It’s no secret that failing to stop at a stop sign in Ontario can get you pulled over.
But what’s your best course of action? Is it to fight the ticket in court or just pay the fine and accept it?
These are practical questions that more than likely come into mind when you get a traffic ticket.
It may even cause you anxiety, especially with how expensive insurance premiums are in Ontario. The last thing you need is to pay a fine that results in you paying more money to your insurance company.
In this article, we’ll look at the penalties for a stop sign ticket in Ontario and how you can fight it in court.
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Disobey stop sign definition
According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, a stop sign is defined as an octagonal-shaped red and white barrier erected at an intersection.
It must be installed on the right side of the road with the face visible to approaching traffic, about 3 meters away from where it’s mounted.
A stop sign is enforced in such a manner that you’re required to come to a full and complete stop at the marked line before proceeding.
According to section 136,1 of the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario, every driver approaching a stop sign at an intersection should:
- stop his or her vehicle or streetcar at a marked stop line
- if there is no marked line, then stop immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk
- if there is no marked line or crosswalk, stop immediately before entering the intersection
- yield the right of way to traffic in the intersection
Disobey stop sign charges
In reality, one of the most common traffic tickets in Canada is a stop sign violation, which has hefty fines and penalties if convicted. Now, if you are caught disobeying a stop sign in Ontario, the fine is usually $110. However, the fine isn’t the only penalty:
- 3 demerit points
- increased insurance rates
- conviction on your driving record for 3 years
Yes, penalties for disregarding a sign are not as severe as those for stunt driving. Nonetheless, having a disobey sign ticket on your record may be used by your insurance provider to raise your premiums for up to three years.
How to fight a disobey stop sign ticket in Ontario
Although it may appear to be a simple traffic citation for you, without an accurate understanding of intricacies, developing a strong defense strategy is difficult. In fact, there is no specific information in the Highway Traffic Act about how long you must stop at a stop sign in Ontario. We only know that a motor vehicle should come to a complete stop. This implies that a police officers perception of time or perspective may be questionable.
There are two options when it comes to fighting a stop sign ticket:
Hire a lawyer
If you want to beat a stop sign ticket in court, contact a local lawyer or paralegal with experience defending people who have gotten such tickets. In Ontario, you can get a free consultation from a competent traffic law attorney or paralegal who has dealt with this issue before.
File your ticket with the court
Within the first 15 days of the incident, you can file a disobey stop sign ticket with the court and meet with a prosecutor to discuss a potential substitute charge (if you’re sure the police officer has strong evidence to show how you failed to stop).
Even if a trial choice is chosen, a court may set an early meeting with a prosecutor date in order to ensure that there is cause to go to trial and only after a discussion about possible resolution has occurred to save money by offering a substitute offence.
Make sure you have a solid defense plan and are prepared for a trial before showing up for court. There’s also a chance to improve your odds of winning a disobey sign traffic ticket if the police officer doesn’t show up at the court for your trial.
Does a stop sign ticket affect insurance?
Yes, running a stop sign is considered a minor traffic offense that is typically handled the same as a red light ticket. Running a stop sign can raise your insurance rates, so keep this in mind when you do another rolling stop in the future.
The penalties for disobeying a stop sign ticket may be less severe than those of stunt driving or careless driving, but they are still costly. Increases in insurance rates and 3 demerit points can both cause you to pay much more money in the long run. Although fighting a stop sign ticket may seem like an uphill battle, don’t give up. The best way to see your charges reduced or thrown out is to hire legal help to represent you in court.
How long does a stop sign ticket stay on my driving record in Ontario?
A stop sign ticket stays on your driving record for three years.
What’s the best way to fight a stop sign ticket in Ontario?
Hiring a lawyer is the fastest and easiest way to fight a stop sign ticket in Ontario. By talking with a local traffic law expert, you can quickly get to work on building your defense strategy.
How many demerit points does a stop sign violation give me in Ontario?
In addition to fines and insurance rate increases, running a stop sign will add three demerit points to your license. Depending on your driving record, this may be enough for an insurance provider to cancel your policy or raise your rates well into the future.
How long do you stop at a stop sign Ontario?
Stop signs and other traffic signals set out the rules of the road, but they also serve as clues to drivers. The Ontario Highway Traffic Act does not specify how long you must stop at a stop sign before proceeding through the intersection, only that you should come to a complete stop. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your tires stop moving and you stop for at least 3 seconds.