Improper Driving Violations

Turn Not In Safety, Improper Left Or Right Turn, Change Lane Not In Safety, Unsafe Move, Following Too Close

All the abovementioned charges may cost you 2 – 4 demerit points in case of conviction and are considered as minor offences. Thus many people don’t take them seriously sometimes but in vain. These offences might result in fines and also cause your driver’s licence suspension, depending on your classification and driving history.

Usually, these tickets are issued by police in cases of an accident. However, it’s possible to be charged even if you’re not involved in a collision. 

Let’s take a closer look at each charge separately.

Unsafe Left or Right Turn (Turn Not in Safety) Ticket

Sometimes drivers take turns without using the signalling device or fail to consider their road environment when taking a turn. This can result in a traffic ticket or in an accident, or both.

There are several sections about improper & unsafe turns in the Highway Traffic Act. Unsafe left turn tickets or unsafe right turn tickets – quite “popular” ones, and are regulated mainly by section 142(1). It states that before turning the driver should make sure that:

  1. the movement can be made safely;
  2. the operation won’t affect any other vehicle, provided that there is a clearly visible (to other drivers) signal about the intention to make a movement.  

If a driver doesn’t follow these two requirements, they might result in getting the following tickets: 

  • Unsafe turn ticket Barrie;
  • Fail to signal for lane change;
  • Fail to signal for turn;
  • Change lane not in safety. 

As regards unsafe lane change in Ontario: for safety, it is advisable to always indicate (by signalling) when making a change of the lane, especially if your movement can influence other vehicle’s operation on the highway. Even if there are no cars on the road (near your proximity), better to make sure that you’re visible. Otherwise, you may face negative consequences.

Penalties for such tickets are:

  • $110 fine;
  • 2 demerit points;
  • And definitely it can influence your insurance rates.

Improper Left Turn Ticket & Improper Right Turn Ticket

These turn violations are related to those turns, which were made when it is prohibited and from the wrong lane. Improper turns could be quite dangerous and may cause a collision because it’s quite difficult for other drivers to predict your next maneuver. 

There are several regulations related to improper turns:

  • Improper right turns: sections 141(2) and 141(3) of the HTA;
  • Improper left turns: sections 141(6) and 141(7) of the HTA;
  • Turn contrary to sign at intersection: section 144(9) of the HTA;
  • Disobey sign: section 182(2) of the HTA.

Consequences of improper turns tickets:

  • $110 fine;
  • 2 demerit points;
  • A conviction remaining on your driving record for 3 years. 

Chances are your insurance rates will be affected too. 

Unsafe Move – Lane or Shoulder Ticket

According to the Highway Traffic Act, section 154(1a), a driver shouldn’t drive from one lane to another or move from the shoulder or to the shoulder without making sure that it can be done in safety.

Penalties for unsafe move tickets:

  • $110 fine;
  • 3 demerit points;
  • Possible insurance rates increase.

Following Too Closely Ticket

This offence also falls under the Highway Traffic Act, section 158(1). According to it, the driver shouldn’t follow another car or vehicle closer than “reasonable” and “prudent”, considering vehicle speed, road conditions and traffic. 

As you can see, the wording of the H.T.A. doesn’t require a certain following distance by the rate of speed as well as doesn’t specify how road conditions or traffic can influence this distance. Although, in general, the courts and policemen use one car length per 10 km of vehicle’s speed as a measurement of safe distance. 

You can be charged with the  following too closely ticket in several scenarios:

  • a police officer witnessed you were following too close to another vehicle on the highway;
  • in case of an accident, where you’ve rear-ended the other vehicle. 

Penalties for driving too close ticket upon conviction:

  • $110 fine;
  • 4 demerit points;
  • 30 days licence suspension for novice drivers (1st offence).

Such offence will stay on your driving record for 3 years, thus it’ll impact your insurance premiums. 

Anyway, the formulation of the law (namely “reasonable and prudent having due regard for the speed of the vehicle and the traffic on and the conditions of the highway”) is a matter of interpretation by the court. It also means that you can always argue about your case and prove that your following distance was reasonable. 

But keep in mind that your following too closely ticket defense strategy shall be well-prepared for argument with the court. It’s already proven that such excuses like “my brakes failed” don’t work and judges are skeptical of it.

According to the experience of our clients, it’s very difficult (almost impossible) to win your follow too close ticket alone because it’s quite hard to prepare reasonable proof of the distance between you and another car, actions taken to avoid the accident etc. 

Moreover, if you get the following too closely ticket with accident involved, there should be a totally different strategy, proving that you’ve got the wrong charge. 

Thus we always recommend not fighting it alone.

When it comes to the decision to fight the ticket for improper driving or to pay a fine and plead guilty, we always recommend fighting them. Taking into account that such tickets as unsafe turn ticket Barrie, improper left or right tickets, follow too close, unsafe move ticket etc. require the police officer to record their own judgment and come to a quite subjective conclusion about the situation occurred. Hence, if you received a charge where the policeman needed to perform his personal opinion, you might be able to dispute that assertion. 

How to Fight Improper Driving Violation Tickets? 

Step 1: As advised, hire an experienced traffic ticket lawyer, who can provide you with a personalized legal strategy to fight your ticket. Since that moment you can forget about all those hassles such as visiting the court, documents preparation, etc.


Step 2: Plead no guilty, file your ticket within 15 days and request a trial date. Just in case you may ask for disclosure (witness statement and policeman’s notes). Make up your defence strategy by yourself and be ready to protect your driving freedom in court.

Step 3: Show up at trial. Prepare to be questioned by the prosecutor and make sure you have another story about what happened as proof of your not guilty.

At first sight, those steps look quite easy but in reality, they don’t. X-COPS has handled thousands of trial cases and could utilize our broad knowledge and experience to build your defence strategy and beat your ticket for improper driving violations. Call us today to check what we can do to make your case dismissed!

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