Correction for posting, is this law 6 years old

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Bookm
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by: Bookm on
Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:54 am

As with most "apparently" good safety initiatives, this one also comes with a potential risk.

First of all, this section describes "slowing down", but a driver may have slowed down to a speed he felt was safe. It's now up to the officer to file the charge based on his own judgment of what was safe. It's these "subjective" calls made by the officer that gets folks upset.

If you want drivers to slow down to 20-30kph (in all three lanes), then you run the risk of causing rear-end collisions occurring well in advance of the emergency scene, as traffic backs up, possibly for miles (ie. on the 401).

A wise man once said, "Slower is Safer", but I'm not sure it's just that simple ;)


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by: LawAbider on
Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:18 pm

Went to court today to deal with this HTA infraction. Turns out the prosecutor was offering a reduced fine of $150 + an additional 20% fee if one pleaded guilty. Given I have 25+ years driving experience and a perfect driving record , I saw no reason not to accept this deal neither did most people in the courtroom with the exception of a few.

By pleading guilty however, one accepted the fact they would lose 3 demerit points and have no further recourse in court. As Quebec has no such law, I took a chance that the impact to my driving record as a result of reciprical agreements between the two provinces would minimal. The worse that could happen is that I indeed lose 3 demerit points for the next two years and I am only out $180 rather than $490.

Althought I was glad to hear both the prosecutor and judge concede that this law is not well publicized, I am however disheartened by the fact that the problem will persist for some time to come as children in Ontario are not being taught the importance of this law.

Why can there not be more positive reinforced publicity/campaigns around this law such as including it in the on-line and paperback version of the driver's manual, testing for it on the written examinations, featuring it prominently on the Ministry of Transportation website, and/or having a public service announcement on TV rather than just rely on blitzes to educate people?

Food for thought :wink:


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by: Proper1 on
Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:46 pm

I think it's very unfortunate that you were caught on this, especially as you were a visitor here. It's no comfort, I know, but I think you have a group of particularly knowledgeable Ontario friends, if one in ten of them knew about this law. I doubt very much if one in fifty Ontario drivers is aware of it.

It certainly has not been well publicized -- indeed, I can't remember ever having seen it publicized at all -- except in the form of the highway setups.

Again, as an Ontario resident, I am sorry that you were caught this way.


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by: hwybear on
Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:06 pm

I have seen signs posted on the 401 EB (from the Windsor/Detroit) border indicating the law.

When Ontario licence plate renewals were occurring from 2003-2005, this information was sent to all owners of motor vehicles....if they decided to not read their literature, so be it.

This law all came about from the following incident. I personally know the two surviving officers in this incident. In June 2000, three officers from the Ontaro Provincial Police pulled over a vehicle suspected in a bank robbery. The OPP cruisers were pulled over and staggered properly and safely on the shoulder of the highway. A transport driver ran into the cruisers, the offers, and suspects. The OPP cruisers were so damaged they were unrecognizable as police vehicles. All were rushed to hospital with grievous injuries. Sergeant Margaret Eve died fo her injuries.

Even if it was not a law......it is plain ole common courtesy/sense to move away from anything on the shoulder.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: Proper1 on
Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:32 pm

I agree entirely that sheer common sense would make any alert driver slow down and move over at least one lane to stay well away from any emergency vehicle on the side of the road with its lights activated, law or no law. Personally, I slow down and stay as far away from the thing as possible: whatever's going on over there, I don't want to be part of it.

The problems I (and others) have, though, are (1) with the, well, at best indifferent publicity that the government has given this law, which is why the vast majority of drivers don't know it exists, and (2) a difficulty in understanding why a specific law was even needed to cover what to me as a non-legal person sounds like an instance of careless driving, if not of criminal negligence. I can accept that I have neither the legal training nor, possibly, the intelligence to figure my way out of my problem (2); but I do strongly feel that there should be a meaningful campaign to publicize this law. Awareness and, more to the point, compliance, would spread a heck of a lot faster if there were something more than just the slow word-of-mouth dissemination that being caught, or having friend caught, has been causing to happen so far.




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by: hwybear on
Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:15 am

Proper1 wrote:I agree entirely that sheer common sense would make any alert driver slow down and move over at least one lane to stay well away from any emergency vehicle on the side of the road with its lights activated, law or no law. Personally, I slow down and stay as far away from the thing as possible: whatever's going on over there, I don't want to be part of it.
Well put!
Proper1 wrote:a difficulty in understanding why a specific law was even needed to cover what to me as a non-legal person sounds like an instance of careless driving, if not of criminal negligence
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/s ... ada/story/
I still know the location of the incident and is visible for approx 1 to 1.5 full km past an overpass. Hwy is flat and level. I am guessing that since the judge made the decision that police can not block a lane or partial lane in an emergency situation, that is when the gov't stepped forward and made the move over law.
Proper1 wrote:but I do strongly feel that there should be a meaningful campaign to publicize this law. Awareness and, more to the point, compliance, would spread a heck of a lot faster if there were something more than just the slow word-of-mouth dissemination that being caught, or having friend caught, has been causing to happen so far
I would also like to see it put back on the front of every newspaper Province wide for one day (hopefully a Saturday)
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: Proper1 on
Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:28 am

hwybear wrote: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/s ... ada/story/
I still know the location of the incident and is visible for approx 1 to 1.5 full km past an overpass. Hwy is flat and level. I am guessing that since the judge made the decision that police can not block a lane or partial lane in an emergency situation, that is when the gov't stepped forward and made the move over law.
Good God! That trucker got off??! Courts do seem to do capricious things, sometimes, that the lay person cannot understand.

