It’s a beautiful sunny day. The car stereo is playing your favourite song. You glance up into the rearview mirror and then back to the road ahead only to notice an unexpected stop sign that you don’t have time to stop for. Do you have time to slam on the breaks and possibly stop partway through the intersection? Do you slow as much as safely possible and go through the intersection without stopping?  Minutes later, you find yourself stopped by a Police Officer and receiving a ticket for Disobey Stop Sign – Fail To Stop.Traffic Offence For Failure To Obey A Stop Sign

What does the ticket mean?  What are the penalties involved?  What can you do to fight the ticket?

Let’s take a look.

The Traffic Offence

A stop-sign-related offence may be issued under various wordings:

  • Disobey Stop Sign – Stop In Wrong Place
  • Disobey Stop Sign – Stop In Wrong Place – Community Safety Zone
  • Disobey Stop Sign – Fail To Stop
  • Disobey Stop Sign – Fail To Stop – Community Safety Zone

 Regardless of the specific wording of the offence, these charges are issued under section 136(1)(a) of the Highway Traffic Act:  “136. (1) Every driver or street car operator approaching a stop sign at an intersection shall stop his or her vehicle or streetcar at a marked stop line or, if none, then immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk or, if none, then immediately before entering the intersection.”

The three successive criteria are to first stop at the stop bar painted on the roadway, or if there is no marked stop bar, to stop immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk. If there is no crosswalk, you should stop immediately before entering the intersection. These three criteria can be contravened by either not stopping before the appropriate place (stopping beyond them) or by not stopping at all.