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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 09-01-2011, 09:28 PM   #1
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Obstructed speed limit sign

I seem to recall a while back a member here won his case against a speeding ticket because the speed limit signs in a transition zone were obstructed by an 18 wheeler.

Here's a story from one lady who lost her vehicle under the new excessive speed laws because the sign was obstructed:

The Fitzhugh - August 25, 2011


How can you possibly justify a roadside trial and execution for a "crime" the courts in some cases have dismissed?
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:50 PM   #2
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Not even an editorial feature... it's someone's submission. I'd take it with a grain of salt.

If she was going 50 over (120 in a 70 zone), how fast was she passing the semis? I know semis like to speed too.. but I can't imagine them going 40 over to begin with. Grandma must have been flyin'!!
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:26 AM   #3
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Not even an editorial feature... it's someone's submission. I'd take it with a grain of salt.

If she was going 50 over (120 in a 70 zone), how fast was she passing the semis? I know semis like to speed too.. but I can't imagine them going 40 over to begin with. Grandma must have been flyin'!!
The speed limit is reduced from 100, to 70, along the same stretch of highway, during the nicest months of the year.
Also,I highly suspect the semis weren't plodding along at that pace either.

How does that adjustment make any sense either? Wouldn't you want to force people to travel slower during potentially more dangerous winter weather and shorter daylight hours? A near 35% speed reduction over the summer seems ridiculously drastic.

Maybe the May-Oct long days and nice weather give a better opportunity to setup speed traps and have better catches

The focus should be on safety through awareness, not enforcement. I don't know the area so I can't comment on the signage, but it seems to me that if you are going to have special speed limits at certain times during the year, one of those giant yellow signs above the roadway at regular intervals with a "When lights flashing, speed limit reduced to 70KM/h" would be an appropriate way to deal with this. Not to mention, dual speed signs - or in my opinion, the cities should have to pay road crews to change the signs over between the seasons.


Again I don't know the area, but it definitely sounds inadequate.

That said, grandmother in a tight spot, or punk ass luxury driving teenybopper twerp - officers generally approach the law with the mindset of black & white, it's up to the courts and lawyers to distinguish the greys. You can't fault him for doing his job, and applying the letter of the law as written, but it definitely and unfortunate result that this law is having many unintended consequences on regular law abiding folks, while the real dangerous turds (the 13 captured this past week) can simply afford to go out and rent another supercar in the time being because their licenses aren't suspended and the fees are what they'd spend on lunch.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:39 AM   #4
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but it definitely and unfortunate result that this law is having many unintended consequences on regular law abiding folks, while the real dangerous turds (the 13 captured this past week) can simply afford to go out and rent another supercar in the time being because their licenses aren't suspended and the fees are what they'd spend on lunch.
I think the case of the granny needing to catch a bus home was the intended consequence of this law.

Meanwhile according to media reports, the Vancouver "street racers" haven't actually been charged with "excessive speed", yet their cars are sitting in an impound lot.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:26 PM   #5
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Meanwhile according to media reports, the Vancouver "street racers" haven't actually been charged with "excessive speed", yet their cars are sitting in an impound lot.
In this case, the INTENDED consequences are being fulfilled, and a bunch of self-centered, spoiled little pricks are off the roads, and it's safer for the rest of us, at least for the next few days.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:35 PM   #6
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And with the two cars impounded today for yet another street race.. sure, the law is really helping to deter poor driving
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:09 AM   #7
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:21 AM   #8
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And with the two cars impounded today for yet another street race.. sure, the law is really helping to deter poor driving
You must admit it will deter the drivers of the 2 impounded cars for at least 7 days.

As far as charging the stupid & furious from LMD goes, I would expect that the investigators will see what kind of witness response they get from those that called in the race. Decent statements may allow them to charge under the Criminal Code and then proceeds of crime forfiture could apply. Even if they decide on MV Act charges, they have up to 12 months to lay those charges.

