Q&A - Driving Too Fast for Conditions
- Q&A |
- Speed |
- Traffic Tickets
My son was ticketed with driving too fast for conditions. The air and roads were dry. No 'conditions'. He was in an unfamiliar area at night and was in a roundabout which had a steep ditch on one side. As he was unfamiliar with the round about, he simply turned into the curb instead of following the curve of the road, and ended up over the curb and slightly down the embankment.
The tow truck came and pulled him out about 45 mins later (tow truck was called by police).
The police officer made no attempt to call us at home (our son is not yet the age of majority) and we could have pulled the vehicle out on our own.
The officer did not witness anything but came upon my son and his friend approx 25 mins after the "accident".
There was a "witness-of-sorts" on his balcony quite a distance away and apparently stated to the officer "those kids were probably going too fast".
There are no facts to support any speed infraction, no skid marks, no other indications.
It has been my experience that a vehicle does NOT need to be travelling at an excessive speed to jump a curb, especially a heavier vehicle with a higher floor.
He is disputing this as he is a relatively new driver (about a year) and doesn't want this on his record. Without evidence and the officer witnessing the "event" the ticket says transpired, will this stand up in court??
Also, I have heard that officers no longer need to come to court, but can give their statement by phone or email. Is this fact?
I hope I have picked all the correct questions to answer out of your story. If not, let me know.
To start with, request disclosure. This will give you a summary of the evidence that the officer intends to give in court if your son disputes the ticket. You may also wish to read my advice on how to deal with a traffic ticket. The circumstances of the collision alone may be enough evidence from the officer's observations of the scene. That will depend on what the court decides.
The "conditions" in driving too fast for conditions can mean many more things than roads that are not clear and dry. Section 144(1)(c) MVA says "a speed that is excessive relative to the road, traffic, visibility or weather conditions." This could mean going too fast to recognize a curve in the road ahead and not being able to negotiate it because you did not have time to prepare for and deal with it. This speed involved can also be a speed under the posted speed limit.
It is not necessary that the officer notify the registered owner of the vehicle that it has been involved in a collision. If the driver is able to do this and willing to undertake the task that is sufficient. You always have the opportunity in any case to call and talk to the officer about the circumstances if you wish to.
There is no necessity for the officer to wait and allow you to pull the vehicle out either. In fact, it could be reasonable to prevent you from doing this if you do not have the necessary equipment in order to maintain safety on the highway.
In most instances the officer will still need to attend court to testify. In some places affidavit evidence or testimony by video conference has been tried but I don't know the current status of it. Your court registry will be able to tell you how this will proceed if your son does enter a dispute.