Disputing An Excessive Speeding Ticket

Q&A ImageQuestion: Here's my excessive speeding scenario: West Vancouver, Highway 1, going East. Speed limit is 90. Snowboarders in a van with WA plates zip ahead pushing 140 going back home. Following the van I catch myself going pretty fast and slow down.

A couple of seconds after that I see a patrol car with lights on in hot pursuit behind me. I though he was after the WA van, but he pulled me over instead. I had my wife, a baby and mother-in-law in the car.

image of car depicting excessive speeding

The officer says I was going 142, which is 52 over the posted limit and guys in West Vancouver are so tough they impound Canada Post Mail trucks.

Couldn't Talk My Way Out Of It

The officer does not let me smooth-talk my way out of this one, is courteous and even calls me a cab to get back home with my brood. I get the $368 ticket for excessive speeding and my car gets impounded for 7 days.

$400 later for impound, and $600 for a week's rental I find myself having learned the lesson and observing speed limit regulations very carefully now.

Don't Want to Pay the Premium

The issue at hand is not so much the $368 tickets that I would have paid as I was clearly speeding, but the annual $320 risk premium that ICBC is going to invoice me via its Driver Risk Premium with on my birthday for the next three years as long as I maintain a BC driver's license.

This is why I am considering disputing the allegation of 148(1) MVA and plan to ask judge if it comes to it to change the violation to 146(3) MVA. I am prepared to get the same amount of points deducted (3), and pay the highest fine for 146(3) ($196), but this way I do not have to pay the DRP to ICBC for three years.

What could I expect in court?

For 146(3) to kick in, I will need to have been going faster than 90 and slower than 130. My ticket is for 142, which I think the van in front of me was doing. The less than 10% margin of error in calibration puts me below 130 km/h and into the 146(3) violation zone. I think.

Any feedback on the strategy?

Didn't See The Police Car

On a side note, the officer mentioned to me that he was stationary when I flew by, but he is nowhere to be seen in my DVR's footage. Shall I even mentioned my DVR and the fact that I cannot see the officer there?

Is It Excessive Speeding?

The only part of the explanation that is not clear is whether you were travelling more than 40 km/h over the posted speed limit or not. I think that I am safe to infer that unless you say otherwise.

The judge is interested in how fast you were going. If the finding is more than 40 over then the conviction is for excessive speeding. If not, then the finding can be "regular" speeding and a conviction under 146(3) is possible.

Let's Make a Deal

It is the officer that you need to work on prior to your trial. You can approach him or her outside the courtroom and volunteer to plead guilty to 146(3) and see if the offer is accepted.

Chances are good that it was laser that was used to measure your speed and it is used from a stationary position. Kustom Signals Pro Laser III, a common device, displays speed with +/- 2 km/h accuracy.

Your 10% figure is not a good one to rely on.

The laser is easily able to measure your vehicle's speed at distances over 600 meters. Just because you did not see nor did your camera record the officer's presence doesn't mean that he wasn't there. That is something you would have to investigate during the officer's testimony at trial.

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Thank you for your comments!

How do i write to the officer for disclosure? Addressing the main police office in West Vancouver in this case and specifying officer's last name (from the ticket)?

Could anyone please share a common format for the letter to the enforcement officer requesting disclosure?

Thank you.

For me I was stranded 220 km from the nearest town with no food, water, cell phone or any services. I spent the night in the woods in a T-shirt and shorts. I could of died if it rained. It took 2 days for me to hitch hike home as I had no money when they impounded my car for 7 days. I asked the officer can I turn it in once I get into town. No you can't do that so I was stranded in the middle of nowhere. I went to court no evidence so it was thrown out. I'm still out the impound and tow fee since they use a private company you can't get refunded. It's like highway robbery. I wasn't doing 152 in a 110 zone my car can't go 150 I tried when I got my car back to reach that speed even going down hill the most was 145 then the engine speed limiter kicks in and kills it.

My advise is this fight it. Goto court bring the video on a dvd so you can turn it over to the court. Play it on a computer or something so everyone can see after you question the officer. SO you claim to be on the side of the road is that correct? At what turn??? really here is a video that says other wise. that's when you use the video and don't get on the stand.

I would find out how he obtained the speed.  Is it possible he was behind you?  That would likely explain why he does not show up on your camera. 

I am wondering if he was behind you and the van, he's obtaining a speed from the van, you pull out between then and he now has your speed. You become the easier catch.