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Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 12-18-2009, 03:23 AM   #1
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Another Yellow Light Violation Question

I would like some advice.

I was issued a running a yellow light ticket a couple nights ago at a very busy East Vancouver intersection.
I would say I just had entered the cross walk when the light turned yellow, I increased my speed to make it thru the intersection safely, I was stopped and given a ticket.

The officer did mentioned he believed "I was going probably 50,65 maybe even 70" when I checked the ticket he only issued me the yellow light ticket.

Honestly I do not know how fast I was going but I did feel it was unsafe to stop and safe to proceed based on the following:
- There were no cars in the turning lane.
- It was still drizzling out, and it had been raining most of the day.
- I didn't have the best pair of tires on which I have since changed to snow tires.

I tried pleading with the officer and stated I felt it was unsafe to stop, and even explained the reason why I was in that area and offered proof (I was dropping off a 100 pairs socks for the homeless).

He said "he gives a lot of people breaks but because of the area and the number of homeless and druggy pedestrians in the area it was a dangerous place to be running a yellow"

How should I approach disputing this, or should I even bother?

The ticket yes is a $167 which I can pay next week and have reduced by $25. What I really care about is the points as I believe I already have one or two tickets; both I have paid because I knew I was wrong (speeding). It bothers me because I really do believe if I tried stopping I would of ended up in the intersection.

I have a couple lawyer friends and clients that might do me a favor and dispute it if I ask them but rather not use a favor on this.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
Honestly I do not know how fast I was going but I did feel it was unsafe to stop and safe to proceed based on the following:
- There were no cars in the turning lane.
- It was still drizzling out, and it had been raining most of the day.
- I didn't have the best pair of tires on which I have since changed to snow tires.
A few points:

How does no cars in the turning lane affect anything?
You were probably going way too fast to properly judge the point of no return.
Snow tires shouldn't negatively affect your stopping distances.

My guess of what happened is that you were speeding, then the light turned yellow, you panic'd for a moment on whether or not to stop, but it was already too late - you were in the intersection and you had to gun it to make it through.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidTurbo View Post
A few points:

How does no cars in the turning lane affect anything?
You were probably going way too fast to properly judge the point of no return.
Snow tires shouldn't negatively affect your stopping distances.

My guess of what happened is that you were speeding, then the light turned yellow, you panic'd for a moment on whether or not to stop, but it was already too late - you were in the intersection and you had to gun it to make it through.
No cars in the oncoming turning lane, as in no one might turn into his way as he tries to make the light.

He didn't have snowtires on at the time, he only had tires that were "not the best."

@OP, I think you should just go in a dispute it if you firmly believe that you couldn't have stopped in time for the light. You could dispute the ticket yourself and not have to ask your friends for a favour.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:16 AM   #4
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My fault for not reading the part about the snow tires correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
I increased my speed to make it thru the intersection safely, I was stopped and given a ticket.
The OP was going the speed limit, he would not have had to speed up to make it through the intersection. The duration of the yellows is calibrated with the speed limits. Thats why yellows are much longer in highway stop lights.

Extra speed makes it hard to judge the point of no return.
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:15 AM   #5
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go to court and fight it. light tickets are the easiest to fight in court. just tell the judge that the light was still green when you were 5 feet from the intersection, and then it had turned yellow, at which point if you tried stopping on a wet road you would end up in the middle of the intersection. the judge will throw it out
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by xpl0sive View Post
go to court and fight it. light tickets are the easiest to fight in court. just tell the judge that the light was still green when you were 5 feet from the intersection, and then it had turned yellow, at which point if you tried stopping on a wet road you would end up in the middle of the intersection. the judge will throw it out
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:35 AM   #7
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I only sped up once I made the decision to proceed thru the intersection. I do not believe the officer captured my speed as he did not state an exact number other then a "range that he thought" when issuing the ticket. It was also very dark out (9pm) and wet at the time.

And making sure no one was in the turning lane is extremely important. I would not of wanted someone in the turning lane to try to beat the light, which commonly causes accidents.

