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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 03-24-2010, 12:46 AM   #1
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ticket for following too close...

how close is too close?

i was driving 30kph or less and about to turn so i was already braking. vehicle ahead of me had no rear lights and was approaching a red light on the next block so he was slowing down also. cop pulls me ovr and rights me a ticket for following too close. he says i was 5 feet behind but i was a cars length. which for most is too close but i was going about 30 and braking.

so wat is the legal limit and how would i dispute it?
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:47 AM   #2
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2-3 cars, when you take a road test you should be able to see the bottom of the tires of the car ahead of you.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:00 AM   #3
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Hmm I didn't know there was a law to tail gating?
What section did the cop give you on your ticket?
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:51 PM   #4
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As dragon said, you're supposed to be able to see the bottom of the tires of the car in front of you, and also a little bit of the ground.

What I find weird is that the cop pulled you over instead of the guy with no tail lights.
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:53 PM   #5
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really for following at a safe distance you should be 2-3 car lengths back (I dont know specifically what the law says about this) but you'd be suprised how big a gap that makes on the highway when people actually follow it!
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:18 PM   #6
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http://www.drivesmartbc.ca/behaviour...ng-too-closely

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The Motor Vehicle Act says that the driver of a vehicle must not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent having regard for the speed, amount and nature of traffic and condition of the highway.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:18 PM   #7
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Following too closely
162 (1) A driver of a vehicle must not cause or permit the vehicle to follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles and the amount and nature of traffic on and the condition of the highway.

(2) The driver of a commercial motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles, when driving on a roadway outside a business or residence district, must not follow within 60 m of another commercial motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles, but this must not be construed to prevent one commercial motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles overtaking and passing another.

(3) The driver of a motor vehicle in a caravan or motorcade, other than a funeral procession, outside a business or residence district, must leave sufficient space between his or her vehicle and another vehicle or combination of vehicles to enable a vehicle to enter and occupy that space without danger


In IDEAL conditions you need to leave at least 2 seconds for reaction time alone...let alone the distance needed to come to a safe stop.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:32 PM   #8
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Hmm I didn't know there was a law to tail gating?
What section did the cop give you on your ticket?
it was section 162(1)

so the ticket given was up to the discretion of the peace officer...how am i supposed to argue this in court considering there is no set distance according to the law.

as for the driving conditions it was dry, dark, with no other traffic around and we were going less than 30 clicks coming to a stop.

thanks for everyone's help here.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:01 PM   #9
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I have always heeded the following:


Lights, Stop Signs, and general stopping areas = 1-2 car lengths behind the person infront of you. You should be able to see their rear tires VERY VERY easily.


Driving (doesn't matter if it's 20kmh or 100kmh) = 3-4 seconds following distance. If a person is following by 4 seconds, that gives them enough time to notice you stopping, process the maneuvre in their brain, apply pressure to the brake pedal and stop.



I saw a guy in an SUV, infront of me get rear ended a while ago. There was a car inbetween us who had like a 1 second following distance (if that). I saw the suv's brake lights, and never saw the the car's brake lights turn on. Yep, the car was so close that she didn't have time to even move her foot to the brake pedal.

I have noticed that SO MANY PEOPLE in this city like to tailgate. If I am stopped, and I can't see the person's headlights behind me, that's too close.

If some doucher behind me has less than a 1 second following distance on a big highway, a new car for me is only a E-Brake away.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:25 AM   #10
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Hmm I didn't know there was a law to tail gating?
What section did the cop give you on your ticket?
how the hell did u pass ur road test son
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:45 AM   #11
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how the hell did u pass ur road test son
Probably like all the C-lai here in the Lower Mainland.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blk04Turbo View Post
Lights, Stop Signs, and general stopping areas = 1-2 car lengths behind the person infront of you. You should be able to see their rear tires VERY VERY easily.

Driving (doesn't matter if it's 20kmh or 100kmh) = 3-4 seconds following distance. If a person is following by 4 seconds, that gives them enough time to notice you stopping, process the maneuvre in their brain, apply pressure to the brake pedal and stop.
Well said, sir!
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:38 PM   #13
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how close is too close?

i was driving 30kph or less and about to turn so i was already braking. vehicle ahead of me had no rear lights and was approaching a red light on the next block so he was slowing down also. cop pulls me ovr and rights me a ticket for following too close. he says i was 5 feet behind but i was a cars length. which for most is too close but i was going about 30 and braking.

so wat is the legal limit and how would i dispute it?
This is what the Crown must prove..

162 (1) A driver of a vehicle must not cause or permit the vehicle to follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles and the amount and nature of traffic on and the condition of the highway.

