I really wasn't too close

schoolboy
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I really wasn't too close

Unread post by schoolboy »

I really need help on this one! While traveling on 401 in the fog with very few people on road one morning, I changed lanes because I assumed that I was nearing my exit. All of a sudden there was a transport truck in front of me. I put breaks on but still totalled my car. No damage to transport. took officer almost 2 hours to get there and then charged me with following too close. really I wasn't following. help and advise would be appreciated.


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hwybear
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Unread post by hwybear »

Follow too close...
158. (1) The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent having due regard for the speed of the vehicle and the traffic on and the conditions of the highway

......pretty borderline for a Careless Driving charge which is without due care and attention for other motorists on the highway

This is a very good example that in snow, rain or fog, one should not drive faster than they can see and also have time to react to dangers ahead.

Officer probably took longer than normal as response was delayed due to driving appropriate for weather conditions.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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racer
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Unread post by racer »

The cop probably wants to close off the accident report, and charging someone with "Follow too closely" nicely sets all papers in order.
However, based on what you have told us you should have been charged with 154.(1)(a) (below), which carries 3 demerit point penalty, and would still set officer's papers straight...

154.(1) Where a highway has been divided into clearly marked lanes for traffic,
(a) a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as may be practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety;
"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

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hwybear
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Unread post by hwybear »

racer wrote:The cop probably wants to close off the accident report, and charging someone with "Follow too closely" nicely sets all papers in order.
However, based on what you have told us you should have been charged with 154.(1)(a) (below), which carries 3 demerit point penalty, and would still set officer's papers straight...

154.(1) Where a highway has been divided into clearly marked lanes for traffic,
(a) a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as may be practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety;
I personally do not like the "change lanes not in safety". Reason I feel this way is this is used for someone "side swiping" another, or "clipping" another vehicle while changing lanes. Once into the lane you wanted to go to and did not strike any other vehicle the lane change has been done safely. Now you plug someone from behind it is "follow too closely" or "careless driving".
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Bookm
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Unread post by Bookm »

I think it could be argued that you weren't actually "following" AT ALL. Lets say the truck was stopped or driving slowly. Since you were in a different lane all together (initially) the definition of following would not apply to you. If you moved over and struck the truck due to a "sudden" appearance of heavy fog, then you still weren't really "following" him, in my opinion. To me, "following" would have to mean "for some notable distance".

I know this charge is laid all the time, in this and similar circumstances, and it is quickly dispatched in court by knowledgeable lawyers and paralegals.

On a personal note, fog is my greatest fear when driving out on the open road. The most horrific motor vehicle accidents ever recorded were caused by sudden, unexpected fog banks rollin' in to wreak havoc. I am so "white-knuckled" when driving through fog, it takes a few moments to release my death-grip when I reach my destination.

I, personally, don't agree that a charge NEEDS to be laid at EVERY accident scene. Our Canadian weather throws a LOT of curves at us poor mere mortals, and just maybe we need to be cut a little slack in situations like this.

Here is a really good article published after that big 87-car pileup on the 401 several years ago. Note how quick the coroners jury was to blame the problem solely on speed and suggested photo-radar will solve the problem, while an actual traffic researcher scoffed at the notion that speed alone is the problem.
http://www.drivers.com/article/324/

Clearly, the best solution is for all cars (not just high-end stuff) to come equipped with infra-rad detectors which can scan for problems in the fog that the human eye can't see.

When driving in fog, I am constantly worried that I am going to be rear-ended. Trying to find a balanced speed in the fog, to protect yourself from both the front and the rear, is, to me, the most difficult aspect of driving... PERIOD! Even stopping on the side of the road is a crappy option, and many people have been hit hard by doing so (even snowplows kill people stopped on the side of the road).

To trivialize the difficulty of handling thick fog by slapping some poor sap with a ticket (on top of his totaled car and probable increased insurance rates) is almost cartoon-like when you think about it.

Just get the proven, working, current technology out there in our cars and maybe we can actually stop these "ACCIDENTS" from happening.


