Q&A - Crossing a Solid Line
Q: I was on a highway in bumper-to-bumper traffic approaching my exit for work and changed lanes to the right once I saw the end of HOV lane sign, and in doing so crossed a solid white line. An RCMP officer was on the side of the highway and waved me over. I explained that I would be exiting the highway and that's why I changed lanes. He gave me a ticket for violation of Section 151(b) - crossing a solid line.
I appealed the ticket and intend to plead not guilty on the basis of section 156, which suspends sections 151 and 155 under certain conditions.
I found your web site, read your Q&A on how to deal with traffic tickets and subsequently requested disclosure. I received a copy of the back of the ticket - there's not much written and some of it I can't decipher, but the notes relate to the HOV lane. I completely disagree with his assessment of where I was when I crossed the line. My questions are:
1. Since the officer's notes (and therefore, I assume, his testimony will) relate to the HOV lane, will establishing where I was with respect to the HOV lane be an issue? What happens if we have different recollections of my location? How does the fact that I was not charged with driving in the HoV lane play into things?
2. Is the officer first to testify? I could be mistaken (which is why I am asking you), but I believe I could make my case by cross-examining the officer, specifically by asking him if he recalls certain details of our conversation (that I was exiting the highway, etc.). If he recalls those details, do I then not need to testify? If he does not recall details of our conversation (it was a while ago), is my only option then to testify? At what point do I need to decide if I will testify?
3. Should I take to court some kind of proof of my work address?
4. Is there any value in explaining the circumstances of the day to the judge (which I also explained to the officer), or in mentioning my clean driving record?
I called the courthouse to ask about the court proceeding and was told that there is no standard as to how the hearing will proceed.