Halifax driver fights ticket after crash, blames large snowbank
'You have to put it somewhere other than the middle of an intersection,' Tanya MacKenzie says of snow
A Halifax woman says she should not be held responsible for a traffic accident that occurred at an intersection she says was not properly cleared of snow.
It happened when Tanya MacKenzie was driving home from work on Saturday afternoon. She was on Dunbrack Street in Clayton Park and went to turn left at the intersection with Farnham Gate Road.
MacKenzie said she stopped because an oncoming car — in the outside lane — was going straight. She inched into the intersection to see past a snowbank in the middle of Dunbrack Street.
She said an oncoming car coming in the inside lane was not visible until it was too late for the driver to stop.
"I don't believe he probably saw me either, based on the snowbank," MacKenzie said Tuesday.
The cars collided and police were called to the scene.
MacKenzie said the officer spoke to witnesses and the other driver, but didn't ask her much about what happened.
"'I hate to add insult to injury,' he said, his words, 'But I have to give you this ticket for failing to yield to oncoming traffic.' I was in shock," she said.
'There was nothing that was visible'
MacKenzie said she took the ticket and the officer told her she could contest the fine of $176.45. She said that's not the point.
"I'm upset that I received a fine at the scene for turning left and not yielding to oncoming traffic that I couldn't see," she said. "I saw the car in the outside lane that was coming and I waited for it. After that, there was nothing that was visible."
She's hired a lawyer and hopes to take on the city over the ticket.
"Certainly any claims that might come forward that citizens have would be assessed by our legal department and be evaluated based on the evidence," said Tiffany Chase, a spokeswoman for the Halifax Regional Municipality.
"A review would be made and a decision on whether or not the claim had any merit would go forward."
MacKenzie said the accident was preventable and there was a similar crash at the same intersection on Monday evening.
"I know we have a lot of snow," she said. "I know that snowplow drivers have a hard job, but you have to put it somewhere other than the middle of an intersection."
'I'm nervous to be behind the wheel'
MacKenzie said the car was a gift from her 74-year-old aunt and was fully outfitted with brand new studded snow tires. She does not yet know if the car is a write off.
In the meantime, she is driving a rental car with all season tires and is feeling less than safe.
"I'm nervous to be behind the wheel, or even a passenger right now considering the road conditions and stuff as they are," she said.
MacKenzie said her boyfriend has been taking photos of the intersection to document the size of the snowbank.
"If you go and look at the street, everybody's talking about it and how you can't see there. I know they're talking about it all over the city how you can't see past the snowbanks, they're so high," she said.
"It doesn't make it OK to leave it there and risk people's lives like that."