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Fight Your Unsafe Turn Ticket In Ontario
Unsafe turn tickets, or Turn – Not in Safety tickets, are issued for a variety of reasons in Ontario. A police officer may charge a driver with turn not in safety as the result of a motor vehicle accident. While the charge itself is considered a minor offence, there are a variety of reasons that a driver may choose to fight the unsafe turn ticket.
What is a Turn Not in Safety ticket?
A traffic ticket for turn not in safety is often the result of a motor vehicle accident when one vehicle is alleged to have made an unsafe right or left turn in front of another vehicle with the right of way. Although it is considered to be a minor offence, it is still a moving violation, therefore there are implications for being convicted of an unsafe or improper turn charge, including:
- Demerit points
- Insurance increases
- A conviction on your driving record
Each one of these penalties can be a factor in a driver’s decision to fight their unsafe turn violation.
A charge issued under section 141 (2), 141 (6) or 142 (1) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act carries 2 demerit points for a driver, if convicted. While this may not seem to be a concern for most fully licensed drivers, novice or professional drivers should be concerned about demerit points. A novice (G1, G2, M1, M2) driver can only accumulate 9 points before they face a 60-day driver’s license suspension. A professional driver could lose their employment for acquiring 2 demerit points.
Insurance rate increases are common for charges issued with an accident involved. If you are deemed “at fault” in an accident by your insurance company and issued an unsafe turn ticket at the same time, you can expect a significant increase in your insurance premiums. Even having a single conviction of turn not in safety on your driving record without an accident will usually result in an increase in your insurance rates.
The set fine, or out-of-court settlement amount, for a turn not in safety, improper left turn, or improper right turn ticket in Ontario is $85.00 plus the Victim Fine Surcharge. If you are issued a summons for making an unsafe turn, the fine is determined by the court. It ranges from $85.00 to $1,000.00 plus the Victim Fine Surcharge.
Conviction on your driving record
If you are found guilty or plead guilty to a turn not in safety ticket in Ontario, the conviction will go on your driving record. There are a variety of reasons a driver would want a clean driving record, including:
- Acquiring employment as a professional driver
- Acquiring employment as an Uber, Door Dash or Skip the Dishes driver
- Maintaining employment as a driver
- More affordable insurance rates
- Consideration for good driving record
Professional drivers may be required to maintain a clean driver’s abstract to maintain their current employment. Worse yet, if a professional driver is terminated from their job due to a conviction for an unsafe turn violation, it will be much harder for the driver to find new employment with a conviction on their driving record.
What does the law say about Turn – Not in Safety or Improper Turn tickets?
If you receive a ticket or summons for an unsafe turn in Ontario, you will likely be charged under section 142(1) or 142(2) of the Highway Traffic Act, which addresses signalling and turning safely as follows:
Turning at intersections
Right turn at intersection
(2) Where a driver or operator of a vehicle intends to turn to the right into an intersecting highway, he or she shall, where the highway on which he or she is driving has marked lanes for traffic, approach the intersection within the right-hand lane or, where it has no such marked lanes, by keeping immediately to the left of the right curb or edge of the roadway and he or she shall make the right turn by entering the right-hand lane of the intersecting highway where the lane is marked or, where no such lane is marked, by keeping immediately to the left of the right curb or edge of the roadway being entered. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 141 (2).
Left turn, at intersection
(6) Where a driver or operator of a vehicle intends to turn to the left into an intersecting highway, he or she shall, where the highway on which he or she is driving has marked lanes for traffic, approach the intersection within the left-hand lane provided for the use of traffic moving in the direction in which his or her vehicle is proceeding or, where it has no such marked lanes, by keeping immediately to the right of the centre line of the highway and he or she shall make the left turn by entering the intersection to the right of the centre line or its extension and by leaving the intersection in the left-hand lane provided for the use of traffic moving in the direction in which his or her vehicle is proceeding where the lane is marked or, where no such lane is marked, by passing immediately to the right of the centre line of the intersecting highway. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 141 (6).
Signalling turns and stops
Signal for left or right turn
142 (1) The driver or operator of a vehicle upon a highway before turning to the left or right at any intersection or into a private road or driveway or from one lane for traffic to another lane for traffic or to leave the roadway shall first see that the movement can be made in safety, and if the operation of any other vehicle may be affected by the movement shall give a signal plainly visible to the driver or operator of the other vehicle of the intention to make the movement. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 142 (1).
Signal when moving from parked position
(2) The driver or operator of a vehicle parked or stopped on the highway before setting the vehicle in motion shall first see that the movement can be made in safety, and, if in turning the vehicle the operation of any other vehicle may be affected by the movement, shall give a signal plainly visible to the driver or operator of the other vehicle of the intention to make the movement. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 142 (2).
What defences are available for an unsafe turn ticket in Ontario?
The Highway Traffic Act is the governing legislation for turn not in safety or unsafe lane change tickets. It sats that, before making a turn, a driver must:
- Ensure the turn or movement can be made safely, and
- Give a signal to other drivers to indicate the intention to turn/move
This simply means that a driver must look first, determine it is safe to proceed, signal their intention to turn or move, and proceed safely. But what if all these steps are followed and a police officer still issues an unsafe turn ticket to a driver, or if an accident occurs regardless? Or what if an officer observes a driver turning safely but the driver didn’t signal the turn? In these situations, you may have a defence to the charge. A turn not in safety ticket is a strict liability charge. This means that you may have a winnable case in court if you contest the ticket.
Unsafe Turn Ticket FAQs
What types of unsafe turn charges exist in Ontario?
How many demerit points can I get for an unsafe turn ticket?
Can I be charged for an unsafe turn even if there was no accident?
What are some examples of unsafe turn charges in Ontario?
What are the penalties for improper left or right turn tickets?
How long does an improper turn ticket stay on the record in Ontario?
An improper turn ticket can stay on your driving record for 3 years.
Can I really beat an unsafe turn ticket with the help of legal services?
How can OTD Legal help with unsafe turn tickets?
We provide a free and professional case evaluation, offer legal advice, and help you prepare a defense strategy to fight your unsafe turn ticket.
What should I do if I receive an unsafe turn ticket?
It’s recommended not to pay the fine without considering your options. You can consult with legal services for a free ticket review and explore the possibility of contesting the ticket.
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Exercising your right to fight the ticket
Because every situation is unique, the best way to determine if you have a defence to your unsafe turn violation is to enlist the help of a knowledgeable and experienced legal representative. Our team is one of the most successful firms in Ontario at winning unsafe turn violation charges. We offer a no obligation free consultation to help you determine if you have a defence and give you a quote based on your individual case and facts. A call to OTD Legal Services will immediately put your mind at ease and help you determine the best steps to take for the most successful outcome. Call us now at 1-866-647-6869 for a free quote.