I would also believe that Police will be strongly suggesting that the Supt. MVs take a very close look at suspending/prohibiting/cancelling their DLs and the one driving on a foreign DL may be charged for not having a BC one if he should have had one. Something to remember about traffic charges...maximum penalty per charge is 6 months in jail and/or a $2000 fine. The normal VT fines are the minimum $$ to be charged and they can ramp them up if they wish. The high profile and level of danger involved just screams for a high penalty.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:06 AM   #9
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Well there have been well over 4,600 cars impounded already under the excessive speed law in BC so clearly people aren't getting the message.

I realize there are three sides to every story, but since excessive speed triggers an immediate impoundment, the only side that counts is the officer's. Let's assume everything that the visiting granny said is true.

She had every reason to believe the speed limit to be 100kph from previous visits and her view of the 70kph sign was obstructed. When she overtook the semis, she needed to accelerate to a speed that would let her pass the trucks before the passing lane ended. It's probably safe to assume that she was somewhat familiar with the fines for speeding, so she weighted that in on her decision to pass. After all, speeding is a risk the majority of drivers take every day.

Had she known that the penalty for 40kph over was an immediate impoundment, I'm guessing she would have still passed the trucks, albeit a little bit slower.

The trouble is, she was operating under the understanding that the speed limit was 100kph. Now before you say "ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law", ask yourself: did the government effectively convey the speed limit? Knowing that the signs would be obstructed by the very vehicles someone is likely to pass, shouldn't the onus be on the government to install signs in such a way that they can't be missed? Especially with such drastic penalties.



Zulu, in your experience, do most head on collisions occur as a result of someone passing a slower moving vehicle on a straight, two laned section of highway with good visibility, or do more occur as a result of something else like distractions or underestimating the sharpness of the curve?
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:34 PM   #10
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Gee Granny, you are a nice lady, so I decree that the laws of physics and the laws of the land will not apply to you. When you crash or hit someone else, nobody will get hurt, because you are a nice person. Also, from now on, the laws only apply to bad people and unless you are an axe murderer you can do whatever you want. We will only punish bad people.

You know, as somebody else has already pointed out, we only have a self-serving letter from someone who wanted to escape the consequences of their illegal activities. If you can remember just a few weeks back about a furor raised by a man who was harassed by the Cops and prevented his high risk wife from being able to go to hospital to have her baby???? Remember what really happened when the truth came out? Grann did not have to speed up over the limit by how much?? to pass the trucks. She chose to. She did not have to further speed (by how much)up to pull in front of the trucks. She made a bad choice to break the law in the first place and it got worse as she went along. I tried to google earth the location to see the speed reduction signs but the location was too general. there is one 4 lane that goes thru a built up area with some stores, houses and an intersection etc, near the park.If she had limit signs. Most areas in BC with that kind of drop in speed have several warning and actual decreased limit signs posted, sometimes on both sides of the road.


Head on crashes are the result of both scenarios you presented. I have investigated what I can remember as an equal number of both. The first ones usally involve higher impact speeds because driver at fault mistakenly believes that it is safer to do so than on a corner. I would say that the larger number of headons involved this type of crash.

Not many people crash head on because of distractions while rounding a corner because the natural inclination is to slow down and pay attention on a corner.

If by "underestimating the sharpness of the curve" you mean driving too fast for their ability and the physics involved in cornering, yes some do but most tend to go wide to the outside of the corner and kill themselves off road right or off road left. Not many slide scross the centre line and hit someone head on and it would have to be a right hand corner, therefore eliminating 50% of the possible crashes.

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Old 09-04-2011, 06:09 PM   #11
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Grann did not have to speed up over the limit by how much?? to pass the trucks. She chose to. She did not have to further speed (by how much)up to pull in front of the trucks. She made a bad choice to break the law in the first place and it got worse as she went along.
I see it all the time - vehicles travelling under the posted limit (usually semis, campers, etc..) who then speed up when the road straightens out for the passing zone.

