Q&A - Speeding Ticket on the Georgia Viaduct

Q&A ImageI got a speeding ticket today at Georgia Viaduct and here is what happened: I was driving down Georgia St (middle lane) heading east.  Knowing that Georgia Viaduct is a speed trap (I received a ticket at the same spot two years ago), I stayed behind a Grey Mazda 3 and made sure I was within the speed limit (around 50km/hr).

As we approach the fork (around 200 meters from the cop), the Mazda 3 (4 or 5 car lengths in front of me) all of a sudden slow down and I signaled and switched to the left lane to avoid rear ending him (in my mind I knew there was a cop there).

After switching to the left lane (around 200 meters from the cop), I saw the cop and the Mazda and I slowed down as we approached him.

To my suprise, the cop let the Mazda through and pulled me (the 2nd car) over and said I was driving 85km/hr and I clearly wasn't.

I have 2 problems with this ticket:

1. Where there any other vehicles present around my vehicle when the measurement was made?

  • Clearly yes, as the Mazda 3 was clearing in front of my vehicle the whole time except the last few hundred meters when the cop is waving us in which he had his radar down already.

2. Was there a clear line of sight between the speed measuring device and my vehicle?

  • No. As I said, I was behind the Mazda 3 the whole time as we head straight towards the cop except for the last 200 meters which by then the cop is already waiving us in.

I personally think the cop pulled me over instead since I was on the left lane and assumed I was going faster than the Mazda which he had the measurement.

Let me know if I have a case here.


This may sound skeptical but

This may sound skeptical but please bear with me:

1) One does not simply switch to the left lane to avoid rear-ending a vehicle 4 to 5 car lenghts ahead while traveling at around 50km/h. As the cars zoom by there at around 90km/h, a safer choice would have been to ease off the accelerator.

2) The Georgia Viaduct is a 3 lane one way concrete-clad super highway. One could easily maintain 130km/h while staying in own lane, and much higher if using the entire surface of the roadway. Majority of drivers I've observed there go around speed-limit in stop-and-go traffic only.

3) It is posted 50km/h - large signs on both sides at the last intersection. You most likely got a ticket for speeding against the sign or speeding in a municipality. (Please post the actual offense)

It would be very difficult to argue your case due to the infamous location where you got caught.
Remember - you are expected to drive no more than 50.00km/h there. You would have to cast sufficient doubt on the evidence provided, which in your case is probably a Laser Speed-gun; and even if you successfully refute the evidence of Lidar - which would be a feat on its own - the officer than will tender their own visual estimation that you were definitely driving over 50. Can you say with a straight face that you were driving at or below 50km/h on The Georgia Viaduct in-front of the Justice and the attending public? I'd giggle a little if I were there.

Around 50km/h is not the same as at or below. The law is clear about speed-limits; and despite this being an obvious "gotcha" speed-trap, you've had the right intention to use that other car to cover your driving position; but you went against your own better judgement by switching to the left. It is not silly to assume that this happened right through the curve - and as the two of you were just coming out of the apex (*imagine in slow motion) your car appeared more bada$$ in the officer's red dot reticule. Officer pressed the trigger - the device satisfyingly beeped back and the reading showed... JACKPOT!

P.S. Drive 50km/h in the right lane, that way you can see further ahead and spot the speedtrap earlier.


The Fork?

I'm not understanding this, maybe.  Although I've been driving across the Georgia Viaduct basically since the day it was constructed, and obviously aware that as that portion of Georgia Street eastbound, having morphed into a multi-lane one-way street and heading downhill at the end of a synchronized traffic light flow (the sort of situation that the Vancouver Police generally find irresistable) I've never actually never seen them monitoring that section.

And the only fork I can think of is at the other end, where the Prior/Main St ramp separates the traffic lanes physically; and surely there's nowhere for them to hide and seek at that point.  I may have actually exceeded the speed limit on the viaduct myself at times around there.  Ahem.

So where were you, exactly?  And where were they?  And where were you, precisely, when they clocked you?

So the cop was around 200

So the cop was around 200 meters passed where the Prior/Main St ramp separates. I was in the middle lane on Georgia Viaduct, which becomes the right lane of Prior St.

I was in the middle lane, behind a Mazda 3 thourgh out the entire trip until where Prior/Main St ramp separates.  This is when the Mazda 3 slowed down from whatever speed he was doing to well below 50 probably because he saw the cop in the last minute. I switched to the left lane for 3 reasons: 1. Mazda 3 slowed down well below the speed limit 2. Left lane was clear, no traffic 3. I was going around the speed limit thinking that there was no reason for the cop to pull me over.

Once I switched to the left lane, I saw the cop standing on the right lane (the lane that the Mazda 3 was on, which was the middle line prior where Prior/Main St ramp separates) stepped out, . We both slowed down as we approach the cop.  Cop waved the Mazda 3 through, and pulled me over from the left lane.

He didn't tell me where and when he clocked me. He just said "You were going 87, you would've gotten excessive speeding if you went 3 KM faster"

I said "No I wasn't going 87. The Mazda was going way faster than me. Why did you pull ME over"

He said "No you were going faster than the Mazda 3"

Unless the cop clocked me in the last 200 meters (which I highly doubt it since he was already waving us in) there's no way he could've seen me coming and point the radar/laser at me as I was behind the Mazda 3.

Sorry, if I wasnt clear. Yes

Sorry, if I wasnt clear. Yes I switched to the left lane at where Prior/Main St ramp separates. Thats like 200 meters from the cop when he was already waiving us in. So for the entire trip I was behind the Mazda 3 except the last 200 meters cause of the Mazda slowed down to well below 50km as he saw the cop. I switched to the left lane since there was no traffics on the left and as I know that I was within the speed limit (50km/hr +/- 3 or 4 km/hr). I admit I am not perfect. So I couldn't say I was not perfectly under 50.

So here are my 2 objections:
1. He has no clear visual/line of site to me the entire trip except the last 200 meters. Unless he could see over or through the Mazda, he could not have seen me.

2. There were 2 cars involved. His measurement could've been affected by the Mazda. If he pulled both of us over, then I got nothing to say. But he pulled me over and saying I was going faster than the Mazda which was impossible. If I was, I would've passed the Mazda already.


About the best advice that I can give here is to have your speedometer verified so that when you testify you can tell the JJP about it's reliability in measuring your speed.

Request disclosure (use search to answer any questions you may have about this) and see how the officer deals with your two questions. If the answers are not there, then you have either been given incomplete disclosure or you have the details necessary to attack the officer's case at trial.

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