I might be exposing myself as a complete idiot by telling you about this, however, I woke up yesterday morning to discover that my driver’s license was suspended. What’s even funnier is how it happened in the first place.
January 19, 2006
I was driving home in January along Queen’s Quay. As I rounded the bend to just before Lakeshore Blvd, I noticed to late a police officer with radar. I looked down and I was doing 70km in a 50km zone. Caught!
The police officer told me I was speeding and asked for my registration. I looked in the glove compartment for it but I didn’t have it. Now it occurred to me that I hadn’t received it. Ouch. Therefore, I didn’t have the proper registration. Ding a $115 charge. In addition, a $100 ticket for speeding. He was pretty cool though, he said that I had a clean record and if I went to the Ministry of Transportation in the next 24 hours and got my registration, he would wave the charge at the court hearing. Therefore, that’s what I did.
I waited for the court date to arrive by mail. I waited…but nothing came. I wonder if the mail was thrown out.
March 16 2006
Receives Notice of Fine and Due Date for tickets. However, it says complete this portion with your payment in enclosed envelope with no court date mentioned. Well this isn’t what I want to do. I want to go to court so I’m thinking, I guess I am not supposed to respond and this will mean I want to go to court. I think that’s what the police officer instructed me to do.
May 17 2006
We are in Montreal for the CMA convention. We arrive at the airport for our 8pm flight back to Toronto. It’s 6pm. When we enter our itinerary number into the kiosk, it instructs us to see the agent. Every kiosk told us to the same so it’s not the kiosk. I walk over the line up to see an agent. The agent tells me that all flight to Toronto have been cancelled because there are thunderstorms. If lightening is coming down around the run way it’s common practice to stop all flights. Therefore, we can’t get home until tomorrow. We’ve already spent four days in Montreal and it was time to go home. I said to Wayne and John lets get a rental car and go home tonight they were in favour. We went to Avis, Hertz, National, the only rental with a one-way car to Toronto was Thrifty. It costs $400 to get a car back to Toronto. It’s a deal. It would cost as much to stay over for another night.
We get to Toronto airport at 12am and home to bed by 1:30am.
May 18 2006
I wake up, look through the mail, and there’s a letter from the Ministry of Transportation, Notice of Suspension of Driver’s License. That means I just drove back from Montreal with a suspended license. Ouch. That’s lucky I wasn’t pulled over.
I went to the Ministry first thing. They directed me to go to the Ontario Court of Justice to register for an Affidavit in Support of a Request for Reopening. My license was suspended because I had not paid my fine, which explains the March 16 letter. Therefore, what I was actually doing was pleading for a new court date.
Since I had, only 4.5 hours sleep the night before I was really crusty. I had to fill out a very detailed five page document in duplicate for the offences. It was so long that when they called my number I was only half way through filling it out. They told me to come back to the window when I was finished and I could cut the lineup. When I came back, the woman who made the promise had gone on a break. I had to wait again to get to speak to someone.
The next step was to meet with the magistrate and plead my case. After waiting for 20 minutes, I was called into the magistrate’s office. He turned a tape recorder on a asked me some questions.
Magistrate: Why didn’t you pay your tickets?
Ian: I wanted a court hearing.
Magistrate: Why didn’t you appear for trial to dispute the charges?
Ian: I was doing only 5 km over the speed limit. I don’t have many traffic offences so I wasn’t sure what to do. The officer told me by not responding that I would be sent a court date
Magistrate: Do you know how fast you were driving. You were doing 70km in a 50 zone. The officer wouldn’t have told you that. You are supposed to read the back of the Offence Notice. It tells you what to do to get a court hearing.
He had me. I wasn’t even sure how fast I was driving.
But much to my surprise...
Magistrate: You will receive a new court date notice in the mail in 6-8 weeks. Don’t miss it this time.
I asked at the information counter how long it would take to get the suspension off my license. They said it would take about 4 hours to remove it from the police records.
Imagine if I had been pulled over for speeding on the way back from Montreal the night before.