The only way to pass a vehicle that has now sped up to the posted limit is to exceed the limit.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:11 PM   #12
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I see it all the time - vehicles travelling under the posted limit (usually semis, campers, etc..) who then speed up when the road straightens out for the passing zone.

The only way to pass a vehicle that has now sped up to the posted limit is to exceed the limit.
So, don't pass - it's still your choice, nobody's holding a gun to your head.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:26 PM   #13
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So, don't pass - it's still your choice, nobody's holding a gun to your head.
Right, so when the passing lane is over and you're back on two-lane, windy road behind a semi driving 20kph below the posted limit... come on, get real.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:33 PM   #14
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come on, get real.
That's rich, considering the source...
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:35 PM   #15
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The only way to pass a vehicle that has now sped up to the posted limit is to exceed the limit.[/QUOTE]

So how much over the posted legal limit are you asking to be permitted to go, and for how long? 20, 40, 60, 80, 120?...you know some of these guys speed up when you try to pass them?

So are you permitted to drive at the illegal passing speed for 1/2 a km, 2 kms, until you can no longer see him in your mirror? What happens if he speeds up behind you...how many kms can you go until you have to slow down.


Yes it is frustrating to get stuck behind one of these mental morons who speed up when you come to the passing lane but when you volunteer to drive in an unsafe and illegal manner to satisfy your temper/righteous indignation etc, how does this suspend the laws of physics and the laws of the land. Are you a safer driver when you are angry and exceeding the limit in order to move a vehicle length ahead or are you safer when you chill and let them continue while you are at least concentrating on everything around you and not just a car length in front? Life is short and difficult enough without letting someone else manipulate you to do dangerous things.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:12 PM   #16
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So how much over the posted legal limit are you asking to be permitted to go, and for how long? 20, 40, 60, 80, 120?...you know some of these guys speed up when you try to pass them?

So are you permitted to drive at the illegal passing speed for 1/2 a km, 2 kms, until you can no longer see him in your mirror? What happens if he speeds up behind you...how many kms can you go until you have to slow down.
Some things don't need a written procedure, you just drive according to the conditions.

When passing I've had people speed up to prevent me from passing. In that case I back off and abort the pass. I've also had people slow down and move right while I pass to make sure I can pass safely.

As a driver drives down the road, he is constantly collecting "data" on the traffic, road, weather and other conditions and factors. He must use the information gathered through his ovservations to make decisions on his speed, path and lane of travel, following distances, etc... often with less than seconds to react. Essentially all that "see, think, do" stuff that makes a driver a defensive one.

We, drivers, are constantly trusted to observe, compute and respond to constantly and rapidly changing surroundings. Yet as soon as drivers exceed the speed limit, ICBC and the enforcement community want to beat, whip and impound us into submission while telling us that we're somehow no longer capable of making the necessary observations and react accordingly.


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Yes it is frustrating to get stuck behind one of these mental morons who speed up when you come to the passing lane but when you volunteer to drive in an unsafe and illegal manner to satisfy your temper/righteous indignation etc, how does this suspend the laws of physics and the laws of the land. Are you a safer driver when you are angry and exceeding the limit in order to move a vehicle length ahead or are you safer when you chill and let them continue while you are at least concentrating on everything around you and not just a car length in front? Life is short and difficult enough without letting someone else manipulate you to do dangerous things.
I also know that many speed limits in BC are under-posted, meaning that while the laws of physics remain in play, you have to drive significantly over the posted limit before you reach the danger-zone and fly off the road.

And remember that not all drivers who are "speeding" to pass are angry and annoyed. "Speeding" is not always the result of aggression, so don't paint all speeders with the same brush. I'm very calm and relaxed when I drive.

Sometimes I just don't want to look at the back of an 18 wheeler that is kicking up rocks and dust onto my car while driving 15kph under the posted limit.
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