Passing a car that was accelerating going downhill

CoolPhil
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Passing a car that was accelerating going downhill

Unread post by CoolPhil on

I was driving on a two-lane Trans-Canada route where the indicated speed limit was 90 km/h and following a car for about 15 minutes. That car was going between 70 to 80 whenever there was a curve or a hill going up ahead. Passing was either not permitted or not safe in those sections. However, whenever there was an opportunity to pass that car, the driver would increase its speed to about 115 km/h.

Then, came a nice long stretch going downhill with no traffic ahead. Speed at top of the hill of both the car in front of me and my car was about 75 km/h. I immediately put my flasher, checked my mirrors, and started accelerating while changing lane. At the same time, the driver in front of me also accelerated. After a few seconds, I am in the left lane going 115 km/h and the car is keeping up with me. At this point, I have a second of hesitation, debating if I should slow down and go back behind that car, or push a bit more on the accelerator and pass it while I can. So I decided to pass, and reached a speed of about 130 km/h when I finally return to the right lane at a safe distance from the car that is now behind me. I let go my foot from the gas, but I do not hit the brakes as, in my book, it would be perceived by the car I just passed as a sign of provocation. However, because we were going downhill, my car does not really slow down and as I realise I am exceeding 130 on my speedometer, I see blue and red flashing lights hidden behind trees at the bottom of the hill… I pulled over and got a speeding ticked for going 134 km/h in a 90 zone.

I know, the speed limit is the limit, regardless of the fact you are passing or going downhill. However, are there not some circumstances here that could reduce the fine and/or the number of points? The police officer did not talk and did not want to listen to me. It is my first speeding ticket in over 15 years.


bend
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Unread post by bend on

You had other options. Safest route is to slow back down and put yourself back behind that driver. That's not excusing the other driver. He/she is an idiot. What he did is also against the Highway Traffic Act. It's stunt driving with an intention to prevent another vehicle from passing. That being said, what you've provided isn't a valid defense.

If your goal is receive a reduced charge, none of this is really going to matter. They'll look at your speed (44km), they might ask you if you have any other tickets, and they'll go from there. They'll likely bump you down a bracket to 29km over. Points are rather useless and your insurance provider is going to see 44 as the same as 29 either way. Your surcharge will be the same either way. You're looking at saving on the fine amount and that's about it.


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Unread post by CoolPhil on

Thanks Bend for your reply.

Just to be clear, I was merely stating facts. I was not trying to provide a defense by any mean.

Based on the facts I stated above, is it worth the trouble losing half a day of work, etc. to MAYBE save some dollars on the fine or is it better to pay it as it is? Either way, I learned my lesson, so that's not the point. What are my chances of getting a reduced charge? And why would they do it? Would they do it simply because I did not have any tickets in the last 15 years (not even a parking citation)? Sounds odd to me...


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Unread post by bend on

Your chances of a reduced speed are good. There's room for them to work there. It doesn't sound like it was already reduced at the scene.

They'll give it to you because it's worth more to them that you take it rather than go through with a time consuming trial.

Whether it's worth taking a day off is up to you. You can have someone go for you also.


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Unread post by CoolPhil on

Thanks again Bend for your reply.

I totally hear you. I sincerely appreciate your help as I am quit inexperienced with the system. We all hear about how one got away with it, but those are often embellished stories! You sound like you know what you are talking about, so I am grateful for that.


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Unread post by iFly55 on

Speeding in Ontario is an absolute liability offence. The courts only care whether you exceeded the posted limit or not.

Had you been stopped for stunt driving, things may have gotten more interesting especially if there was dashcam evidence of the other driver's actions. Accelerating to block a driver from passing, is exactly what happened with R. v. Raham

Ultimately, the courts will find that there legal avenues were available for you to drive. This included driving at a speed lower than the speed limit behind the slow moving driver.

Driving excessively slow on the freeways, may give pause to call 911. Anyone going through the 401 corridor is well versed with transport trucks driving side-by-side at 50km/hr on a 100km/hr freeway.

Police are quite pragmatic when it comes to speeding. However, 134 in a 90 is a speed markedly much quicker, and a hair shy of Stunt Driving.

The speed being traveled arguably could exceed the design limit for the TCH.


CoolPhil
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Unread post by CoolPhil on

iFly55,

Thank you very much for the additional information, in particular for the reference to R. v. Raham. I am not a lawyer but I managed to find the "case" online and found it interesting. One thing I don't really understand, however, is why the appeal judge acquitted her based on the constitutionality of absolute liability vs strict liability. If you can explain that part, I would feel less stupid.

Unfortunately in my case, I have no dash cam to prove the other car was accelerating. I am not sure either that from the position of the officer, it was clear to him that the other car was picking up speed.






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