On a busy morning while dropping your children to school or on the way home after a hard-working day or driving to a date with your girlfriend, we always face the question in our minds when we approach various intersections: “Do I need to stop for the traffic light switching from green to amber?”, Right?
Sure, we’re right. Considering that we’re always busy and there are so many traffic lights on the road. It’s always a dilemma. But we don’t have any (almost any) doubts about the red light.
Today we’re going to tell you when to stop and when – not.
Red Light Ticket – Fail To Stop
Running a red light ticket falls under the regulation of the HTA, section 144(18). It says that every driver approaching the traffic light with a red signal should stop his/her vehicle and shouldn’t proceed until the traffic signal is green. Here “stop” means complete and full stop.
Where to stop? This is also regulated by the HTA and according to section 144(5) driver shall stop:
- at the stop line (road marking) or at the stop sign;
- before entering the crosswalk (if there are no sign and marking);
- before entering the intersection (if there are no 2 above-mentioned conditions).
If you fail to follow the law, chances are you’ll be charged with a red light traffic ticket that amounts to a minor liability offence. And its outcome is not very pleasant.
Penalties for failure to stop at a red light ticket:
- 3 demerit points;
- Fine from $200 to $1,000.
If you receive a summons fine for running a red light can reach $1,000 + court costs.
Demerit points will stay on your driving record for 2 years. Additionally, a conviction for a red light traffic violation can affect your insurance premiums in a negative way.
Amber Light Ticket – Fail To Stop
Often drivers become very surprised when they get charged for failing to stop for amber light. Because they are sure that they can always pass through it.
Section 144(15) of the Highway Traffic Act states that approaching a traffic light with an amber signal every driver should stop his/her car if it’s possible to do it safely. If you cannot stop your car safely you can proceed through the amber light with caution.
This ticket is a bit more tricky, compared to a red light traffic ticket. Why? Because “to do safely” can be a kind of subjective judgment. Police officer views the car/vehicle from a distance and he could have a different opinion. Whereas a driver (being on the road) feels and checks the overall traffic and road conditions, the proximity to the traffic light, and, considering his driving skills, can estimate if he can stop safely or not.
Accordingly, if you received a failure to stop at an amber light ticket – you should definitely fight it with the help of an experienced amber / red light ticket lawyer.
Penalties for failure to stop at an amber light ticket:
- 3 demerit points;
- Fine from $110 to $500.
Same as passing a red light ticket, upon conviction it can affect your insurance rates and demerit points will stay on your driving abstract for 2 years. Moreover, if you accumulate a certain quantity of demerit points you may face licence suspension or get it revoked.
How To Fight Failure To Stop At Red Light / Failure To Stop At Amber Light Tickets
We truly believe that every ticket must be fought in court. And there are several ways how to fight a red light ticket in Ontario:
Way 1 (simplified): Just call your experienced traffic paralegal, tell your story and discuss your defence strategy. This is the best option if you want to save your nerves, money and time.
Way 2 (more complicated): Here you need to defend yourself. Filing a ticket to the court, negotiation with the prosecutor about your charge (at an early resolution meeting), asking for disclosure, trial process preparation and participation – you’ll have to be ready to carry out all of this stuff.
Remember, even if fighting a red light ticket or amber light ticket may sound quite simple for you, you should prepare a more serious argument than “I didn’t get through the red/amber light”.
X-COPS provides FREE initial case evaluation. So, you can call us and we’ll let you know your possible options. We’re beating red light tickets as well as amber light tickets almost every day for over 20 years. Our skilled team knows how to reduce or withdraw your charge, we know how to talk to prosecutors and which questions to ask.
That’s why before you consider simply paying your ticket, contact X-COPS for a free consultation.