Hwy 403 Hamilton to Brantford - got 131km/h in a 100km/h

CindyP
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Hwy 403 Hamilton to Brantford - got 131km/h in a 100km/h

Unread post by CindyP on

I am a 53 year old female, respectable (innocent) looking, driving '03 Grand Am in good repair. I take this route each day to work and have noticed most days there is an OPP officer posted in the median fairly close to the Garden Ave. Exit. Today I was passing some slower moving vehicles as I went past the officer. Usually there are numerous drivers with me doing the same thing, but today there were no other vehicles, just me in the passing lane. When I was finished passing the other vehicles I moved safely into the right lane and commenced driving at the usual speed limit. The Officer began following me until he could flag me over at the Garden Ave. exit and give me my ticket. He stated that I was driving 131 in a 100 zone and there was no room for discussion. I supplied my documentation immediately and within 3 minutes he had my ticket ready, but when he gave it to me he mentioned about three times that I could go to court regarding this ticket.

I have never done anything wrong in my life and the thought of going to court is terrifying. But I'm afraid of how much my insurance will go up and am struggling financially already. I can't think why he didn't lower it by 2 km so at least it wouldn't have been quite as bad. Could he have been hinting that I could beat this if I go to Court or do they always say that?

At my wit's end....

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


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Simon Borys
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Unread post by Simon Borys on

Officers usually don't issue tickets which they think you can beat and then tell you to go fight it so you will win. (If so there'd be little point in writing the ticket in the first place). They usually issue tickets that they feel are justified, which they could obtain a conviction on if it went to trial. They often tell you to go to court because they know that the prosecutor is usually amenable to reducing the speed in exchange for a guilty plea. Why don't they reduce it at the roadside? Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't - it's an exercise of their discretion and they're entitled to do either, so it just depends on the officer.
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CindyP
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Unread post by CindyP on

Thank you for your prompt response Simon, much appreciated. Perhaps you can clear up a couple of misconceptions I may have, i.e. I have heard that Police Officer's who are sitting, watching for speeders may have "quota's" to meet and this sometimes may cause them to be unusually harsh in order to meet that quota?

You mentioned that Officer's don't give tickets which they think you can beat, but if it were for quota reasons then he would have met his quota and it would be of no consequence to him if the ticket were dismissed by the Court later on, right? (It just seems odd that he chose such an ordinary driver doing the same thing hundreds of people do every day on that same stretch of highway. There are usually people on my bumper even at that speed, which is why I'm very quick to get into the right lane after passing.)

My second possible misconception is that it is considered acceptable to speed "up" temporarily on a major highway while in the passing lane until you have passed the slow-moving vehicles as long as you return to the right lane and resume the speed limit after passing. (Maybe I only think this because I see people doing it all the time?)

If this is not the case then I have no defense/excuse and may as well just pay the ticket, learn my lesson and call it a day?

Thanks again for your help!


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Unread post by BusFullOfnuns on

I take that route all the time to go to school and I hate to sound rude but 131km/h is a little fast even for passing, an OK passing speed is 120 max then pull over and slow down to 110. If traffic is already going so fast that 131 is a passing speed then you just do not need to pass anyone, plain and simple.

Now to fight this go to the MTO and get a print off of your driver's abstract, it will have any tickets you've had for the pass 3 years and any accidents, if its clean go to court and try to get the ticket reduced to something manageable. Also before you go request a disclosure of the officers notes and any evidence you can get so you know what you are going into and can prepare.

Once you have all that and you still feel worried by all means post some info up on here and we will give you advice.

Also, one quick question. Where was the cop hiding on that route? I drive it 4 days a week and any possible hiding spots they can safely use I can spot them from 2+km away. Also how far did he follow you to the garden offramp? I'm curious that's all.


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Simon Borys
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Unread post by Simon Borys on

Read this article I wrote here on quotas: http://simonborys.wordpress.com/2010/04 ... f-tickets/

You'll see that there really isn't any but sometimes there is an expectation for officers to write a certain number of tickets. If that's what the officer was doing it may explain why he didn't use his discretion to give you a warning but it doesn't mean he's going to be handing out bogus tickets.

Also, with respect to passing, there is no exemption to exceed the speed limit to pass - or for any other reason. The speed limit is the MAXIMUM speed you can lawfully attain.
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Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

Quotas have been frequently talked about, and the consensus is that police in Ontario simply don't have them. Click the link to Simon's blog (bottom of his post) and you'll see an entry on the very topic. The simple answer is that various officers have various tolerances for speeding. Some will stop you for 10 over, others won't even flinch until you're going at least 30 over. Officers assigned to traffic details may have a lower threshold since that's their primary duty.

There is no exemption to the speed limit for passing provided by the HTA. You're expected to obey the limit at all times. Speeding is what's known as an absolute liability offence, which basically means there is no way to justify it short of your life being in jeopardy. The reality is that many people temporarily exceed the limit to pass another vehicle, but it's illegal to do so.

As for going to Court, you don't necessarily have to proceed with a trial. You can request a first attendance meeting to speak with the Crown and seek a reduction. If you have a clean driving record and the charge wasn't the result of an accident, the Crown will typically offer you a reduced fine (perhaps something like 20 over) in exchange for a guilty plea. You shouldn't need to spend money on your driver's abstract as the Crown will typically have their own copy along with the officer's notes and other relevant information.

Edit: Or in short, what Simon just said. Everyone keeps beating me to the post. :)


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Unread post by CindyP on

Thank you again for your great answers!

http://mapq.st/gB6fIJ

I sure hope this link works because if it does I think I have pinpointed on Mapquest exactly where the Police Officer stations himself (almost) every day. He isn't attempting to hide at all yet somehow you really don't notice him until you're almost right in front of him.

This morning I passed his spot at 8:10 a.m. approx. There were two officers with one cruiser and they were giving a ticket to a man in a small burgundy car. They had pulled him over very close to where they sit in the median.

Yesterday he followed me all the way from this spot (sure hope you can see it!) to Garden Ave. exit before signaling me to pull over (which was not good for me because I exit at Wayne Gretzky so this made me even later!) I'm sorry I don't know how to calculate the distance, but maybe if you can see this map you can tell how far he followed me, but it was FAR! I really thought he wasn't going to pull me over because he followed for so long it looked like he was just going somewhere.

I drive this route anywhere between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. every day and I see him there about 80% of the time. I guess I just got complacent because he's never even looked at me and there are so many people who really fly down this stretch, maybe because it's a really straight section of road that makes for good, safe passing and potential speeding (if you're an idiot like me and not thinking).

I don't have any accidents or tickets, not even parking tickets. Is it possible to say his detection device was faulty??? :lol:


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Simon Borys
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Unread post by Simon Borys on

CindyP wrote:Is it possible to say his detection device was faulty??? :lol:
You can say it, but it will only be given as much weight as you can put behind it with some kind of direct or circumstantial evidence (or inference).




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