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Old 10-08-2013, 11:23 AM   #1
Cheryl
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Default Red Light Ticket

Has anyone had a chance to go in front of a judge to contest a red light ticket?

I received one in the mail yesterday. I wasn't driving at the time, my nanny, who has a Learner's License, was. We were practicing her driving at the time and I confess, I got a little distracted by my daughter in the back seat who was throwing a tantrum at the time. The ticket says that the offence occurred 0.4 seconds after the red light was activated and it costs $287 (ouch!).

We've already paid $1,000 in driving lessons for her and are planning to buy her a used car so that she can better her life here in Canada. I know she can't afford the ticket because she sends money home to her family every month. I'm wondering if I go before a judge and explain the situation if we might get the ticket thrown out? It was simply an error in judgement by a relatively new driver. If I felt that she didn't have a good command of the road and driving skills, we would get her more lessons but I think this is just a case of needing more practice and not being distracted.

So should I take part of a day and go to court, or just pay it and be done with it?
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:48 AM   #2
Chmilz
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Going in front of a judge will probably be the worst thing you could do. "Your honor, I'm totally guilty but I don't want to pay, can you give me a discount?" will probably not go so well.

Your best options are to first go see a first appearance prosecutor at the courthouse at any time and see if he'll reduce it, or pay it and learn from the experience.
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
Ustauk
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If you don't want to take time off work, the people at Fight That Ticket can help to reduce the amount of the fine for a nominal fee. They're ex-traffic cops and know the processes and who to talk to to help with tickets.

If you ever have a demerit offence, they may be able to help get the charge reduced to a less serious one, to save on the fine and the number of demerits. They also offer a driver safety course when handling such cases that can be used to knock a demerit off your license, included in their fee.

I've heard from someone else that for photo radar tickets if you go down to the courthouse and ask for full disclosure of all paper work related to the case, they may drop the fine, since the cost of retrieving the paper work outweighs that of the ticket. Given the amount of fine in the case of a red light camera offence, this may not apply.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:10 PM   #4
expat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustauk View Post

I've heard from someone else that for photo radar tickets if you go down to the courthouse and ask for full disclosure of all paper work related to the case, they may drop the fine, since the cost of retrieving the paper work outweighs that of the ticket. Given the amount of fine in the case of a red light camera offence, this may not apply.
That sounds like legitimate grounds for increasing the size of fines if this is actually the case.

Drivers who continually try to wheedle out of paying their dues are scum. Pay up and don't do it again.
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Old 13-08-2013, 07:55 AM   #5
Marcel Petrin
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Keep in mind that you don't get a red light ticket for entering the intersection during a yellow light. If the violation really was 0.4 seconds after the light, the vehicle entered the intersection extremely late and could well have T-boned a car advancing on green in the perpendicular direction. Even if it was an "honest" mistake, it was an extremely dangerous one.

That is assuming that it wasn't a "rolling stop" right hand turn on red.
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Old 14-08-2013, 01:45 AM   #6
Cheryl
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Thanks everyone. I called the law courts and they told me I could come down at any time and speak with a JP and they would likely lower the fine. I fully realize running a red (even 0.4 seconds after) is dangerous and will likely just pay it anyway. I guess I was just feeling like I wasn't getting any good karma coming my way, despite trying to help someone out and she has been working really hard on improving her driving.
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Old 14-08-2013, 02:25 AM   #7
KC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheryl View Post
Has anyone had a chance to go in front of a judge to contest a red light ticket?

I received one in the mail yesterday. I wasn't driving at the time, my nanny, who has a Learner's License, was. We were practicing her driving at the time and I confess, I got a little distracted by my daughter in the back seat who was throwing a tantrum at the time. The ticket says that the offence occurred 0.4 seconds after the red light was activated and it costs $287 (ouch!).

We've already paid $1,000 in driving lessons for her and are planning to buy her a used car so that she can better her life here in Canada. I know she can't afford the ticket because she sends money home to her family every month. I'm wondering if I go before a judge and explain the situation if we might get the ticket thrown out? It was simply an error in judgement by a relatively new driver. If I felt that she didn't have a good command of the road and driving skills, we would get her more lessons but I think this is just a case of needing more practice and not being distracted.

So should I take part of a day and go to court, or just pay it and be done with it?
Since she is driving with a learner's permit, and you are a license holder, I'd say your job is not to get distracted. You might come away with another fine and a lecture about the safety of your child had you had an accident.
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