What happened was I had to make a delivery in Toronto to a store on the Queensway right beside the Food Terminal * east of Parklawn, west of Kingsway *. The best way for a tractor trailer to get there is to take the DVP to the Gardiner, then get off on the South Kingsway ramp but instead of going along Kingsway, you continue onto the ramp for the Queensway, which is a truck route. What happened is when I got off the highway I found out the ramp to the Queensway was closed due to construction. There was no warning of this on the Gardiner before I got off. Not on the overhead sign that says " Queensway via South Kingsway " nor any construction signs to tell me that the truck route was closed.
So now I'm stuck sitting on the side of a ramp considering my options. I obviously can't backup onto the highway. It's not safe to make a U-turn in that area and it's illegal to boot, so without anywhere to turn around I did the only thing I could do, carry on. I drove from the Kingsway to Bloor to Islington and was pulled over on Islington making my way back down to the Queensway. The route I was taking is okay for trucks to travel on from 7am - 7pm and it was the fastest and most direct way that I could think of to get me out of the no truck area. The problem is that it was after 8:30 when I got off the highway.
The police officer was following me shortly after I turned onto Bloor and stayed so close to the trailer that I couldn't even see the car, just the glow of the headlights under the trailer. If I had known it was a police car I would have stopped and asked him for help because no map book or GPS tells what roads are OK for trucks and what roads are not and as a truck driver the last thing we want to do is go exploring toronto and driving down residential streets in the night.
Anyways, when he pulled me over on Islington I explained to him why I was there, I had no choice because the truck route was closed with no warning. He told me I should have called for a police escort, which I have never heard of, and no one I've worked with has ever heard of. And I work with people who've been truck drivers since the late 60's. When I asked if I could speak to a supervisor because I thought he was being unfair he told me if I spoke to his supervisor he'd write me a ticket for each no truck sign that I passed from the Kingsway to Islington... Honestly ! What the hell is that nonsense ??
Needless to say I'm extremely upset because this affects my personal license, my commercial license AND my company's license. Plus I get in trouble from my company, I lose my $225 safety bonus, plus $110 for the ticket and the points on top... and he has the nerve to tell me he's being nice ! I told him being nice would have been to pull me over right away when he saw me and help me get onto a truck route instead of taking advantage of the situation to punish me for something that isn't my fault. If there was a sign on the highway saying the truck route was closed I would have continued to the next highway exit and got on the Queensway there.
Sorry for the long rant btw
First, you have the defence of necessity: there was no reasonable legal alternative for you other than to drive on. (note: you better make sure that the route you drove on was THE ONLY ROUTE you could have gone, not just the shortest route if a longer legal route was available).
Second, the road sign must be bilingual in Toronto. If it isn't, then the sign is not valid and unenforceable. I am not allowed to link to my own site but you can read about this on my website: Step 5 -->bilingual argument.
Good luck and good fight.
Photographs of the route might help with this as evidence of "defence of necessity," in that you'd be able to show that there was no reasonable warning and, essentially, you got suckered into a "no truck" area.
You probably already know this, but when you're calling around, see if the paralegal is going to go all the way to get the charge squashed entirely or is going to stop with a reduction of the charge. Many of them will "guarantee" a win, but that can be as little as getting the charge bargained down to something slightly less, which, as you know, is still bad news.
If I go to court and negotiate to pay the full fine but get the points dropped, does it still show up on my abstract and CVOR ? If not then I'll happily part with the $110 and not get in trouble with work and keep my safety bonus. Mostly though it's the clean record that I've worked so hard to keep that I don't want to lose