As you can guess this is not my first ticket, but this is the first one I feel I should dispute. Usally I just ask the officer for a reduced fine before entering the court room, or pay it early and get a discount.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:43 AM   #8
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dont bother negotiating with the officer in this case. he should not have given you a ticket, and will most likely not even show up to court. if he does, plead not guilty and tell the story to the judge.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:58 AM   #9
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Were there any vehicles behind you? Generally speaking, if you see a stale green light (ie. been green for a while), you should be anticipating a change. Basically, it's failure to anticipate and if you tires were no good and it was wet, then you were driving faster than conditions permitted you to do so. That being said though, if you feel that it really was unsafe for you to stop, then dispute it and give your reasons. If you're lucky, the officer won't show up. Good luck though.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:14 AM   #10
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You may only continue through a yellow light if it came on when you were so close to the intersection that you could not physically stop in time. The fact that you were speeding on "not the best tyres" is not a defense to the charge. They will look at the distance you were back from the intersection when the light changed to yellow. Using a time over distance formula they will be able to say that someone who was outside that area, driving at the speed limit, would have been able to stop before the intersection. Speeding up while running a light, into a high crash area, is a BAD driving technique.

Yellow light
128 (1) When a yellow light alone is exhibited at an intersection by a traffic control signal, following the exhibition of a green light,

(a) the driver of a vehicle approaching the intersection and facing the yellow light must cause it to stop before entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, before entering the intersection, unless the stop cannot be made in safety
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:02 AM   #11
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and how is the cop going to prove how far away from the intersection he was before the light turned yellow? this is a bullshit ticket, fight it for sure
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:53 AM   #12
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Actually it is really easy..you measure out a marker at a certain distance from the stop line and write that down in your notes. This is the point at which you can safely stop before the light, at the speed limit and based on the time the yellow light is on before it turns red. You time several cycles of the yellow to confirm the time. All you have to then say is that the vehicle was back before this decision point and was capable of safely stopping. You don't have to say the exact distance, although I sometimes measured several points for reference in court. The only BS here is in your attitude. Considering that most crashes are at intersections, and most are cause by light runners ( or complications arising from them), this is a 100% valid reason to issue a VT.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:38 PM   #13
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the only reason i have this "attitude" is because of tickets like that. if the OP had caused an accident by his actions, then he deserves the ticket. but in this case it's just a tax, just like most other tickets. gotta meet the quota somehow right
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:03 PM   #14
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Tax grab? yes
A lesson for the driver to driver more slowly so that the driver can stop in time for the yellow light? Yes - for next few drives.

It majorly sucks that OP got ticketed while doing some charity. Somewhat heartless of the officer who should have given OP a break or even a reduced ticket.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:46 PM   #15
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If he had actually just entered the crosswalk when the light turned yellow...ie. it turned yellow immediately as his car crossed the crosswalk, then he would have a defense as I stated above. However, they may have been more to this story than has been related to us. I cannot see how a Traffic member would even consider issuing at VT IF the car was in the process of entering the crosswalk...it would not make sense and he would be embarassed in court and the VT would definitely be tossed by the JP.

If the light turned yellow, at 50 kmh he would have cleared the intersection before he even realized the light had turned yellow and reacted. He said he had time to see the light turn yellow and accelerate to clear the intersetion before he cleared it. Do the math..things do not add up, nor do the distances.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:50 PM   #16
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and like i said if the OP actually goes to court for the ticket and pleads his case, the ticket will most likely be thrown out. I have seen a red-light turn ticket thrown out. I don't know if you are aware of the roads in Burnaby, But this particular ticket involved a semi-truck turning right. There's a right-turn arrow at the light of Canada Way and Willingdon, turning onto willingdon to go northbound. The trucker said that he began his turn on a yellow and by the time he finished the turn the light had turned red. The cop said that the trucker began his turn on a red. The judge said well, the light cannot be both yellow and red at once, so I cannot make a decision in this case, and threw the ticket out... pretty straight forward
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:58 PM   #17
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Perhaps in this case that you mention, but most of the time the JP will decide in the cops favour. Same as speeding. Driver says he is going 50 and the officer says the car was going 60. Driver usually is found guilty.

For traffic court, you are guilty until proven innocent (unofficially)
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky
I would say I just had entered the cross walk when the light turned yellow, I increased my speed to make it thru the intersection safely, I was stopped and given a ticket.
You contradict yourself... if it had just turned yellow as you were entering the intersection, then you wouldn't have had to speed up or even had time to think about speeding up... you'd have been in the intersection already and no worries. And you'd have no ticket.

Go and fight it... then tell us in a year and a half what happened.
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:08 AM   #19
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Gnomes, thanks that exactly how I felt I could of been out with my friends or at home after a long day at work. But instead I was running around between vancouver-richmond-burnaby to buy a 100 pairs of wool socks to add to the 100 pairs of gloves, juice boxes and wagon wheels we are handing out next week. Then getting stuck with a $167 fine for a subjective ticket. I made sure to tell the officer merry Christmas after he handed me the ticket.

jlenko, you are correct that I probably did not need to speed up.
But I did which was a reactions to being in the intersection when the light was yellow.

