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135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:58 pm
by patb
Here is my story.... On June 17, I was stopped on Hwy 17 in the Pembroke area for going 135km/h in a 90km/h zone. I know I was speeding to a certain degree but due to me being nervous when he clocked me, I didn't really check my speed.

So my story is that I was going at around the speed limit following two cars. When I had my first opportunity to pass (clear view, no cars, plenty of time to pass), I did by accelerating and got between cars #1 and #2. At some point during this, a cop coming from other direction clocked me - he must have been at a good distance. I did a quick diagram (attached) of the incident if my explanation was not clear. He did a U-turn and pulled me over.

He told me right away he stopped me because I was going 135. He also said he saw me pass. I told him I didn't have a ticket in the last 20 years and I could not understand. Anyway, he asked for drivers license etc and return with a ticket wrapped around my drivers license and warned me that his buddy was not to far where I was heading. He left before I had even had a chance to check the ticket. No break on the ticket.

I have chosen to go to trial. On June 27th, I have received a letter for a Sept. 10th meeting with the prosecutor for resolution before trial. If I don't take that option, the letter says that I will receive my court date. I don't intend to go specially that it's in Pembroke and I live east of Ottawa.

I'm ready to ask for disclosure and I was going to ask for the following:
o a full copy of the police officer’s notes;
o a copy of both sides of the officer’s copy of the ticket (Notice of Offense);
o a typed version of any hand written notes;
o any statements of witnesses;
o any statements made to the officer by the defendant;
o copies of the original notes of such statements;
o the make, model, and serial number of the radar, and its owner’s manual;
o records of any calibration equipment;

Questions:
1- Based on the dates above, when should I send my disclosure request?
2- Any feedback on what I have asked or didn't ask?
3- Since I was very surprised that I was going that fast and I don't really believe it, is it possible that the cop's radar hit either the car in front of him going the same way, or one of the other two cars going in my direction?
4- and finally, a stupid radar question that I can't seem to find the answer to: can wind affect radar (since there was a 25km/h wind)?

Thank you for your time.

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:32 pm
by Stanton
2) I think your request is complete but your asking for things that don't exist. There won't be any witness statements nor any defendant statements unless you wrote something out for the officer. You probably also won't get typed notes unless the written ones are actually illegible.
3) Possible, but two things. First, radar is typically directional, so it would show the direction of travel of the target vehicle. This means it's unlikely it would be a car going the same direction as the officer. Second, if it was one of the cars you were passing, the officer can still state you were going at least that speed since you would have been in fact going faster then the reading.
4) No, wind doesn't effect it. The only type of weather that interferes with radar is rain and snow, but that only reduces the range, not the accuracy.

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:37 pm
by patb
Thank you Stanton for your feedback - it's appreciated.

3) Got it for the car going in the same direction. Not sure I'm quite following for the rest. I guess what I'm saying is that I could argue that I was passing car#2 but car#1 was going too fast for me to past which is why I didn't pass it. Therefore, Car #1 was faster and might have been the car clocked by the cop.

Thanks again.

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:01 pm
by Stanton
Possibly. Might be worth requesting disclosure to see what the officer's notes say. He would have to be able to articulate that the reading he obtained was your vehicle.

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:31 pm
by iFly55
When you filed your tickets, did you select Option 2 or 3? Option 2 is the Early Resolution meeting and Option 3 is going to trial; it will be interesting to learn that certain jurisdictions are scheduling Early Resolution meetings for everyone

Disclosure Requests requires the date and location of your trial, so you will need to wait until you receive your 'Notice of Trial' in the mail; i believe the Prosecutor's Office may not accept your request without it

Sample Form: http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic2959.html

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:39 pm
by patb
I chose Option 3 and it actually says in the letter that the request for trial was received also. This is coming from Renfrew County, Pembroke prosecutor's office.

So I guess there is no point in going to that meeting since I won't get a chance to see disclosure first. Or maybe it's worth faxing in the disclosure request anyway which would show some efforts in moving forward?

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:54 pm
by Stanton
It might vary from one jurisdiction to the next, but basic disclosure would be ready by the first attendance meeting. The Crown should have at the very least a copy of the officer's notes and any related reports. Without that basic information, they're not really in a position to offer any deals or reductions.

