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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:26 pm 
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My wife got a ticket for 117 in an 80, near Walkerton. Judging by the officer's notes, he was using the Decatur Genesis 2, directional radar unit.
I sent a letter of disclosure in November. I asked for a copy of both sides of the officers ticket, a copy of the officers notes, proof of the officers qualifications for the Genesis 2 radar unit, and calibration and repair records for the radar unit. They only sent the copy of both sides of the ticket and the officers notes, nothing else. Is this a big deal, or not. The officer wrote in his notes that he is a qualified operator. I also asked for a copy of the manual, they also didn't respond to that part, but I expected that. I emailed Decatur and asked them when the officer presses the test button on the unit, if this only serves to verify that the radar unit is functioning properly, or if this serves as a valibration tool. As expected, they also didn't respond. Does anyone know where I can get an electronic copy of the Decatur Genesis 2 operators manual?

I also asked for any other documents that the crown is planning on using against my wife. They sent a copy of her driving record, from the time she started driving. There are a couple speeding infractions from 10 and 15 years ago. Can the crown still use these to try to prove that she is a habitual speeder (I assume this is why they included this document in the response)? Is there a time limit when these documents are no longer viable?

I want to ensure that my wife has a fair trial, but we are having a difficult time finding information out.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:45 pm 
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You may have better luck asking for that manual over here!
http://www.radardetector.net/forums/

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:46 pm 
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There is no valid reason for the Crown to deny you a copy of or access to the manual. At the very minimum you are entitled to view the entire manual at the prosecutor's office. Please see R. v. Vanier, 2005 ONCJ 318. The fact that they are not giving you everything you want is really good! The frustration you are feeling is exactly what you need in order to toss this charge...

WARNING: Think carefully about how you want to proceed. The very minimum you must do is send a follow-up disclosure request again insisting (adamantly) that you must have the information you requested in order to prepare your defence. Don't quote the case above.

Hopefully they'll tell you to get lost! The last thing you want is for them to give you the information.

Then at least 15 days prior to trial you will file an application for a stay based on improper disclosure. You cite the case above in your application. Hopefully you can also attach an 11(b) unreasonable delay argument as well so that an adjournment is not possible.

See my site for more info.

Good luck and good fight!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:11 am 
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Thanks for the info ticketcombat. One thing I forgot to add. The trial date is January 13th. Am I too late to do any of the things you suggested? What would be the best to do, given the tight timeline? I just thought all along that there was nothing I could do about them not disclosing all the info.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:33 pm 
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Ok, so I'm running out of time. I called the POA office today to ask where the rest of the info is that I requested. Here's the answers I got.

First the gentleman told me that he sent all the info I requested. I told him that I only received 2 of the six documents requested.
I asked him where the proof is of the officers training on the radaar unit. He told me that he doesn't have that info.
I asked him where the documents of repairs and calibration of the radar unit is. He told me that I would have to ask Decatur for that info. I asked him for a contact at Decatur. He told me that I would have to find that myself.
I asked him for the documentation of verification of the accuracy of the tuning forks used to check the calibration of the said radar. He told me that the OPP no longer use tuning forks to verify the accuracy of the radar. He said that now the radar has an internal "self check" to do that. I thought that was odd. I have a brochure for the Genesis 2, and it states that the units come with 2 tuning forks, when first bought. I have read somewhere that the test button on the unit is only to verify that the unit is working correctly, not for calibration.

Does anyone else find these answers odd, or am I alone here???


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:06 pm 
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OPP has not used tuning forks since about 2004-2005. The tuning fork process is not even in the manuals and units do not come with tuning forks. The police do not calibrate radar. We ensure the unit is fuctioning properly by following the manufacturer test procedure. If there is a problem located during the test, the unit is taken out of service and sent for repair.

All officers are now trained on radar before they even leave the Academy and subsequent training is every two years.

Tuning forks were never to "calibrate" a radar. Tuning forks were used to simulate a speed of a vehicle at a known speed as there was no internal tests in older models. If the speed shown was the same as the fork, it was working properly. New models have the same test of speed simulation only done internally by a computer.

If I recall correctly the tuning fork test could be plus/minus 2km/hr. The current internal test must be bang on!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:22 pm 
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Thanks for the info Bear. Very enlightening.

If the officers are refreshed every two years, I would still have to ask why they would not provide the documentation for this. Would the radar units not be sent in periodically for bench testing to verify that they are functioning properly?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:04 am 
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I wonder if the manufacturer has guaranteed its accuracy through the service life of the radar unit, if the units have a written "service life."

