Q&A - Is It Legal for Traffic Police to Hide?

Q&A ImageIs it legal for the traffic police to hide when conducting enforcement? For example, hiding some where or at night and drivers cannot see them.



In general, for the purposes of traffic enforcement, there is no reason that the police cannot hide and then successfully prosecute a violation that they observe.

A driver on a highway has no expectation of privacy when police observe how they drive.


Thanks. In the dark night,


In the dark night, how can they provide photo evidence to point the car whith plate number?

Flash Photography?

Red light cameras use a flash for night photography.

Automated Licence Plate Recognition uses an infrared camera in low light.

Is it Legal for traffic police to Hide?

(A driver on a highway has no expectation of privacy when police observe how they drive)

So does this go the other way as well, if we see a member driving erratic or breaking a law can we report? They should as well be held accountable for their driving just the same as every other driver.

Now I know what you're going to say, perhaps they were on the way to a call. I've been on highways were menbers went past me at alteast 15km. over the posted speed limit, actually this happens often. Now lights and siren, or lights only I can see, but on normal patrol exceeding the speed limit should be mentioned to the sargent.

Why do they hide?

If the point of traffic enforcement is to prevent drivers from doing things that are dangerous on the roads, why do the traffic enforcers hide in order to catch drivers in the dangerous act? Wouldn't they be more effective at preventing the undesired behavior, that everybody is already aware is bad, just by standing prominently at the intersection looking important and vigilant in their iconic red coats, leather hats and high heeled boots? Why not? Aren't they just condoning the undesired behavior by hiding from the public view only to pounce on the offending driver after the offense was already committed? If their goal and expectation is to prevent undesired behavior, shouldn't we ticket them for every-time they don't prevent the undesired behavior, especially if it is reasonably prevented just by them standing there?

If writing tickets is supposedly a public good and a proper way to deter undesired behavior, shouldn't there be less and less tickets issued year after year? Not more as is the case with almost every single jurisdiction that issues road tickets, where the amount of the increase of tickets issued year over year is several fold higher than the increase of road users from the additional new drivers!

If accident prevention and safety is the primary concern, grave enough to infringe and limit everyone's charter rights in a special judiciary decision that such limitation is for public good; and if everyone is paying for the insurance to aid everyone in-case of an accident, why is there no regular anonymized publication of the reported accidents for which prevention has failed and our premiums have been used to cover the damages: i.e. When, what, how it happened and why?

Having an open and neutral public incident review and follow up has decreased the oil sands industry injury rates dramatically. Why regular and timely public accident reporting and analysis isn't part of the ICBC's safety agenda? If I see or hear a vehicle collision at an intersection near my house, I want to be able to logon to ICBC's website a week later and know what happened, so I could learn to not do that myself. Why do I have to rely on the following: "It was Texting, Speeding, Alcohol, pick one, or two or three at your own discretion. Speed Kills *throws right arm swiftly into the air at a 45 degree angle to the sky with a palm open towards the ground*."

Hiding in plan sight

One could also argue that "hiding" or using unconventinal unmarked vehicles invites the drivers to be vigilant at all times as they don't know when big brother is watching. It is of little value to evaluate how a person drives near a police vehicle, it matters most how he/she drives when they are not around as let's face it, that's 99% of the time.

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