Hi, I am new to the forum. I have been trying to get information off of here and www.ticketcombat.com
for my case.
I was given a ticket for going 122km/h in a posted 100km/h zone at Hwy 401 east at Thickson Rd in Whitby ON on April 10th, 2009.
I find this absolutely absurd, since I was in the left most lane of the 401 approximately(within 5km/h) following the speed of traffic in my lane. The guy in front of me was within 2 to 3 chevrons, or 6 to 9 vehicle lengths, a safe distance according to the Chevron program in Whitby which states that you should leave at least 2 chevrons between you and the vehicle in front of you, or at least there was a sign which did state that, which is approximately 6 vehicle lengths of space. Therefore my distance was not excessive!
I have had times where lots of people will pass me on the right hand side at 120km/h thru Toronto, and speeds of 130 to 140 km/h as flow of traffic thru the GTA are not uncommon. I guess I have always been under the impression that if you follow the flow of traffic you will not be pulled over for speeding. Apparently that assumption is incorrect but it is a reasonable assumption.
As well I did not have any other safe alternative:
1) at the time I passed the police officer which was in the center lane. When I noticed the officer there were 2 other vehicles following too closely behind the officer, and at that point merging to the center lane from the left lane and slowing down would have mean't I was following too closely(within 1 vehicle length) behind that 2nd vehicle. Hense if he would have slowed down abruptly, I would have not had time to react and that would increase my chance of an accident.
2) I could not slow down in my lane to the speed of the lane to the right of me safely. Since a) There was a vehicle behind me doing the same speed I was for some time, I'd say since around the 404 in Toronto, and slowing down for apparently no reason would have increased the chance of him rear ending me, also Slower traffic should be on the right.
3) I had assumed the person in front of me had also passed the officer in question going approximately the same speed I was, and that I would be fine. Therefore the only reasonable action was to continue the speed I was maintaining, and the vehicle in front and behind me were maintaining to safely pass the officer in the center lane.
This would be my argument for due diligence if speeding is a strict liability offense. First question is it? Second, if it is anyway which would make the above argument stronger?
Second argument, and stronger argument, how was the officer able to get an accurate reading of my speed? Once I passed the officer, he then merged into my lane, and followed me for approximately 2 to 4 km before he put his lights on(from Brock street to just past Thickson at the weight scales). When following me, he was following me WAY WAY too closely, so closely I could not see his license plate of his vehicle right behind me, I could only see his grill and up to the roof of his SUV cruiser. I'd say he wasn't more than 1 vehicle length behind me, perhaps 2 for sake of reasoning, but I doubt it.
In either case he was not the 100m distance or further required to use radar or LIDAR correctly according to the Ticket Combat website.
I suspect though he probably just tried to match my speed to get my speed. However this can't be accurate.
1) Every spedometer is somewhat inaccurate
2) I did not have cruise on and so I was travelling at a variable rate
3) The traffic I was following was travelling at a variable rate, and I was trying to adjust accordingly to keep safe distance between me and the vehicle in front.
4) In order to match my speed the officer's speed was variable
Therefore he could not have possibly made an accurate assessment of my speed in any case.
As the vehicle in front of me approached a slower vehicle he slowed down, and consequently so did I as the officer put his blinkers on(even the slowed down speed was approximately 115km/h).
When I saw his blinkers, at first I thought the officer had just gotten a call, I didn't even think then he was pulling me over, since I was just following the flow of traffic, so noticing he had a call, I did the approriate action and merged into the middle lane so the officer could pass me.
Only when the officer had merged into my lane behind me(center lane), had I noticed he was pulling me over. So I therefore merged into the right hand lane. I had decided not to pull over to shoulder immediately due to me finding it not safe. You always see those videos of cops pulling over people on the side of the freeway and a car crashing into them etc... so I kept my right signal on while in the right hand lane to tell the officer that I was complying(reading the site, I should have legally used my 4-ways), and I got off at the next interchange(Park Road, in Oshawa), and pulled over on the side of the off ramp. Where we would be much more safe.
The officer had approached me, and he wasn't an *EDIT* to me, he was proper. He however did state that I was going 123km/h in a 100km/h zone, yet on my ticket it states 122km/h. Also the officer mentioned on multiple occasions that he pulled me over as an example to show other motorists that you cannot pass a cop(which was already going 110km/h as he stated), going 120km/h and if he did, then he would just be telling motorists that it was alright to pass him. I also got a blurb that he could stop me for anything over 110km/h if he wanted to. So basically he stopped me to show others as an example.
In this whole incident, I only realized afterwards that one of my assumptions may have been incorrect. It is possible that the person in front of me never passed the officer, since there is an OPP station right before Brock street in Whitby, with it's own ramp onto the 401 east bound, and he could have come from there and merged into the center lane after the vehicle in front of me had passed him, and therefore I was the first person to pass the officer.
Also my speeding ticket for 22km/h over the speed limit is 85.50$ with Total Payable at 107.50$. According to both figures on the Traffic Combat website this value is incorrect.
I am 24 yrs old going to university, paying my own way through.
I was on my way from St. Catharines(I go to Brock University), towards Cornwall(my hometown) for the easter long weekend to visit family. My driving record up to now is perfectly clean, 0 tickets and 0 accidents on my record. Actually this is the first time I ever get pulled over for anything. On top of that my 21 year old brother has 0 accidents, and both my parents each have 0 accidents for which they have been at fault, and my dad is and has been a truck driver for 35 years. So I am a safe driver coming from a family of safe drivers.
Since the 401 in the GTA is the world's busiest highway and there are accidents on it daily, there are a few things I usually do to reduce my chances to get into an accident.
1) I only merge ONCE getting onto the highway and safely move over to the left most express lane. I do this to reduce the number of merges, since merging increases the likelihood of an accident
2) I stay in the left most lane, since it is the safest lane.... why?
a) You only have traffic in the lane to the right side and your lane, nobody to the left, therefore I have reduced the number of vehicles around me by at least 30%.
b) People can only merged to your lane coming from the right hand side, and not both sides, therefore deceasing merging by 50%.
c) If traffic comes to a halt abruptly and the person behind me is going to run into me, I have the option of pulling over to the left shoulder for safety, while this option is not available for center lanes.
3) Do not use cruise control, since the speed of traffic is variable and you never know when traffic will, halt so keeping your feet active on the petals increases your reaction time, incase a halt happens.
So in order to reduce accidents through this busy part of the highway, my policy has been to merge once into the left most lane once, and stay there following the speed of traffic until I pass the metropolitan area, then usually as I enter Clarington, I will merge back to the center lane, reduce my speed to around 110km/h, and put my cruise on for my journey to Cornwall ON.
In the GTA I don't feel safe at a slower speed and being in the center lane with traffic going all around you. I remember my cousin saying when he got his license in the York Region that the driving instructor told him to follow the speed of traffic, and that following the speed limit(100km/h) was more dangerous than following the flow of traffic.
This has worked for me for the passed 3 years of constantly driving this highway every long weekend, and have passed hundreds of cops without consequence until now.
I have not answered my ticket yet, since I can't mail it in, I'll have to go in person next week to say I want option 3 myself, and fight this?
My question to you guys are:
1) Do I have a chance at fighting this incident?
2) What would you add to any of my points to make them more credible and/or are they credible?
3) Any help on how I should proceed with this, especially from TicketCombat, would be nice.
4) Discussion on this issue is welcomed! Should someone following the speed of traffic like me have been pulled over for this offense?
Thank you for your answers