CASE LAW - R v Ren
Zihe Ren was convicted of speeding for traveling in excess of 80 km/h in the posted 50 km/h zone of the 4900 block of West 16th Avenue in Vancouver. He appealed the conviction citing that:
- The investigating officer, by mistaking the model of his vehicle on the traffic violation ticket, demonstrated that he was “obviously absent-minded" and it should be assumed that he was equally absent-minded about his estimate of the accused’s speed; and
- The decision is invalid because the investigating officer did not provide calibration records of his “speeding radar".
Madam Justice Gropper found:
- In respect of the officer’s error concerning the vehicle’s model name, I agree with the Judicial Justice in his determination that the model of the vehicle is not an essential element of the offence, nor is it essential to have that on the violation ticket at all. The mistake in the model on the violation ticket is simply that: a mistake. It does not mean that the officer was absent-minded in any respect.
- Mr. Ren did not challenge the operation or calibration of the laser device until he set this out in his grounds for appeal. He did not question Cst. Toews about it. He did not suggest to the Judicial Justice that the device was not properly calibrated. While Mr. Ren is entitled to trial fairness and the right to make full answer in defence, it is also clear that he must seek disclosure diligently and in a timely manner. His failure to do so is an important factor in determining on appeal whether a new trial should be ordered...
Mr. Ren's appeal was dismissed.
He was totally speeding, eh? But let's take an overview of this.
Over the last few years, we've seen a lot of discussion about speed limits, highway engineering, and policing. Including some very useful statistical information that our site host has obtained from ICBC, which clearly shows that the majority of tickets issued are for speeding.
Comparatively few tickets (less than 5%) are for illegal lane changing, or following too closely, or disobeying right-of-way. That's not my personal opinion, that's what the data shows.
Typically, the authorities (more often than not, municipal traffic engineers) claim that the speed limits they have set reflect the conditions. But take a look at the 4900 block West 16th Avenue, and tell me why this piece of roadway is zoned at 50 km/h! Open view, multi-lane (plus an adjacent bike lane), few intersections, zero pedestrians beside the highway. And it's not like they have signs up advising of this ridiculous limit on speed - that ticket was issued under the default (non-sign-posted) MVA rule.
Oddly enough, the other day I drove up Hwy 19A through Nanaimo. From one traffic light to another, many intersections, no shoulders ... and the posted limit was 80 km/h. Ridiculous! Should be 60 or 70 at most.
You won't see the RCMP over there bothering with speed enforcement in sections like that. But the VPD are utterly lacking in objectivity - for them, it's not the quality of the tickets they hand out that counts. Only the quantity. I have nothing but contempt and disrespect for their traffic enforcement priorities.
Signs show 70km/h
I've looked at Google street view and for Aug 2015 (and every previous available date) the signage shows 70km/h:
From the decision notes it appears that its signed 50km/h for the February 12, 2018
Has it been lowered?
Not sure if I'm understanding you, here
There is indeed (and has been since at least August 2015) a 50 km/h sign posted just after Blanca (4600 block I think).
But our eastbound driver in the 4900 block hadn't passed it yet.
Signs are there...
One can discuss what the the speed limit should be there. But was 60 until a couple of years ago - and most people did 80. And often didn't slow down at Blanca. Now they do usually less than 65.
Also, there are often pedestrians crossing.
I find it interesting that the Vancouver Police have been doing more enforcement there - given that it is outside the city limits. They must see issues with drivers still going fast once they cross Blanca into the city (or think they do)
In 30+ years, I've never seen the RCMP (who work the Endowment Lands) do any enforcement on 16th.
Coming home today (eastbound on 16th), I counted signs - there are 3 50 kmspeed limit signs between Wesbrook and Blanca (4 if you count the one just before Blanca) - in a distance of a couple of kilometres.
Don't think one can say you don't know what the limit is there.
Take another look!
To make sure my memory wasn't deceiving me, I just 'drove' on Google Earth eastbound on West 16th Avenue, from where it commences at the intersection of Southwest Marine Drive.
There aren't any speed limit signs until after you've been through the two roundabouts at Ross and Wesbrook intersections (so presumably you're still in a 60 km/h zone as that was the posted limit on SW Marine).
No, sir. There are two - not three - 50 km/h speed limit signs as you continue eastbound. After those, the next speed limit signs you'll pass - and there's one on each side of the road, just to be clear - raise the posted speed limit to 70 km/h. Outrageous has helpfully provided a picture of this, above, although I think that pair of signs may be for the same section or road, but westbound.
The speed limit sign at/near Blanca is irrelevant, as our driver hadn't got that far yet. Besides, if there was a 50 km/h sign in effect, then the ticket would have been under Section 146(3) rather than Section 146(1):
So this comment deserves consideration and examination:
Because I think one can say exactly that.
The Internet is always correct???
Nice that you had a nice drive on Google.
I had a nice drive in a car. Speed limit on 16th east of Wesbrook is very clearly 50 km/h - clearly marked so and has been for a while...
Can't comment on the legalities of the Section used for the ticket. But that area is not in a municipality....... unless the MVA reassigns different meaning to that term.
Argue the evidence, please!
Also, that's way too many question marks.
Until the speed limit is subsequently changed by new signage. To 70 km/h. It's not like 50 km/h is the speed limit in effect until you reach the end of the earth, regardless.
And while the internet certainly isn't always correct, and the (four year old) Google Street Maps signs are the best I've got to offer, it's solid evidence unless someone has something more updated they can provide here.
Seriously, as soon as I have a chance, I'll take another drive through that section to see if the 70 km/h signs have been removed, or actually replaced with 50 km/h signs. No doubt you'll do the same. Either way, the pedestrians crossing at Blanca will remain as safe as ever, as the limit has been reduced to 50 km/h just prior to that intersection.
Incidentally, I think your previous reference to jurisdiction may be quite relevant:
It begs the question of what the VPD Traffic priorities may be, in terms of enforcement. Because that is not a high collision area.
I don't think you are reading my posts.
I drive that road every weekday - including last Friday - as I said in my first post. (and drove it today - although only westbound so far)
50 km/h signs only - and enough to make the limit clear. No 70 km/h signs.
As a separate isssue, always thought that the 50 k default limit was in 'built-up' areas (or some wording like that).
So at UBC, where much of the campus does not have speed limt signs, does that make the limit 80 km/h? - even though it's more built up than many municipalities. (Although I expect the RCMP can nail one for a generic unsafe driving if you really went that fast)
Speed in a Municipality
Yes, there are default speeds that signs are necessary to depart from.