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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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Airplane Caught Me!
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:41 pm 
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So I got pulled over for speeding and following too close, on HWY 11 north of Barrie. The airplane caught me! I will fight this as I have fought ALL my tickets and won EVERY ONE of them (one per year... man I need to drive slower). So any thoughts out there on how to fight this one? Does the Crown have to bring the 2 officers in the plane, plus the one in the cruises to court? If 1 in 3 doesn't show up, do I have a case for dismissal? I know all about disclosure and Charter arguments, so specifically, I'm looking for a defense by using the airplane somehow (a non-witness officer gave me the actual ticket), so I know there is something I can try at, or before court (in adition to the typical disclosure stuff). Anyone?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:05 pm 
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The officer in the plane timed you between paint marks (I assume) and will need to be there to testify about it. The officer on the ground identified the driver and will also need to be there to testify. The charging document (ticket) must be signed by the charging officer. In this case the charging officer is acting solely on the statement of a witness, the aerial officer, so naturally both would need to be available for questioning.

I'm not sure who the 2nd aerial officer is. Did you mean the pilot? I doubt he'd be required.

Here's an example of a multi-cop speed trap win:
http://www.gtcars.ca/online/traffic-tic ... y-7-a.html

Hope you follow up with the outcome.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:24 pm 
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The prosocution needs both officers to testify, otherwise it becomes hearsay evidence. Fight this one, it can be easily beaten.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:47 pm 
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Not as easy as you might think.

It is identical procedure as we use for LIDAR intercept programs.

One officer does the targetting with the lidar (gathering of evidence...such as an officer would in a plane) relays via radio to the intercepting officer. They confirm the vehicle and the intercepting officer writes the offence notice based on the evidence of the first officer.

However both officers will have to attend court.

Actually this is the same as a traffic complaint where a civilian witness provides a statement and the charge is laid by an officer, both have to attend court.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:23 am 
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I'm curious though, how can the areal officer (observer) testify to the altitude and air speed of the plane? I really think the pilot needs to a witness too. That makes it 3 witnesses. Maybe BOTH officers in the plane are pilots?

How does the aerial officer see that far to the ground? Does he (or she) use binoculars?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:52 am 
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After a very long absence, airplane surveillance was brought back last year. There is an actual machine called VASCAR (Visual Average Speed Computer & Recorder) used to determine your speed and the plane has a viewport to observe you. I may be wrong, but I believe in Ontario the pilot is the officer using the device.

A good introduction to it can be found here. (ignore the first part about "aerial radar")

You said you know all about disclosure so forgive me for mentioning that the point of disclosure is to obtain the names of witnesses and all evidence that will be used against you including finding out what device was used to measure your speed and therefore the implications of it (officer certification, repair and calibration logs, etc).

Finally, somebody put those triangles on the road and they have to testify that they were in fact placed exactly so many meters apart.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:17 pm 
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COMBAT, thanks for the info... VERY helpful.... especially having the info about VASCAR .. so I will then ask for a training certificate to prove the officer knows how to operate such device (well, first, I'll find out if that was indeed the device he used) ... AND, I will definitely ask for proof (assuming some kind of certificate) that those lines/arrows on the road are exactly the correct measure! Beautiful stuff. All we have to do, is raise some doubt.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:08 pm 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
It is the observer officer in the plane.

Not using VASCAR either....that is a way to measure speeds of vehicles while on the ground, mostly in the USA.

I was recently in the air at about 1000 feet, it is NOT hard to see the vehicles or colour at all, easy to pick things out. Just say have a "dinky car", put it on the floor and stand up and look down, that is a relatively good comparison.

Not using "triangles" either. The marks in our area are exactly 500m apart.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:03 pm 
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Wow I had no idea you could actually be caught and be ticketed by an airplane...

How does that happen exactly? Did a cruiser actually pull you over and notify you? or did you get notified in the mail or something?

I mean I am assuming an actual airplane didn't pull you over, so I would be interested in knowing the procedure of how one gets this type of ticket physically.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:49 pm 
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Funny stuff, an airplane with cherries and a siren on it's roof... no, the airplane caught me (measured my speed), but didn't pull me over... the thought of a Zesna landing on the 400 and giving chase (funny stuff, and would be great story for Cam Wooley) ... there were a bunch of cruisers parked on the shoulder and one of 'em waived me over. So, he gave me the ticket based on the airplane observer radio-ing him from the airplane. So, both officers have to show up in court. That much I know. They use helicopters too (on HWY 400).

Hwybear, what markings are there on Hwy 11 north of Barrie? How do they know for sure the measurement between them? Did the Staff Sergeant simply tell the traffic cops, or is there a certificate to prove this?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:12 pm 
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Speaking of Cam Wooley, is there some way to get him on this site lol?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:52 am 
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McGuinty announced the launch of OPP air on May 5. You can see a video of the OPP plane in action but you have to listen to his speech. :? Pictures of the event can be seen here.

The London Free Press did a story in July.

Quote:
It is the observer officer in the plane.

State troopers (I believe from Ohio) have been training OPP since last August. The training was for one pilot to both fly and observe like they do in their state. Here's a video of their program.

Quote:
Not using VASCAR either....that is a way to measure speeds of vehicles while on the ground, mostly in the USA.

VASCAR originally referred to a specific device but now it generally means any speed measurement done by timing a vehicle between two points. But you are right Bear, it measures distance which doesn't work on a plane.

The OHIO video shows the pilot using the Accutrack (Robic) which is likely what they are using here. It's a fancy stop watch with the distances pre-programmed. Makes sense as the press release says all the new lines are 500m apart on 400 series highways.

Quote:
Speaking of Cam Wooley, is there some way to get him on this site lol?

Cam just got off desk duty for saying too much instead of touting the OPP line. I doubt Fantino will let him spout here. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:48 am 
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The whole plane idea is based from the OHIO State Police program
We are trained by our own members. One pilot and the observer in ours. Think it is a lot easier for the observer to write notes of an offence rather than a solo pilot, unless theirs is all digitally voice recorded *thumbs up*

I do not know what markings are on Hwy 11 or Hwy 400. Ours are "hash" marks. One in the passing lane along the left shoulder. Other directly across on the driving lane. I have yet to measure their actual size with a tape measure, appear to be 1 metre long x 0.5metre wide.

Proving distance......I have actually stopped and driven hash mark to hash mark, front tire to front tire, bang on 500m on all our marks.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:06 am 
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Thanks guys.. I just found the first statement for reasonable doubt... this quote is great ......

"You can't make out makes of vehicles, but you can pick out the colour, position and tell a truck from a car." -- OPP pilot Dan Cameron

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:12 pm 
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synergy wrote:
Thanks guys.. I just found the first statement for reasonable doubt... this quote is great ......

"You can't make out makes of vehicles, but you can pick out the colour, position and tell a truck from a car." -- OPP pilot Dan Cameron


Does not seem like much doubt at all.....we do it all the time at ground level (obs 4dr blue sedan, kept sight and stopped same).....air would not be any different, kept sight and confirmed with ground unit the subject vehicle is directly in front.....or during intercept on ground, same thing.

Quite honestly, someone has to be blatantly brutal to be stopped via plane or even on the ground.

(EG 25,000 mv pass through my patrol area every day....say 5 officers per shift x 2 shifts = 10 officers....if on a high day for every officer stop 20 vehicles each that is only 200 vehicles = less than 1%)

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