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What could happen if someone copies your plate # down.....
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:24 pm 
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And phones it into the Police, saying you were doing "X" (cutting people off, speeding, etc)? I was talking to a friend of mine and his wife, and his wife was telling me that whenever she see crazy drivers she always phones them into the police, so I was curious as to what could potentially happen to the "accused" driver?

Came across some posts/discussions on Yahoo answers, and people were making statements ranging from "Nothing can happen" to "The cops will keep an eye out for your car, and see if you're doing anything illegal" to "They can write you a ticket and send it to you in the mail, or show up at your house and give it to you". Someone also mentioned that they will run a check on you to see if you have any outstanding warrants (which makes sense).

I tried doing a search of these forums, but couldn't find anything relevant, so would anybody here be able to clarify? Also, I wasn't sure where to post this, so if it's in the wrong place, my apologies.

Thanks!


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Re: What could happen if someone copies your plate # down...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:47 pm 
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In reality, probably nothing will happen. The person who deals with the call will likely run the plate and the owner to see who they are and at most they will call or stop by and say, "we received a complaint about whatever."

The only time they could lay a charge based on this kind of complaint is if the offence was in relation to failing to stop for a school bus. The owner can be charged with that offence, but of course only if the complaint gives the officer sufficient grounds to believe the offence has been committed. A ticket for that can come in the mail. All other offences required identification of the driver, which isn't likely going to come from a person calling in to complain (unless they know the driver).

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Re: What could happen if someone copies your plate # down...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:10 pm 
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Every police service will handle these complaints somewhat differently, and it will also be dependent on the seriousness of the complaint.

If someone calls in while following a vehicle, the dispatcher will usually broadcast the plate over the air, and see if any officers are in the area. If police get a call after the fact, they may contact the registered owner by phone or in person to speak with them about the complaint.

Depending on the seriousness of the offence, quite often a verbal warning will be issued. This wouldn't show on your driving history, but the police will likely have some record of the complaint on their local database. If the offence is somewhat more serious, the police may consider laying a charge, but this would require the driver to be identified and the complainant provide a statement about their observations. There are also a few offences that allow for the registered owner to be charged even if the driver can't be identified (passing a school bus with its flashing lights is one). The ticket wouldn't be sent by mail, unless it's from some type of automated red light camera fine.

It's quite unlikely police will actively keep an eye out for your vehicle after a complaint, unless it's a report of some type of ongoing behaviour. An example would be a report of a suspended driver with no insurance who leaves his home every day at a certain time. An officer may then set up down the road and see if they can catch the repeat offender in the act.

As for checking to see if you have warrants, when a plate is given to police that information will be queried through the Provincial database. This will show what type of vehicle it is and who it's registered to. This database can also show the licence status of the registered owner. Typically this name will then also be queried through CPIC, which shows criminal records, outstanding charges and terms, criminal suspensions and arrest warrants. Of course this information is only for the registered owner, and if someone else is driving you'll need to identify them to get this information.


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Re: What could happen if someone copies your plate # down...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:35 pm 
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Stanton wrote:
The ticket wouldn't be sent by mail, unless it's from some type of automated red light camera fine.


I agree with everything you said but would just clarify that school bus charges can and often are sent to the owner by mail per Reg 468/05.
http://www.canlii.org/en/on/laws/regu/o ... 68-05.html

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Re: What could happen if someone copies your plate # down...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:58 pm 
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Simon Borys wrote:
The only time they could lay a charge based on this kind of complaint is if the offence was in relation to failing to stop for a school bus. The owner can be charged with that offence, but of course only if the complaint gives the officer sufficient grounds to believe the offence has been committed. A ticket for that can come in the mail. All other offences required identification of the driver, which isn't likely going to come from a person calling in to complain (unless they know the driver).


I did in fact come across someone asking how to fight this (I believe he was driving his girlfriend's car and didn't stop for the bus, then his girlfriend got a ticket in the mail). Most people responded by telling him he was a moron and man up and pay for the ticket. He never responded so I'm not sure how it ended :wink:

Stanton wrote:
It's quite unlikely police will actively keep an eye out for your vehicle after a complaint, unless it's a report of some type of ongoing behaviour. An example would be a report of a suspended driver with no insurance who leaves his home every day at a certain time. An officer may then set up down the road and see if they can catch the repeat offender in the act.


Sounds reasonable. I did stumble across a post (from my Google search) made on a car forum, where the poster said that he actually got a letter in the mail from the Durham PD stating that they were going to be on the lookout for him. Guess he had more than a few people complain about his erratic driving. :roll:

Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated.


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Re: What could happen if someone copies your plate # down...
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:33 am 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
Here is low down. Call of driving complaint of car with plate XXX111, weaving in traffic. Plate is then queried by the call taker/dispatcher and then broadcast to units. If unit in position, will acknowledge and wait for the suspect vehicle. Once officer see vehicle, see if there is any offence being committed (speeding, fail to drive in marked lane etc..), possibly following for several kilometres. Then pull over vehicle and either give a verbal warning or issue an offence notice on what officer has observed OR if witness will provide a statement (and will go to court) an applicable charge could be issued.

If vehicle not located, many police services send a written warning on business letter head to the owner of the vehicle, advising them of the complaint

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Re: What could happen if someone copies your plate # down...
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:12 pm 
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hwybear wrote:
Here is low down. Call of driving complaint of car with plate XXX111, weaving in traffic. Plate is then queried by the call taker/dispatcher and then broadcast to units. If unit in position, will acknowledge and wait for the suspect vehicle. Once officer see vehicle, see if there is any offence being committed (speeding, fail to drive in marked lane etc..), possibly following for several kilometres. Then pull over vehicle and either give a verbal warning or issue an offence notice on what officer has observed OR if witness will provide a statement (and will go to court) an applicable charge could be issued.

If vehicle not located, many police services send a written warning on business letter head to the owner of the vehicle, advising them of the complaint


Does this process change if someone calls in a suspect impaired driver?

To clarify - say, for example, if I call 911 reporting that I am following a vehicle that keeps weaving slowly in and out of it's lane , and has come close to side swiping a couple cars, would dispatch stay on the phone with me until a patrol vehicle catches up to the car?


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Re: What could happen if someone copies your plate # down...
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:39 pm 
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manwithaplan wrote:
if I call 911 reporting that I am following a vehicle that keeps weaving slowly in and out of it's lane , and has come close to side swiping a couple cars, would dispatch stay on the phone with me until a patrol vehicle catches up to the car?


Yes, that's likely what would happen. They would also tell you not to do anything unsafe (including speeding) while following the vehicle. They would try to get a car in the area to your location as soon as possible. They would also likely do a more extensive followup, including have a cruiser attend the residence of the registered owner in case the driver is going home. (All this is assuming they have the resources.)

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Re: What could happen if someone copies your plate # down...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Impaired drivers they'll go after. If it's just a matter of someone speeding, going through a red light, rolling a stop, turning/changing lanes without signalling etc., in the GTA the police are not likely to respond. It's different in other parts of the province, though.

I've only called in collisions, impaired motorists, and one road-raging sociopath who was chasing and attempting to assault another driver.

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