The offence for not stopping
The stop sign is one of the most common traffic signs a motorist will encounter. Failing to make a full stop at a mandatory stop sign is a violation of section 368 of the Highway Safety Code. According to this section, drivers of motor vehicles or cyclists must come to a complete stop at a stop sign and yield the right of way to any vehicle entering the intersection or coming close enough to risk an accident. Therefore, drivers are required to bring their vehicles to a complete stop and yield the right of way.
The presence of a stop sign is typically accompanied by a stop line on the road. In such cases, the driver must come to a complete stop in front of the stop line. If there is no stop line on the road, the driver should stop at the location of the stop sign itself, as per Quebec (Directeurs des prosecutions criminales c. Côté, 2015 QCCQ 2092). In the case when the stop line does not align with the stop sign, stopping at either one will be considered compliance with the requirements of Article 368 of the Highway Safety Code (Laval (Ville de) v. Blandino, 2012 QCCM 19). It’s crucial to stop your vehicle at the stop line because stopping too early, as demonstrated in Gatineau (Ville de) v. Gagnon, 2013 QCCM 131, may be considered a failure to safely engage the intersection.
The defence of impossibility for a stop sign ticket
The defence of impossibility could be valid if the driver, for a reason not attributable to them, could not clearly see the stop sign or come to a complete stop in time. However, it is important to mention that the presence of ice or snow is not a valid defence within the defence of impossibility. The courts have previously determined that it is the driver’s responsibility to adjust their driving to suit the prevailing road conditions, as established in Quebec (Directors of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions) v. Roy, 2016 QCCQ 5936.
Penalties for not stopping at a stop sign
A statement of offence issued under s. 368 will incur a fine of $80 to $100 for a cyclist and $100 to $200 for a motorist. Furthermore, this offence will lead to the addition of three demerit points to the driver’s record.
What to do if you receive a stop sign ticket
Have you received a statement of offence for failing to stop in front of a stop sign? Our traffic ticket lawyers will be able to analyze your case and give you the facts about the options available to you. Contact us immediately.