OK, NOW I see why there is a specific move-over law.

And, I imagine, everybody on this board agrees that it should be heavily publicized. Publicized again, if the government figures that it's been given publicity already.


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by: Bookm on
Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:19 pm

Solution:

1) Make Radar Detector use LEGAL and mandatory on major highways.
2) Point your radar gun backwards when stopped.

Problem Solved :)


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by: Proper1 on
Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:25 pm

Even that wouldn't have helped in this case, Bookm (and yes, I know you're kidding), because the trucker's defense was -- are you ready for this? -- that he was following so closely behind the 18-wheeler in front of him that its rear end was all he could see in front of him, and when the first truck moved left to clear the police vehicle, why, he just hit the OPP car before he had time to react. And the judge, JP, or whatever the presiding officer was, bought the story, said the defendant trucker had done nothing wrong, and let him off. I can only assume that "following too close" was not one of the charges the guy was facing.

He must have been tucked in real close. Makes you wonder if he might not have been doing a little drafting, even, to save a bit of gas.


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by: LawAbider on
Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:08 pm

hwybear wrote:I am guessing that since the judge made the decision that police can not block a lane or partial lane in an emergency situation, that is when the gov't stepped forward and made the move over law.
I was wondering why the officer that pulled me over was directly behind the vehicle he had stopped beforehand. In Quebec, officers still partially block a lane, if not in totality, hence motorists move to the left (but not always completely in the other lane). In some cases, they also have a large flashing yellow sign with arrows that flips up on the roof of their vehicles to indicate which lane motorists should move to.

At the end of the day, I am not sure which of the two is safer for officers. Unfortunately, I think you will inevitably always have idiots who will hit a cruiser/officer no matter what laws or rules of the road are in place.


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by: hwybear on
Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:26 am

Guess police cars could always use a school bus arm type of thing (ones that pop forward to make kids walk farther from the front), but out into the lane.....made of flexible plastic with a metal claw on the end.....drive too close the plastic bends allowing the car to pass by, but the vehicle then gets "paint scraped" by "the claw".... :lol:

OR

a paint ball type of gun that shoots balls full of pine tar/syrup onto a vehicle that drives too close :lol:
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Bookm
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by: Bookm on
Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:08 pm

Proper1 wrote:... and yes, I know you're kidding...
Oh no I'm not! ;)

The SWS program was developed in 1995 under the auspices of the Georgia Technical Research Institute and engineers from a consortium of mobile electronics firms including Bell-Tronics, Santeca Electronics, Uniden American and the Whistler Corporation. The SWS system employs the K-band (24.1Ghz) and can transmit up to 64 pre-programmed text messages to radar detectors made by a number of firms. The messages are transmitted by the use of small transmitters that can either be mounted in a fixed location or attached to vehicles. For example, a mobile transmitter could be attached to a school bus providing alerts to drivers about the location of a bus picking up children. The alerts can be received within 1.5 miles of the receiver in ideal conditions. A few representative alerts are: "right lane closed ahead," "train approaching/at crossing," "ice on bridge ahead," "expect 10 minute delay," and "police in pursuit." Uniden's GPS-RD with just about every bell and whistle including GPS, electronic compass, elevation and SWS retails for $229.

Several "serious" Radar Detectors are pre-programmed from the factory to warn a driver (by electronic voice) of the actual hazard ahead. Other "cheapo" radar detectors will still beep at the presence of an SWS alert, but can't tell the driver the details of the alert.

If Ontario Lawmakers would just embrace the potential for the GOOD that RD's could provide (rather than see them as a hinderance to ticket revenue), I have no doubt we would see a major improvement in road safety, at least with regards to the subject topic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c87qxDMT55c
(check volume if at the office!)

If I were a cop, I would pay the $229 out of my own pocket to have an SWS transmitter installed in my cruiser.

EDIT: My bad. The SWS transmitter isn't $229... the Uniden RD is.
Last edited by Bookm on Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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by: hwybear on
Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:42 pm

Rather than promoting speed, there is a better solution.

Have all manufacturer's install a siren/warning device in every vehicle made. When emergency lights are activated it will set off this device. It would start at 1km to give motorists a headup to start slowing down and getting out of the way. The closer one gets the faster the tone becomes, and if it is a solid tone the emergency vehicle is within 50m.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Bookm
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by: Bookm on
Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:53 pm

SWS receivers ARE available without police radar detecting ability. They aren't nearly as popular though, for some reason :?

Most police services are switching to Laser anyway. Might be a good time to look into other (legal) uses for radar detectors. I don't see American cops complaining too much about RD's being legal. They just use Instant-On, Laser, Pacing, etc. There's no shortage of convictions down there.

My idea would work RIGHT NOW. Your idea would take decades to impliment. I win.

Of the 64 messages currently programmed in to high end radar detectors, these are my top 3 for saving lives.
- Emergency Vehicle Ahead
- Train Ahead
- Road Hazard Ahead.

The entire list can be seen here:
http://www.copradar.com/preview/chapt7/mess64.html
#31 would apply to this thread.


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