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:25 pm
by patb
Here is an update... plus a question

On July 6th 2012, I decided to try and get disclosure even if I didn't receive a Notice of Trial. I put all the information that I could find and sent it. Got nothing back. Just figured it was because I didn't receive the Notice of Trial.
On Sept. 10th 2012, decided not to go to first attendance meeting.
On Sept. 17th 2012, exactly 3 months after the offence, I received notice of trial for Nov. 5th with a form to request disclosure. It also says to send it a minimum of 4 weeks before trial.
On Sept. 19th 2012, I filled out the form with a big note on it that says "see attachment" which points to a formal letter as seen in various example in this forum. Sent the letter and got the confirmation it was delivered.

1- Now if I add 4 weeks to Sept. 19th, I'm guessing that I should be receiving disclosure no later than Oct. 17th which would be less than 3 weeks before trial. How much time is enough time to review the disclosure before trial?
2- In the police's note, does he have to say that he saw me before he clocked me or not? and does he have to say at what distance? I'm just doing a bit of research to prepare for trial and I truly believe that the car he clocked was the guy in front of me and not my car.

Thank you.

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:47 pm
by patb
Hi,

May I please have someone's assistance in explaining officer's note received from disclosure by email today - see attachment

For the record, I asked for:
o a full copy of the police officer’s notes, typed if not legible; RECEIVED BUT NOT TYPED
o if short-form writing is used in the officer’s notes, please have the officer provide an explanation for the short forms; NOT PROVIDED BUT NOT SURE THAT IS REQUIRED AT THIS POINT
o the make, model, and serial number of the radar or speed-measuring device used by the officer, and its owner’s manual; I THINK I CAN READ MAKE AND SERIAL FROM OFFICER'S NOTES BUT NO OWNER'S MANUAL
o and any document the Crown may rely on at trial. PROVIDED WITH MY DRIVING RECORD WHICH HAS A 2000 SPEEDING TICKET THAT I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT

Any feedback on if I should ask for more disclosure and/or any strategy would be appreciated.

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:42 pm
by patb
Sorry forgot the attachment...

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:43 pm
by blondie
I don't know if this would work for you, but a friend of mine once successfully argued her way out of a speeding ticket in the same situation. She explained that of course she was speeding; she was passing someone. When you pull into an oncoming traffic lane to pass someone you speed up, pass them, pull back into the correct lane, and once again reduce your speed to the appropriate level. Assuming you did not maintain the speed of 135 you could have successful argument. Or perhaps my friend just had a kind cop.

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:18 pm
by Stanton
No, passing a vehicle is not legal justification for speeding. It would not be accepted as a defence in Court.

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:29 pm
by patb
Here is what I came up with that is relevant to me:

08:40
- Tested Genesis II Select
- Directional Radar
- Serial #: G25-21847
- Then a series of tests performed

13:33
- ____ westbound on Hwy 17 in passing lanes (L2)
- ____ on estbound _____ ______
- van pull out begin to pass ______ ahead of _____

- Vehicule accelarated _____ _______
- Believed ______ to be travelling above posted speed limit of 90km/h
- _____ tracked _____ as it _______

- Activated radar _____ _______ speed
- _________________________ as 135km/h
- Activated lights to stop and pull _______
- Grey Van Odyssey Ontario license plate (my number)

- All my personal info here
- Issued (my ticket offence number here)
- Served & explained ______

16:25 - tested device again

I can't read everything but I think in summary, he tested the device before and after, he provided the type of device (radar) and he explained that I was passing and that he targeted me. However, he fails to talk about the lead vehicle which, in my opinion, was the car going 135 and faster than me and he doesn't show how far he was when he used the radar.

Possible strategies:

1- ask for disclosure I didn't get (clarification of notes + user's manual) which won't be in time for trial, therefore I push to have the trial move to another date
2- or I could just defend myself using what I suggested in an earlier post: ''I could argue that I was passing car#2 but car#1 was going too fast for me to past which is why I didn't pass it. Therefore, Car #1 was faster and might have been the car clocked by the cop.'' Problem is that the vehicle never existed according to the cop and I don't know how far he was when he took the reading (hard to question accuracy of radar).

Thank you for your assistance.

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:36 pm
by Pepsi
Agree with Stanton, I don't think the court would accept the passing as justification for speeding. It might be possible to get out of the ticket that way at the time you are ticketed because it is the officer's call as to whether to issue a ticket or if you manage to talk the officer out of it before the trial, but once you're in court it is up to the prosecutor and the JP and they follow the rule of the law.

