Question:  Today I got into an accident with another vehicle, i was travelling south in the right hand lane of a 3 lane roadway, the southbound being a double lane. I was intending to turn left across the two remaining lanes, and signalled my intent, checked my mirrors, and proceeded to turn. Unfortunatley, there was a vehicle in my blind spot, and I was hit on the drivers door by this approaching vehicle and we were both pushed into oncoming traffic, but both managed to drive safely off the roadway. I was doing less than 40 km an hour, but the other driver was not, I dont believe. He hit us pretty hard, but most of the damage was done to his vehicle. The police officer charged me with Change lane-not in safety contrary to highway Traffic Act section 142(1)…my question is, how can they charge me with an offense that says i failed to signal, when I absolutely signalled, and even had a discussion with the passenger in the other vehicle about her seeing me signal??? can i contest this??

Answer:  Section 142(1) of the HTA reads:

The driver or operator of a vehicle upon a highway before turning to the left or right at any intersection or into a private road or driveway or from one lane for traffic to another lane for traffic or to leave the roadway shall first see that the movement can be made in safety, and if the operation of any other vehicle may be affected by the movement shall give a signal plainly visible to the driver or operator of the other vehicle of the intention to make the movement.

As noted, you signalled your intent to change lanes and checked to see whether the movement could be made in safety.  However, the changing of lanes was not done in safety.  Your case would likely be resolved at a trial, although it is also possible that the charge may be reduceable to a lesser offence.  I would recommend talking with one of our Agents via our toll-free number 1-866-801-8299.

Greg Currie
Office Manager, London