understand why LEOs in ON write HTA tickets for HOV lane offences in inner-city roads; they have to write by-law tickets, in the Greater Toronto Area it's $65 set fine + $15 victim surcharge + $5 court fee = $85 total fine

This by-law ticket does not affect your insurance or demerit points; it's basically a parking ticket.

You should be able to get this ticket dropped with very little explanation at your early-resolution meeting; there is "no reasonable prospect for a conviction" if it goes to trial.
I have read in another thread that I should request a trial with the officer present, wait 6 months and then call the prosecutor and ask them to drop the case because of the incorrect charge. if I go to early resolution, can they just re-issue the ticket citing a by-law instead of HOV violation?


jsherk
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by jsherk »

Yes they could withdraw and re-issue. Would they bother? Most likely not, but still a chance.

Personally I would do what you said and wait until trial date to show up and discuss with prosecutor. Bring a copy of the regulation and a copy of section 154
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


Zatota
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by Zatota »

I agree. You've been charged with the wrong offence; you should have been charged under an Ottawa by-law. 3+ HOV lanes are municipal, not provincial, and carry different restrictions and fines.


devilsadvocate
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by devilsadvocate »

I just want to clarify something: you were charged by Ottawa Police or RCMP?
Thing is Portage Bridge is an NCC bridge that falls under the NCCTPR, not the HTA. OPS usually don't bother but RCMP will charge under the NCCTPR.

As such you should have been charged under S.4(1) pursuant to the HTA S.154.1. Although all the other posts are correct in that this is not the appropriate section, it can be amended to reflect the proper section because S.4(1) allows a charge under any section of the HTA.

It's kind of complicated but to keep it simple, chances are it will be amended before the JP, and they usually agree to that as it is non-prejudicial (I'm from Ottawa so I've seen it before). I know different jurisdictions have different trends, but in Ottawa this is a common thing. More likely it would be amended to S. 182(2) or NCCTPR S.6.

Besides, I have heard the argument before that because the Portage bridge is a Federal bridge, it is also considered King's Highway, but I'm not sure that holds much water...

Finally, there are no points associated to this offence in Quebec.
I am not a lawyer or para-legal: I do not offer legal advice nor should my comments be interpreted as such.
I believe in respecting the law; don't be offended if I don't agree with you.


bez
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by bez »

devilsadvocate wrote:I just want to clarify something: you were charged by Ottawa Police or RCMP?
Thing is Portage Bridge is an NCC bridge that falls under the NCCTPR, not the HTA. OPS usually don't bother but RCMP will charge under the NCCTPR.

As such you should have been charged under S.4(1) pursuant to the HTA S.154.1. Although all the other posts are correct in that this is not the appropriate section, it can be amended to reflect the proper section because S.4(1) allows a charge under any section of the HTA.

It's kind of complicated but to keep it simple, chances are it will be amended before the JP, and they usually agree to that as it is non-prejudicial (I'm from Ottawa so I've seen it before). I know different jurisdictions have different trends, but in Ottawa this is a common thing. More likely it would be amended to S. 182(2) or NCCTPR S.6.

Besides, I have heard the argument before that because the Portage bridge is a Federal bridge, it is also considered King's Highway, but I'm not sure that holds much water...

Finally, there are no points associated to this offence in Quebec.
Can you provide a linkt to S.4(1) and S. 182(2)
I'm looking here but I can't find much in this document:
https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/regu/ ... -1044.html

I'm pretty sure it was indeed an RCMP officer as I've seen them on that bridge before. Are you saying that the chances of getting it quashed over the incorrect charge are slim? Can they still amend it even after 6 months? I've already mailed the ticket requesting a court date and the officer to be present.


Zatota
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by Zatota »

The charge probably should have been under s.4(1) of the NCCTPR. That subsection requires a driver to drive "in compliance with the laws of the province and the municipality in which the driveway is situated." That wording requires drivers to comply with the Ottawa by-law that governs the 3+ HOV lane on the bridge. HTA s.154.1 only deals with provincial HOV lanes, all of which are 2+.

I'm not a lawyer or paralegal, but I would think that, so long as the trial is at least six months after the offence date, the OP will be free and clear.


daggx
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Re: got pulled over on a bridge bus lane in Ottawa

Unread post by daggx »

Can you provide a linkt to S.4(1) and S. 182(2)
I'm looking here but I can't find much in this document:
https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/regu/ ... -1044.html

I'm pretty sure it was indeed an RCMP officer as I've seen them on that bridge before. Are you saying that the chances of getting it quashed over the incorrect charge are slim? Can they still amend it even after 6 months? I've already mailed the ticket requesting a court date and the officer to be present.[/quote]

I think you will be able to get this quashed for incorrect charge. The court can amend clerical errors on a ticket at trial, such as the mistyping of the section number of the law or the slight misspelling of a name. However, in this case you were charged under the wrong piece of legislation and I don't think that counts as a simple clerical error. It is my understanding that in order to charge you under a different piece of legislation they would have to withdraw the original charge and file a new charge using the correct law, which they can't do after six month have passed from the date of the offence.


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