Q&A - I Wasn't Speeding, Just Exceeding the Limit

Q&A Imageso today i got a ticket in vancouver at the georgia viaduct, there were about 3-4 cars driving in front of my 5 ton truck when i got onto the viaduct from downtown and about 200-300 meters away the road forks into two on to prior and the other to main.

the cop with the radar gun was parked with his motorcycle on the prior side (left side of the fork), i see him from pretty far away and looked at my speedometer to make sure i wasn't speeding (limit is 50km/h so 60km/h shouldn't be something i get pulled over for right?) but as i do this i notice 2 cars head towards the prior side of the road and i remember thinking "hmmm they're much faster than me, they gonna get tagged". then those cars just fly right past the cop and then the cop hand signals me in front of his bike so i pull over thinking "he's got this wrong i wasn't even speeding, i'll just explain".

i get asked for license and registration, and i gave him both before i asked why he pulled me over, he shows me the gun it reads 77km/h. then i proceeded to tell him that must be wrong cause i know i was at 60km/h and that the gun showing 77 couldn't have been me, no reply. then he reaches up and grabs the window ledge, my window was rolled down and he used the door to pull himself up to look into the cab. then asks my other two co workers who were with me at the time for their identification, they do as he asks.

couple minutes later he gets on his bike and tells me to follow him down the viaduct until we are on prior and pull over right where the sidewalk starts, he pulls up behind me, gets off his bike and walks to my window and says "one of you have to walk now, the driver has a N and cannot drive both of you" and one of my coworkers does as he asks.  then he hands me a blue copy of the ticket that reads 3 MVA offenses:

1. speeding 146(1) $196

2. fail to display L or N 30.13 $109

3.disobey DL restrictions (#pass) 25(15) $109

two of which i admit im wrong, 2 and 3. and im not saying i don't deserve punishment for those two offenses but it never would have been ticketed had he not accused me of speeding. after he gives me the ticket i voice my complaint again about how i wasn't speeding in the first place and he tells me "there are instructions on how to dispute the ticket if i am not satisfied" and rides away in his motorcycle. i look at the ticket again and realize that the cop never asked me to sign it. can i argue that the ticket wasn't legally served? and what kinda actions should i take to properly dispute this speeding ticket?


Well, 60 in a 50 IS speeding. While we would like to think that the officer will deal with the fastest vehicles, there may have been something about your truck that made you more interesting. What is the big fish in your mind is not necessarily the big fish in the officer's mind. How accurate is the truck's speedometer? Has anyone ever tested it?

If the device the officer used had a single opaque white plastic dome on the end opposite the display, you were measured with radar. If it had two glass lenses you were measured with laser. If it was laser the officer is able to measure you separately from the other traffic present, something that is more difficult to do with radar.

There are two articles here on the site that will be of interest to you, one on disclosure and one on how to deal with a violation ticket.

The fact that you didn't sign for a copy of the ticket is not important. You will find an article on this site already that explains this issue as well.

Don't worry about the long post. The more information you give the easier it is to respond.

well i know 60 in a 50 zone is still 10 above, but if that is the case...how come there aren't 100,000+ tickets given out daily? im not trying to be smart, just that everyone drives 60 in 50 zones, and about the speedometer (not saying i don't need it) but i can tell the difference if i looked at the speedometer and it said 60 but i was actually going 77 (don't know if you've ever driven a 5ton) but a 17km/h boost would have a obvious effect on the way the truck moves.

i think it was a radar, not sure, when he pointed it at me there wasn't two little circles it was more like a square glass panel.

and if the obvious speeder going 20-30km/h faster than the rest of traffic isn't the big fish in the officer's eyes, than that officer needs to go back to training or something, a traffic cop with a speedtrap that doesn't trap speeder's, in no ones ears could that possibly sound right. even you OFFICER.

i appologize if i started to sound rude, i know that cops don't wake up thinking "OH IM GONNA CAUSE TROUBLE TODAY!!! WHOOOOO!!!" but thats what this cop seemed like he was after. i didn't wanna type a huge post and complain about how rude he was, but he was on a power trip, at one point during my interaction with this cop, he was telling me to drive farther down the viaduct where the sidewalk starts and i looked towards that direction to confirm and all i hear from the left side of my head is "LOOK AT ME WHEN IM TALKING TO YOU!!! <---- not exaggerating with the !!!'s"

not really a talk about speeding tickets anymore haha, more a discussion of "WHAT GOES THROUGH THE MIND OF A POLICE OFFICER" i mean if the first thing i did when i saw him was roll down my window and call him something, fine be as rude as you possibly want to me cause i deserve it, but i am a polite person, i said hello officer, i said here you go officer in the kindest tone i could possibly muster when i gave him the license and insurance, did he have to be so harsh and tag me with everything? its not like im some driver with a horrible driving record, other than a couple parking tickets and one tailgating ticket 2 years ago my record is clean. its like he was playing duck duck goose with his speed detector gun.

my questions are, how accurate can cops aim those things? how accurate are the speed guns in general? do they malfunction often? are all police officers trained with real life situations? can the officer use it accurately when there are multiple vehicles approaching, some fast some slow, but generally line of sight for all of them begin at the same point? (this is exactly what happened)(pretend its radar)

man trying to convince you aint gonna help, but i still feel compelled to try.

(so I edited it out of your last response)

If you are unsatisified with police services, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner for police forces other than the RCMP. Otherwise you need to complain to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. If you do not want to make a formal complaint in this way you may choose to speak to the officer's supervisor instead. I agree with you, if your communication with the officer is civil, you should expect the same in return.

What is important in your eyes to deal with is not always what may be important to the officer at the time. There were many times in my career that I let the faster vehicle go in exchange for something that caught my eye. There is nothing that says the officer must take the fastest vehicle, or any vehicle at all for that matter. If I didn't think it was safe for me to try and flag a vehicle over, I didn't.

With regard to the choice of charges, again, it is up to the officer. They are all justifiable in law or he would not have wrote the ticket the way he did. Should he have filled all three blanks or should he have just chosen one or maybe two? Hard to say. Even if I was there as an observer, I might not have agreed with either of you about what should or should not have been written. What is up to you is not to give him the opportunity to write. Leaving the speed aside, the other two violations were certainly within your control.

Given your description of the speed measuring device, I am confident it was a laser. At a distance of 300 meters the laser puts a spot on your vehicle about as big as an orange. Radar is radaring everything in sight by then. As long as there is an uninterrupted straight line of sight between the device and your vehicle the officer can accurately target only you, even in heavy traffic. These devices are generally accurate to +/- 1 km/h at 50 km/h, significantly more precise than your speedometer.

You must have received officially sanctioned training in the use of these measuring devices before you are allowed to use them for enforcement purposes. My training included real life practice at the roadside. Over 25 years, I had radar stop working properly once and laser not at all. It was immediately obvious to me that the radar was not working properly so it was immediately shut down and sent for repair.

Aiming a laser is simple. It is equipped with a scope such as you would use with a rifle. You fix the red dot on the target vehicle and make the measurement. Part of the testing before you use the device each shift is to check the aim. You need a distant horizontal and vertical edge to pan it across in test mode and you listen for a tone to change as soon as the aiming spot reaches the edge. If it does not, it needs to be re-aimed.