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Hand Held communication device ticket $490 help negotiating with prosecutor, reduce fine?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:24 am
by pgb12
On September 19, 2018 I was pulled over and given a ticket for a holding a hand-held communication device.

I was in the left hand turning lane with 5-6 cars in front of me. I unfortunately and mistakenly picked up my phone to look at gas prices (obviously in hindsight not important and could've waited). The light had just turned red so I (mistakenly) thought I would have plenty of time to quickly check the app and turn it off immediately. As I looked up from the phone to see traffic in front of me. I noticed a police officer on a motorcycle had pulled alongside me. I put the phone down and as we moved forward through the advanced turn left lane, he merged behind me and pulled me over.

He explained and I know now that holding or "using" any cellular device is illegal and gave me the $490 ticket. This is my first traffic ticket, I've never even been pulled over for speeding. I've gone through the long process of pleading not guilty, asking for a court date, which will be on March the 4th. I've also requested disclosure of evidence and only received the officer's notes from the day and attached them and the original ticket below.

I've tried follow the steps outlined on this site and by others going through similar situations. At this point, I would just like some guidance. It seems to me it would be a difficult case to fight and I am leaning towards calling the prosecutor to discuss some sort of plea deal. If anyone could take a look at the officer's notes (hard to read at some points) and the original ticket to offer any advice would be much appreciated.

I know what I did was wrong and am not looking to get away Scott-free but perhaps reduce fee or demerit pts. if possible? They stay on my record for 3 years I believe? But do not affect insurance? Correct me if I'm wrong please. I am no longer a student but do not have a permanent job as of yet - not sure if that helps or would be taken into consideration. Any advice on how to proceed, again would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:16 am
by bend
Handheld device conviction absolutely can impact your insurance.

Here are the notes typed out. They are pretty clear, but there were a couple words there I couldn't make out.

"Wednesday 19, Sept 2018
I was working in uniform operating mc 33/302 (motorcycle and police vehicle ID number) n/b (northbound) Salem Rd in left lane. Vehicles in left turn lane stalling/sitting (?) for red light. I was slowly driving beside vehicles observing for drivers using cell phones. I observed a blue VW Gulf stalling/sitting (?) in left lane. Male driver was holding a black (?) style tablet. Phone in right hand positioned (?) below right side of steering wheel. Driver was looking at phone and manipulating face. When he looked up and saw me, he set down (?) phone on his right leg.

Driver ID of valid Ontario (?) DL (Drivers License), Permit, Ins (Insurance) Card

Vehicle - 2010 VW Gulf 4 door hatch blue

1 Occ (Occupant)

Clear, Dry, Sunny"

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:51 pm
by pgb12
Sorry let me clarify. I was referring to the demerit points - do they affect insurance rates in Ontario.

I would like not to have them of course. But should I put effort into getting rid of possible or just trying to lower the fine?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:21 pm
by Decatur
The easiest way to explain this is, insurance companies don’t care about demerit points. They are simply a way for MTO to track poor drivers. Tickets are generally broken down into one of three categories. Minor, major and serious/criminal. An example would be a speeding ticket for 15 over. There are no demerits. 20 over, there are three. Most insurance companies would treat them and all minor offences the same.
They care about tickets.... period. Get two or three 15 over and they will likely boost your rates up.
It’s difficult to say if any particular ticket will boost your rates. It depends on your age, how many tickets you’ve had and other factors.

You may want to anonymously contact your insurance company to see how this could theoretically impact insurance rates.

The courts can not convict for an offence and remove the demerits. They are applied post conviction by the MTO.

No tickets on your record is the only way to go!!!