Very rough measurements here...but for demonstration purposes..At your speed you were covering about 2 car length per second..reaction time will take about 2 seconds so that would put you 2 car length ahead of the car you were following...let alone actual braking distance. Seeing that you could not stop in time IF the car ahead suddenly braked...are you following "more closely than is reasonable and prudent"? Sounds like you were not. You will have to convince the JP that it was. It will likely be an uphill struggle, based on what you have told us.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:53 PM   #14
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If you drive close enough to the car in front, that there's not enough room for someone else to change lanes (and get between you)... as most people in Vancouver seem to drive... you're too close. Way too close.

So... since a very high percentage of drivers would therefore qualify for a "following too close" ticket, yet they never get them... and you were actually close enough to attract police attention enough to receive such a ticket... I'd say there's a damn good chance you were WAY too close.

Now if everyone in BC would stop driving like idiots and leave the room... just get over the fact that people are going to get into your lane... and leave enough space to be able to stop in time... insurance rates would plummet!
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:37 AM   #15
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Probably like all the C-lai here in the Lower Mainland.
sigh no wonder i hate going to richmond
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jlenko View Post
If you drive close enough to the car in front, that there's not enough room for someone else to change lanes (and get between you)... as most people in Vancouver seem to drive... you're too close. Way too close.

So... since a very high percentage of drivers would therefore qualify for a "following too close" ticket, yet they never get them... and you were actually close enough to attract police attention enough to receive such a ticket... I'd say there's a damn good chance you were WAY too close.

Now if everyone in BC would stop driving like idiots and leave the room... just get over the fact that people are going to get into your lane... and leave enough space to be able to stop in time... insurance rates would plummet!
If you leave any more than a car length plus two inches driving in Vancouver, someone will try to jam into it... and then usually want to either turn or park or otherwise come to a stop.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:03 PM   #17
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... and then usually want to either turn or park or otherwise come to a stop.
What, you mean planning more than 1/4 of a block ahead? Who would do a thing like that??
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:00 AM   #18
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rule of thumb for me was about a cars length for every 10km/h..
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:29 PM   #19
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rule of thumb for me was about a cars length for every 10km/h..
5 car lengths for city driving? That's pretty big.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:08 AM   #20
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ughh no one leaves 5 car gaps driving in the city

with that mentality, u must leave 10 car gaps driving on the hwy eh?
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:20 AM   #21
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The ICBC drivers book says 2 seconds following distance at a minimum.

All the driving schools teach 3 seconds. 4-5 seconds is pretty unneeded, thats basically driving a whole block behind the guy in front of you in 50km zones.

The method for keeping tabs on it while driving is to pick an object ahead of both cars, wait for the rear bumper of the car in front of you to pass by it, then count the seconds until your front bumper passes it. You'll probably be surprised how far away it is, this morning i was 3 seconds behind the semi-truck in front of me on the highway. Next to me in the left lane, there were 4-5 cars in the space between me and the semi.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:29 AM   #22
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on a related note...

I just witnessed something similar this morning, one big issue with following too close is when making left/right turns. I was waiting to turn left onto mcbride from 10th ave this morning, when i noticed an ambulance coming down 10th ave into oncoming traffic as the right side was backed up.

As the ambulance got towards the intersection the light had turned green for cars to start turning right onto 10th. Soon as I saw them starting to turn i noticed that a BC hydro van was really close to the civic that was first in line making the turn. Sure enough, as soon as the civic saw the ambulance screaming down his lane he hit his brakes, and the bc hydro van slammed into him.

edit: should i call ICBC and say i witnessed this? Or does it not matter because it was just a rear ender and theres not really any debate to that anyways.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:28 PM   #23
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I know that people have difficulty visually estimating distances, but good grief! 80 km/h is about 20 m/s. Two seconds = 40 m or about 10 car lengths. Really, a block is much more than 10 vehicle lengths.
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:29 PM   #24
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50km/h is 45 feet per second.
According to google the average car length is 13.5 feet.
A 4 second gap would be 13.3 car lengths at just 50km/h.

I'd say 3 seconds is reasonable.

http://www.unitarium.com/speed
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_th...ength_of_a_car

Even at 20km/h, according to the 'minimum' following distance of 2 seconds, you'd have to be 36.4538 feet from the car in front of you, almost 3 car lengths.

so basically, its going to be impossible to argue that you were at a reasonable distance.
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:34 PM   #25
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If you were 1 car length away after applying your brakes then how close were you before?

Thats just as stupid an argument for getting pulled over for speeding while you were braking.

Cop says your doing 50 in a 30 zone but officer I was already slowing down. So how fast were you going before you got clocked.
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