Zulutango, could you please do the math for me.
How wide is a crosswalk? and how quickly do you clear a cross walk at 50kmh? A fraction of a second?

My defense
I know I had entered the cross walk on a yellow. Be it if I was going 30 or 80 the ticket that was issued is for a yellow light. I believe it was unsafe for me to stop, I was aware of the slick conditions, my driving abilities, and the tires I was running.

The Officer from what I have been told has to prove that it was safe for me to stop. He has no pictures, he had not captured my speed which is apparent by the range he quoted me, he did not issue a ticket for speeding, and he has not driven my vehicle. Yes an officer has experience but what makes him a better judge of what I felt was safe vs unsafe.

I am also getting a second opinion on the intersection. I heard it has a red light camera, if that is the case and no picture was triggered that would strengthen my case would it not? Please remeber Iam not disputing a speeding ticket.

I will update in a year or so I guess, what a waste of my time normally I would pay it but this ticket upsets me.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:02 AM   #20
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The crosswalk width is not material to the calculations. You may not enter an intersection after the light turns yellow...the "intersection" starts where the outside edge of the crosswalk is. Very roughly you will be covering about 14 metres a second at 50 kmh. The lights usually cycle with the yellow at about 3 to 4 seconds.

As far as the safety factor goes...the Police do not have to prove that you could have stopped safely....YOU have to prove you could NOT stop safely. The distance measurements and timings are rebuttal evidence to your claim that you could NOT stop safely. The Police only have to prove that you crossed that crosswalk after the light had turned yellow. See the MV Act section above. As far as the red light camera goes, it may have not triggered for many reasons....the criteria set by the camera for the number of vehicles in the picture area, the camera might not have actually been working or even in the installation at that time, that you may have been going so fast that you cleared the trigger point. Remember the red light camera requires you to enter the intersection AFTER the light has gone RED, not yellow. Having bad tyres, the road being wet or your lack of driving skills are explanations but not a legal excuse. The Cop or the JP may then say that, in spite of knowing these risk factors, you were driving too fast for the situation and conditions. If I was prosecuting and you said that, I would certainly raise that as 'mens rea" ( guilty mind).
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xpl0sive View Post
go to court and fight it. light tickets are the easiest to fight in court. just tell the judge that the light was still green when you were 5 feet from the intersection, and then it had turned yellow, at which point if you tried stopping on a wet road you would end up in the middle of the intersection. the judge will throw it out
Please don't listen to these guys. They are want to be roadside lawyers.

The same type of guys that will get you in more shit since they absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Unless they have a degree in Law, you should not listen to their "advice". Take everything they say with a grain (if not a pound) of salt.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:49 PM   #22
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I surprised by the amount of "angels" in here that wouldn't admit to running yellow lights.

Personally, I run yellows too if there is no left turner.

Because if there is no left turner, I feel I'm not being an "ass" that's preventing left turners from turning on the yellow.
And the perpendicular traffic isn't gonna be able to go, so there is no chance of T-bone accident.

I mean, if you're running late yellows, that's pretty bad. But no reason to brake hard just to stop for a yellow when there is no left turners to yield for.
That's just my logic, I don't see how it's unsafe.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:01 PM   #23
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I have investigated crashes where the "perpendicular" traffic was running towards the light and entered the split second "your" light turned red and you had not cleared the intersection. Not worth the risk for a few seconds in saved time.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:38 PM   #24
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So, xpl0sive, want to tell me why you failed my post? Do you have a degree in Law that I don't know of? If so, I sincerely apologize. In fact, if you do, I would fail my own post.

So which is it? Law degree or speaking out of your ass?
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:30 PM   #25
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i had failed your post not because i thought i was a lawyer, but because you are expecting lawyers to be answering to ticket questions on RS... the OP had posted a question, on a PUBLIC forum, asking for people's opinions. if he wanted lawyer's opinion, he would probably have contacted one and paid him $400/hour for a consultation. If i had a law degree i wouldnt be wasting my time answering questions on RS. I simply shared by personal experiences with the OP to help him make his decision and formulate a defense in order to successfully beat the ticket. so how am i talking out of my ass or being a "roadside lawyer"? because i think the RCMP are a bunch of crooks? then sure, im talking out of my ass for sharing my personal opinion
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