Inquiry: Good morning! I have a problem that I hope you can help me with. I was driving with my family in the country and took a turn down a side road to go exploring. We came up to a collision with police cars there. One of the officers came up to me angrily demanding to know why I was driving on the road when it was closed. I told him that I didn’t know that it was closed and wouldn’t drive on the road if I knew that it was closed. He was still angry and said that the road was clearly marked as closed and gave me a ticket for driving on a closed highway. When we turned around to go back we did see that there was a orange road barricade but that it was off in the ditch on the opposite side of the road. The ticket doesn’t seem fair and it just seemed like the officer was just having a bad day.
Response: I’m sorry to hear that your country drive went so poorly. You have likely been charged under Highway Traffic Act section 134(3). If so, the ticket would result in a 3 demerit point penalty if you are convicted or plead guilty.
Section 134(3) of the Highway Traffic Act states:
“Driving on closed highway prohibited
(3) Where signs or traffic control devices have been posted or placed under subsection (2), no person shall drive or operate a vehicle on the closed highway or part thereof in intentional disobedience of the signs or traffic control devices. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 134 (3).”
It certainly sounds like you did not intentionally drive on the closed road and that the barricade placed by police was not clearly visible or had been moved from clearly marking the road as closed. You may have a good defence to the ticket based on this, but I would need to speak with you directly in more detail to verify the specifics of what happened. Hopefully we could meet with the Prosecutor in advance of an actual trial to simply have the charge withdrawn.
If you would like to call our office via our toll-free number 1-844-647-6869 either I or one of my staff would be happy to assist you with this matter. We offer a free initial consultation without obligations to retain us. However, if you would like to retain us you will be in good hands and we will take care of the initial court filing for you to begin the process.