Improper Pass (and a few other questions)

DMS91
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Improper Pass (and a few other questions)

Unread post by DMS91 »

Hi there, I just have a few quick questions for you guys.

I was travelling down a three lane road in the left most lane heading to school, and I needed to make my way to the right most lane to make a right turn. There was a marked cruiser behind me, a car in front and a tractor-trailer beside me (on my right). The car in front passed the truck and there was enough room in between to make a safe pass, so I sped up (5-10km/h faster) a little to pass, signalled, changed lanes, and let my speed decrease. I looked in my mirror and the police officer behind me turned on his lights. I pulled over, and he warned me that I was speeding, improperly signalled, improperly changed lanes and was following too close. At no point did he take my license or ownership back to his cruiser and the warning was strictly verbal. I understand that my lane change wasn't the most text-book example, but I didn't feel it put anyone else in any danger. I know I did wrong and I'm really taking this warning to heart. I'm not complaining about the warning (I'd like to keep my clean record as long as I can) but I was just wondering, since the warning was only verbal, and the officer did not take down any of my information, would it still be entered into his computer?

One other question, I have a factory lowered Chevy S10, with wide tires in the back, and a flowmaster exhaust. The exhaust is by no means excessively loud, as long as it is driven with a moderate eye kept on the throttle. Would I be in any danger of getting a ticket for having a non-stock exhaust? And, does the fact that my truck could be considered *sporty* or *modified* make me anymore of a target for police?


Thanks for your time!


Stanton
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Re: Improper Pass (and a few other questions)

Unread post by Stanton »

Typically when police conduct a traffic stop, they will run your licence plate on their computer system. Ministry records will show what type of vehicle is associated to the licence plate, who the registered owner is and their driving record. If you were the registered owner of the vehicle, the officer would have already gotten your information before he left his car. There will be a record of the fact that your plate was queried and possibly a record on the local police database with a comment as to why you were stopped. It isn't anything to worry about though, it's nothing that appears on any type of driving abstract and can't be used against you for insurance etc.

As for your other question, I'm not familiar with flowmaster exhaust systems, so I can't stay if it's legal per se. The fact that it isn't stock doesn't make it illegal, but if you have to be careful with the throttle then it sounds like you have a muffler prone to excessive noise. The law states:
Every motor vehicle or motor assisted bicycle shall be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and excessive smoke, and no person shall use a muffler cut-out, straight exhaust, gutted muffler, hollywood muffler, by-pass or similar device upon a motor vehicle or motor assisted bicycle.
If your truck does make excessive noise, stands out or otherwise draws people's attention, then there's probably a good chance that police are more apt to notice you as well.


DMS91
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Re: Improper Pass (and a few other questions)

Unread post by DMS91 »

Thanks for the quick reply.

I think I should be alright. I'm running full exhaust pipes and the muffler is legal as per the owners manual. It's just a little bit of extra grunt to satisfy they ears or a muscle car lover :)


watcher
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Re: (and a few other questions)noise, aftermarket equipment

Unread post by watcher »

The "anti-noise" situation is very fluid at the moment, with local jurisdictions like Caledon passing by-laws relating to SAE vehicle standards. In most cases, the by-laws specifically target motorcycles, but it appears the legal challenges to this narrow targeting may mean all vehicles will soon be subjected to specific sound level limits. The supporters of the Caledon motorcycle noise by-law are lobbying to get similar provisions included in the Ont HTA. If this happens, expect Ontario police officers to soon be running around with dB meters as well as radar/lidar. A recipe for disaster, as accurate sound measurement is notoriously difficult, even under laboratory conditions by fully-trained sound technicians, let alone at the side of the road by someone with only hours of training. Even without a dB meter, an officer can currently issue a compliance order or ticket on the strength of his/her subjective perception that an exhaust system is "too loud".

I recently read where an officer used the "excessive smoke" provision quoted above regarding a vintage two-stroke motorcycle. No amount of explanation that "that is how these motorcycles work, even when properly maintained" had any effect, other than to cause the officer and her partner to threaten further tickets.

Many Ontario law enforcement departments seem to be focusing on any non-standard equipment during traffic stops.

Aftermarket headlight bulbs that are "too blue" are becoming another favorite, even though road-legal bulbs of the colour frequency sold in Ontario parts stores are specifically approved by Transport Canada legislation/regulation, these are arbitrarily subject to roadside "judgment calls", compliance orders and tickets. In the particular instance I am aware of, showing the officer the box the bulbs came in with the colour info, the purchase receipt and a copy of the Transport Canada regs didn't work.

So just because your exhaust system is 100% factory stock and mentioned in the owner's manual, if it is louder than what an officer feels is "normal", expect to attract their attention. The functional onus is not on the officer to objectively prove your equipment contravenes the legislation, it is on you to prove it is in compliance. In court. At your own expense, even if you win.


m5lover
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Re: (and a few other questions)noise, aftermarket equipment

Unread post by m5lover »

I totally agree we still have a much loose laws here for noise when compared to the US or at least to the ones I lived in before. I had a friend of mine getting a ticket in there for running a noisy stereo in his car. Well when I say noisy he had all kind of subwoofers and music bazookas installed in his car where you can hear a louder music of his car outside it rather than inside it. It was like a moving disco if you get what I am saying. I don't think we have a law in here that will stop some one from doing that in my understanding. I guess we are lucky that people here don't get into that much stuff as in the US else we would not be able to sleep :).

Enjoy,
Erick
watcher wrote:The "anti-noise" situation is very fluid at the moment, with local jurisdictions like Caledon passing by-laws relating to SAE vehicle standards. In most cases, the by-laws specifically target motorcycles, but it appears the legal challenges to this narrow targeting may mean all vehicles will soon be subjected to specific sound level limits. The supporters of the Caledon motorcycle noise by-law are lobbying to get similar provisions included in the Ont HTA. If this happens, expect Ontario police officers to soon be running around with dB meters as well as radar/lidar. A recipe for disaster, as accurate sound measurement is notoriously difficult, even under laboratory conditions by fully-trained sound technicians, let alone at the side of the road by someone with only hours of training. Even without a dB meter, an officer can currently issue a compliance order or ticket on the strength of his/her subjective perception that an exhaust system is "too loud".

I recently read where an officer used the "excessive smoke" provision quoted above regarding a vintage two-stroke motorcycle. No amount of explanation that "that is how these motorcycles work, even when properly maintained" had any effect, other than to cause the officer and her partner to threaten further tickets.

Many Ontario law enforcement departments seem to be focusing on any non-standard equipment during traffic stops.

Aftermarket headlight bulbs that are "too blue" are becoming another favorite, even though road-legal bulbs of the colour frequency sold in Ontario parts stores are specifically approved by Transport Canada legislation/regulation, these are arbitrarily subject to roadside "judgment calls", compliance orders and tickets. In the particular instance I am aware of, showing the officer the box the bulbs came in with the colour info, the purchase receipt and a copy of the Transport Canada regs didn't work.

So just because your exhaust system is 100% factory stock and mentioned in the owner's manual, if it is louder than what an officer feels is "normal", expect to attract their attention. The functional onus is not on the officer to objectively prove your equipment contravenes the legislation, it is on you to prove it is in compliance. In court. At your own expense, even if you win.


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