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racer
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Unread post by racer »

Lol I've heard of a case in Germany a couple of years ago, when, in heavy fog, 2 drivers were driving 20 km/h each, in opposite directions, on the same road, with their heads stuck out to see the midroad line. Both had major concussions, but not a scratch on their cars...
"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

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hwybear
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Unread post by hwybear »

most certainly if you hit someone from behind you are following them
Bookm wrote: I know this charge is laid all the time, in this and similar circumstances, and it is quickly dispatched in court by knowledgeable lawyers and paralegals.
I am in court almost more than anyone on this board.....I rarely see a follow too close charge beaten. The ones I see are careless, as a lot of times there is a more suitable charge that fits word for word.
Bookm wrote:I, personally, don't agree that a charge NEEDS to be laid at EVERY accident scene.
Every collision someone made an error in driving and should be charged.
Bookm wrote: To trivialize the difficulty of handling thick fog by slapping some poor sap with a ticket (on top of his totaled car and probable increased insurance rates) is almost cartoon-like when you think about it.
It is not rocket science, one can not over drive their line of sight, if they do, problems arise. After all it is canada, we know there can be fog, ice, snow and heavy rains, if you don't want to drive appropriately and collide with something, you need a ticket. I don't care that insurance will go up or a car is totalled......what about emergency services (EMS, usually multiple fire trucks and police) now having to go out in that *EDIT* to rescue someone, putting their lives "needlessly" in danger.....plus thousands of tax payers money being needlessly wasted...plus now those emergency services are not able to serve their community as they are at a preventable collision....... then a tow truck drivers life being jeopardized to move the wrecked vehicles......all of this why??? b/c someone refuses to slow down to a point they can see and react accordingly.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


schoolboy
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accidents happen to all who aren't " Gods"

Unread post by schoolboy »

thanks for all the advice boys and girls. I would just like you to know that accidents happen to every person every day, whether on the road or not. To err is Human. I'm neither stupid nor do I lack reflex in most situations but like the weather report says when you all of a sudden drive out of a clear environment into an foggy environment visability is poor. Hence the lane change to a slower moving traffic lane so as not to get creamed myself. Guess I'll see in court . Thanks again bookm and racer for being human. obviously it would have taken hwybear two hours to get to the scene also.


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hwybear
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Re: accidents happen to all who aren't " Gods"

Unread post by hwybear »

schoolboy wrote: Thanks again bookm and racer for being human. obviously it would have taken hwybear two hours to get to the scene also.
I take that is a polite "your an ass"......I never try to discourage anyone's thoughts/feelings on here.....just try to show a different angle/perspective what an officer might go through coming upon situations and sometimes why we think the way we do

Best of luck with your chosen option!

Cheers Bear
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Unread post by racer »

You can't thanks us without thanking Bear. He's the guy that throws us curveballs that we have to try to get. Without his perspective we would not have came out with the advices we gave you, because we tried to get around his responses and arguments!
"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

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Unread post by tdrive2 »

I agree with racer. It is always neat to hear the perspective on an officer.

Obviously his opinion may be based on a police officers point of view but none the less i always enjoy his posts.

I have came to respect highway police much more after reading bears responses.

It is nice to see officers that do care and enjoy their job.

If the general public knew more they may have no respect.

If it wasnt for hwybear i wouldn't even know that there was no such thing as a ticket qouta :lol:

Infact if it wasnt for hwybear i would have not known to not drive fast around 156 km on the 401 :lol:

Although he did never tell us his favorite kind of doughnut. Maybe if i get pulled over in his detachments reason ill have an excuse for my ticket. I wonder how much he would reduce my ticket if i had a fresh dozen of boston cream's. :twisted:

Hey guys i heard if you get a ticket for 50 over in hwybears region they will tow your car and if there is any coffee or doughnuts inside them they will seize those to!

So to the guy who complained i know myself and others find it very helpful to understand things from the perspective of the LEO.


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Unread post by Reflections »

Although he did never tell us his favorite kind of doughnut.
--Boston Creme, pay attention and Cafe Mocha........sally on that one :D
http://www.OHTA.ca OR http://www.OntarioTrafficAct.com


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hwybear
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Unread post by hwybear »

Reflections wrote:
Although he did never tell us his favorite kind of doughnut.
--Boston Creme, pay attention and Cafe Mocha........sally on that one :D
Image
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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racer
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Unread post by racer »

So, I take it the best practice of bribing a cop would be a $20 Tim card stuck under the driver's license?
"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious"

www.OHTA.ca & www.OntarioHighwayTrafficAct.com


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Reflections
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Unread post by Reflections »

So, I take it the best practice of bribing a cop would be a $20 Tim card stuck under the driver's license?
Hey our cops are tops........make it $50 or
Image
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