Funny that the unit has its own self-contained accuracy test. I'm sure it has an internal integrity check (internal circuits & processor check), I have no idea about accuracy. Radars I've used have a "TEST" mode but that only verifies the internal circuits, processor and display, and returned a specific test pattern. If it didn't display the test pattern, or "RADAR FAULT" was annunciated, the radar was not usable. Even if the test went okay, we were cautioned that it may still not be dependable. To verify that it was working properly we actually had to point it at something and get an actual return on the displays. If it didn't jive with what we were looking at, radar was also not usable. Our radars also had mandatory yearly bench testing. BUT... that's not the type of radar that police would use, so I'm not really sure it would apply here. Just my two cents, so my blurb there might be irrelevant.

Main point is, Crown hasn't properly disclosed the requested info to you, much of it being relevant to your defence. You could always motion for a stay at trial. I'd give one more shot at getting disclosure, this time via registered mail or courier (Xpresspost... reliable, cheap; UPS, more expensive, but much faster & very reliable; Fedex, hit and miss) and show evidence that you tried three times to get the requested evidence and they stonewalled you. Here's some more info...
http://www.ticketcombat.com/step5/stay.php


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:24 am 
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The subsequent refresher training every 2 years is an "internal" policy only, not required by the manufacturer.

I have never seen an old radar that is not accurate, range diminished yes. That was on the old MuniQuip MDR1, old "X" band, where it seemed you could throw a baseball farther than it could pick up a vehicle :lol:

Our radar does not go in for routine check-ups, if that is what you call it. They are either working or not.

I do not know where my documentation is about my training either. I would think it might be in a big filing cabinet, but I have absolutely no access to that cabinet. I do know the month, year and instructor on my last training day, I also remember my very first training day.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:02 pm 
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Thanks Bear.
It sounds like you're very knowledgable in this field. I hope you don't take me wrong here, I'm just playing the devil's advocate. Why would it be that other measuring devices, such as scales and fuel pumps have to be checked for calibration by a technician, yearly, but the radar units used by the OPP do not need to be bench tested at all. I heard at one point that these units are good for one year once received by the manufacturer, then they have to be bench tested, and calibration tested.
Do you happen to know when the OPP first started using the Decatur Genesis 2 units?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:26 pm 
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Switched from the MuniQuip MDR1 to the Decatur Genesis II and Decatur Genesis VP in early 2000.

There have been subsequent models purchased Decatur Genesis II Select, Decatur Genesis VP Directional and the most recent being the Decatur Genesis II Select Directional. All manuals were updated so that tuning forks are not required. Again that is a redundant test.

I do not know of any MTO scale, or fuel pump that has any internal computer system to keep checking itself like the modern radar has.
Hence the need to be calibrated once a year.

I have complete confidence in the Decatur products, the previous Kustom Signals Golden Eagle and the previous Muni-Quip MDR1.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:39 pm 
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hwybear wrote:
I have complete confidence in the Decatur products, .......... the previous Muni-Quip MDR1.

But you just said its range after awhile was less than I can throw a baseball. And I don't even play baseball...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:12 am 
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The manual will do you no good especially if it's a copy. The officer only needs to testify he's qualified and the unit was tested and functioning properly.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:34 am 
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racer wrote:
hwybear wrote:
I have complete confidence in the Decatur products, .......... the previous Muni-Quip MDR1.

But you just said its range after awhile was less than I can throw a baseball. And I don't even play baseball...


Range may be diminished, such as in rain/snow, but the unit is still accurate.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:20 am 
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I have read about the cosine error effect. From what I read, this can affect the reading of a moving radar unit. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The target obtained by the receiver can be several degrees from directly in front of the police car. This will cause the reading to be construed, giving the unit the incorrect speed of the police car. Due to the fact that the computer calculates the "speeder's" speed as being the difference from the speed received of the "speeder's" vehicle, and the police car's speed (which might be incorrect due to the cosine error effect), the speed calculated by the "speeder" might be incorrect. 8)


Has anyone heard of the "tracking history check list"?

For stationary radar the checklist is:
1. Was a visual speed estimate made of the suspect vehicle?
2. Was the speed reading displayed consistent with the visual estimate?
3. Did the audio doppler tone match the speed reading and visual estimate?
4. Was the suspect vehicle out front and by itself when the speed readings were made?
For moving radar operations, add
5. Did the radar displayed patrol speed match the vehicle’s speedometer reading at the time the suspect vehicle was tracked?


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