I don't see why you should guess what the notes say, I see a lot of gibberish there and your interpretation could be wrong. You have the right to know the evidence against you not second guess it. I would send another disclosure request for typed notes, the manual and anything else that wasn't provided. Make sure you keep records of all the requests. If the case is adjourned because of incomplete disclosure you will need them to prove the delay was the fault of the prosecution. Also, you should have some time to review the disclosure not get it few days before trial. In my case, I filed a charter of rights violation as per ticketcombat http://www.ticketcombat.com/step4/friends.php because the prosecution first dragged their feet with delivering what I requested and then 3 weeks before the trial just stated they won't be producing anything. No valid explanation was provided. Btw, one of the things I asked for and refused was typed notes. I had to chance of testing the strategy though because the officer didn't show and the charge was withdrawn.

Your points about the officer's failure to mention the lead car and the distance might give you ammo at cross exam time. Also, did he have the radar set to forward or away traffic? for all you know he could have been clocking the car going in his direction. Anything you can use to discredit him on independent recollection will work in your favour.

They might not give you the manual. I was permitted only to view it and to make notes. If you have to go that route take a laptop with you. I used the refusal to copy in my charter violation, again, untested strategy; i didn't think it was fair to have me spend time copying the manual by hand. You can also review manuals online from the US or even Europe as they are pretty much the same except the Cdn version omits certain things such as tuning forks. Those omissions are what you need to be aware of as you won't be able to use them in your defence.

Yet another unproven strategy which I would have used had I gone to trial was to check if the radar is certified by industry canada.
Good luck!

Re: 135km/h in a 90km/h zone on hwy 17

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:59 pm
by patb
Came back from court today. Ended up taking a deal of "Failing to Obey a sign" with 2 pts demerits and a $110 charge, incl. costs etc. instead of the 135 km/h in a 90 km/h zone and a $335 (with 4 pts)

Since people have helped me on this site, my contribution is to give back the only way I can, which is providing you the information of what happened in court today and give you my line of thinking and experience. I would welcome your opinion on my decision to accept this deal and hopefully this will help others.

I arrived at court and sat in the courtroom early. Spotted the police officer right away. Arriving early was a good thing because it was a very busy day and most people had to wait outside. This gave me the opportunity to see other proceedings and understand what would be happening. The JP called my name and asked if I was pleading guilty or not guilty. My goal was to get the disclosure I never got in full and get an adjournment. I decided to say "not guilty". The prosecutor asked the JP to set aside my case for now so she could discuss with me at break. The fact that I arrived early as well also gave me a chance to see that they were scheduling the next court dates for Dec.3rd or 10th. That was important because even if I would have gotten full disclosure and attended court on one of those dates, I would be in the 6 months range which would not have been sufficient for a 11b request.

Another observation that I made is that the JP was having a bad morning with unorganized files, things moving to slowly for her, having to call "order in the court" once, getting upset that somebody brought in a drink and/or food, then upset that a cell phone rang, then telling everyone to turn off phone (vibrate mode was not enough apparently).

At break, the police officer came to see me and asked if we could both go see the prosecutor right away. He apparently had just came out of a night shift and wanted his only case of the day to be dealt with right away if possible. I agreed and went into a private room with both of them. The prosecutor asked why I didn't show up to the early resolution meeting and I said I was more than 2 hours away, that I had not received disclosure and it was not mandatory. She asked if we could come to an agreement and I said I was still waiting for some disclosure. The officer reviewed his notes with me and it was very clear that the officer remembered every single details. He did fail to remember that lead car that I have been talking about in this tread but he was pretty convincing that this was not a factor the way he locked in my speed. This guy was experienced for sure and had probably been around for a while. He even made a drawing of the incident and gave precise details. He looked at the prosecutor and said he would not be offended by any deal. Then, he looked at me and said I have no obligation to take that deal and that we could go to trial. The prosecutor said considering my driving record and the fact that I was very polite that day of the incident and, also, considering that my speeding was because I was passing a car, she would offer me a deal but could not go to a zero point deal.

Considering the mood of the JP, the fact that it would be the word of a veteran police officer that seem to remember every single detail against a nobody like me, I thought it was best to accept this deal. There was really never any pressure however which was very surprising to me.

When my name was called again, the prosecutor told the JP that I was going to plead guilty to lesser charges on disobeying a sign and the JP asked how fast I was going. The prosecutor said 135 in a 90 zone and the JP made some big eyes and tells me that I was a lucky man. She questioned me on my past driving record so I mentioned that my last and only ticket was in 2000. She was silent for what seem to be a long long time and asked if I needed more time to pay but I declined. So she said the following "It's your lucky day. Go pay your ticket right away at the counter outside and you better take that foot off the pedal from now on! You are very lucky to get this"

That last sentence really convinced me that I would not have had a chance. I had read a lot of stuff on this website and other websites (like ticketcombat) and one thing that I do have to admit is that it felt really true that you are guilty until proven innocent.