Amber light fight: Winnipeg man challenges traffic ticket over timing

Man fighting traffic ticket over timing of amber light

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg man fighting a traffic ticket says he couldn’t have safely stopped for a red light because the amber signal was too short.

James Aisaican-Chase, who is 71, pleaded not guilty after he was ticketed for running a red light in October 2015 at a city intersection with a camera.

The Crown has offered to drop the charge for compassionate reasons because Aisaican-Chase has terminal lung cancer.

But he says he wants to fight the ticket despite his health status.

A trial isn’t set to start until September, but Aisaican-Chase has been allowed to give advance testimony because he is sick.

He has told court he was on his way to a doctor’s appointment the day he got the ticket.

Aisaican-Chase testified Wednesday that he was travelling the 80 km/h speed limit when the light at the intersection turned amber.

He said he maintained his speed and drove through the intersection.

“In my mind I couldn’t have stopped safely without being in that intersection,” said Aisaican-Chase. “It wasn’t sufficient amber to clear the intersection.

“I did not know that amber was just four seconds.”

His lawyer said no other city has four-second amber lights. He wants Winnipeg to change its policy.

A spokesperson for the city said four seconds is the standard time for amber lights in Winnipeg and across the province.

“It provides predictability for motorists when they are making a decision about travelling across an intersection,” the spokesperson said.

The official said other cities use similar values or calculate values for each intersection using a standard equation, which may result in amber times varying in duration.

(CTV Winnipeg)

The Canadian Press