Police

Information related to the police.

Measuring Vehicle Speed With Laser

Laser GunI can remember the anticipation when our highway patrol unit was issued it's first laser speed measuring device, an LTI 20/20 Marksman. Imagine! Here was a device that we could point at a single vehicle in the traffic stream and accurately measure only it's speed. It was fast enough to re-target and measure the vehicles around it too. No one would want to use hand held radar once we were trained on this.

Am I Making a Difference?

Question MarkThis was a question that I asked myself more frequently as my time in traffic enforcement with the RCMP grew longer.  Everyone wants to do their job well, and mine was to encourage the motoring public to conform to the law in the hope that doing so would minimize the number of collisions in my patrol area. If I was successful, no one would be hurt, our insurance rates would fall and I wouldn’t have to write so many tickets.

Measuring Vehicle Speeds With Laser

Laser GunHave you ever wondered about the instruments that the police use to measure vehicle speeds on our highways? My favourite tool was the laser because it gave me the ability to accurately measure the speeds of individual vehicles even when they were in a group on a busy highway. Although the laser had to be used from a stationary position, either hand held or on a tripod, I was willing to trade my moving radar for it when I worked on busy multi-lane highways.

Why Don't I See Traffic Police at Work?

Ticket WriterYou might be surprised to learn that this was a topic of conversation among my colleagues when we sat down for a coffee break during a shift. Most often one of us would have been travelling during their vacation and the remark would be something along the lines of “I drove all the way to X and back and didn’t see anyone stopping violators!” Maybe there is something to the remark “Where’s a cop when you need one?”

CASE LAW - R v Wong

BC Courts Coat of ArmsOne way of preparing for a traffic ticket dispute is to request disclosure from the officer who issued it. It was relatively rare to receive such a request but when one did appear the disputant often asked for everything, including the tread depth of the right rear tire on the police car. It was fairly clear that the request was based on advice found on the internet rather than obtained from a lawyer. Disclosing less than what was requested (but still reasonable in the circumstances) resulted in complaints to the justice at the hearing.

The Not-So-Professional Driver

Truck Tractor and TrailerI'm one of those odd drivers who tries their best to drive at or below the posted speed limit. I include the word below here as sometimes there is a need to slow down to less than the posted speed limit for safety reasons. This often has consequences for me when I have to share the road with other drivers who do not subscribe to my philosophy on road safety. A good example of this is looking in my rear view mirror and finding the Volvo logo on the grille of a heavy transport truck following me closely enough that I could count the bugs stuck to it.

CASE LAW - R v Jacobson

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThe police must follow the provisions of the Emergency Vehicle Driving Regulation when they intend to employ the exemption from the rules of the road set out in the Motor Vehicle Act. In this case, Constable Jacobson was driving his police vehicle on Highway 97 at Daimler Drive in West Kelowna approaching a red light. Hoping to save a few minutes arriving at a complaint he activated the police vehicles's emergency lights and siren about 4 - 5 vehicle lengths’ back from the beginning of the left turn lane on Highway 97 going south. He attempted to make a left hand turn in the intersection and was struck by a northbound Jetta.

NEWS - Reporting Bad Driving With the Vic PD App

TextingThe Victoria Police Department has announced an app for both Apple and Android devices that may be used to report incidents of unsafe driving. The app extends a complainant's ability to report a traffic complaint on line. Depending on the level of involvement that you choose, the complaint will be taken for general information, a warning letter or court action. The app is available for free download now.

THREE STRIKES - I'm Out!

SoapboxOne of the more frequently asked questions that I receive from visitors to this site concerns reporting bad driving behaviour to the police and having the offending driver held accountable. Until recently, I would point the person to the article Q&A - Making a Driving Report to the Police and encourage them to take an active role in the complaint so that something effective would be done. When I was working and received an earnest complaint I would take the time to investigate it and issue a ticket if warranted. If not, I would explain the situation fully to the complainant when I thought that I would be unsuccessful prosecuting and decided not to issue a ticket. I cannot recall an unsuccessful prosecution of a ticket like this as the driving behaviour that led to it was usually so far out of the norm that it was easy for the justice to decide.

What do I Have to Tell Police During a Traffic Stop?

Ticket WriterWhat do you have to tell police when you are the subject of a traffic stop? I've often been asked about whether you have to answer the casual conversation at a road check that might include questions like Where are you coming from? Where are you going to? How much have you had to drink tonight? The answer is no, you don't.

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