Q&A - Failing to Stop for Police

Q&A ImageHello.. I have a wee question that your experience might be able to offer some perspective for? I received a traffic citation for failing to obey an officer.

I approached 2 police vehicles in a meridian with a car parked between them. I could not see if it was Road block or MOA. I slowed my vehicle and moved to the right to allow passage of EMTs if necessary. The officer was standing at the side of the first vehicle, front wheel. He was difficult to see because the vehicle's lights shone into approaching traffic.

As I approached, he made a hand gesture at his side. I interpreted the gesture as "slow down". I slowed my vehicle even more. As I drove by a second officer stepped out into the lane and made the typical raised hand stop signal and motioned for me to pull over... which I did.

The first officer approached and asked if I saw him telling me to pull over. I apologised and told him I thought he was indicating for me to slow down. He asked if I had heard him call out and I replied no as I had the heater fan on high due to the cold temperature. He gave me a citation for failure to obey.

The court date is coming up and I am wondering if it is worth it to dispute it. If I don't dispute it I believe that 2 points will be applied to my license. It is frustrating when a person tries to be cooperative and conscientious and then are penalised. As a note, the officers on the opposite side of the stop were using the traditional lighted traffic batons to direct the traffic.

Any input or thoughts would be appreciated.

Comments

Answer

You did not mention the section number indicated on your violation ticket so I am going to make an assumption:

Failing to stop and state name

73  (1) A peace officer may require the driver of a motor vehicle to stop and the driver of a motor vehicle, when signalled or requested to stop by a peace officer who is readily identifiable as a peace officer, must immediately come to a safe stop.

An element of the offence is that the officer signalled you to stop or requested you to stop. This could be either verbally, through the use of hand signals or both.

If you are able to convince the court that you were unable to see, understand or hear hand signals or verbal commands it is possible to avoid being convicted. A complete explanation of the circumstances that you faced along with a physical demonstration of the signal given to you and the actions you took are what you could present at trial. If the justice agrees with you chances are reasonable that the ticket would be dismissed.

 

Thanks!

Thank you for the prompt reply. The information is appreciated. I believe the section is 123 although my ticket is faded from the 2 1/2 years wait for the court date. I do not think that it is possible to have points removed from a violation or I would have appealed to the justice for this.

More Information

OK, that is a section other than the one I chose and here is what it says:

Police traffic direction

123  If a peace officer reasonably considers it necessary to

(a) ensure orderly movement of traffic,

(b) prevent injury or damage to persons or property, or

(c) permit proper action in an emergency,

the peace officer may direct traffic according to his or her discretion, despite anything in this Part, and everyone must obey his or her directions.

This is a section geared more toward police controlling the movement of traffic on a highway in out of the ordinary circumstances. The control could include a direction to move somewhere and stop, which brings us back to what you understood the first officer's direction to mean. You will need to convince the court that you understood the direction to mean what you did, or that you didn't understand what it meant at all and slowed down further in case a stop was necessary.

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