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Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 09-15-2011, 10:29 PM   #1
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Pacing - Is there a method/procedure that must be followed?

For a police office to measure the speed of a vehical by following, or pacing, with his car, is there a required procedure an officer must perform to get an accurate reading?

Are there any requirements to follow for a certain distance, or time to ensure the 'measured' speed is correct?

If so, where can I find some more info on this?

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Old 09-16-2011, 09:22 AM   #2
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Don't forget cops have radar on their dash in the car.. So if they are behind you, pacing or not.. they know your speed.
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:19 PM   #3
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Nope...they follow you at a constant distance,look at their speedo and see what speed you are both going.

Last edited by zulutango; 09-16-2011 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:32 PM   #4
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it's not rocket science. if the officer is doing close to the speed limit, and you are zooming up or zooming past, it's obvious you are speeding. The officer dose not need to 'measure' your speed exactly. They have training to 'estimate' your speed.

your only grounds for dispute would be if the speed was estimated (not measured with radar or lidar) and the estimated speed was about 41kph over the limit where you were only doing 39kph over the limit. I'm using that example because the consequences for 40+kph over the limit are far more severe than 1-39kph over the limit.

The degree of error on speed estimation is highly subjective. I have used a lidar gun to tag speeders (cop friend let me try the lidar) and I always guess within about 8kph to what the actual speed was. It's easier to guess when there's other traffic around. You get used to seeing what 60kph looks like. You can tell the guys doing 50kph are a little slower. The guys doing 40kph are a lot slower. The guys doing 70-80kph are way faster. You can argue 1-5kph but you can't argue 10kph+.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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hmm ok thanks.

Reason I asked is because, well yes, I did get a speeding ticket, but the speed he 'caught' me doing was well over what I was actually going, and when I asked him he said he paced me to get my speed. The problem with that is that he never actually paced me.

He started from 0km on the side of the road, quickly sped up and pulled me over all within a very short distance. Additionally, the road dipped down, so shortly after I passed him, he couldn't see me. Once I saw him come over the hill in my mirror with his lights on, I immediately started breaking and pulling over, while he was still very clearly accelerating towards me over the hill as he couldn't see me until that point. At no point was he able to match my speed even for a second to get a correct reading. I feel like he just made up a speed, or looked at his speedo while he was going much faster than I was to catch up, which has nothing to do with the speed I'm going.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:14 PM   #6
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Remember the way the law is written it doesn't really matter what speed he writes down, speeding is speeding.

That said, it sounds like you might have a case to get off. While in traffic court I saw a woman successfully defeat a pacing charge by proving there was not ample time/space for the officer to pace her.
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:08 AM   #7
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Actually, as stupid as a question as this is I'd still call myself a newer driver. Nearing the end of my N.

It seems that everybody speeds in this city, most of the time, cars are traveling a "reasonable" 60-65 km/h in a 50 zone. And for some odd stretches like from Gilmore to Boundary on Lougheed where there are no side streets, cars go a bit faster, usually around 80km/h, but rarely over that.

It seems that drivers have this unwritten rule of that's the real speed of the road and for certain stretches.

I know that people really rip it on marine doing 80+ when it's technically a 50 zone. That just seems really risky, but for me on a scooter, to be doing anything less than 65 just feels dangerous. At 15km/h less than the speed of traffic, that means less time for a car to stop or avoid me.


I'd just like to hear an Officer's perspective. If the traffic is flowing at a constant speed without any one car driving much faster than that with reckless lane changes, what am I risking by just keeping pace with traffic?


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Old 09-20-2011, 09:02 AM   #8
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A ticket, a crash because the posted speed was decided on based on a number of things (that involve crashes, road design, traffic volume, etc). If you go slower than the flow then there is a danger that you will have traffic build up behind you and the problems resulting from tail gaters. Remember being in a "flow" means you need to have vehicles in front and behind you.

It comes down to a decision that you make, knowing both risks and making your choices. Going with the flow in bad weather just because everyone else is doing it will end up with you and all the others cars crashing. Happens a lot in winter with blowing snow, fog, dust storms. You read about multi car pileups from people going with the flow. Going with the flow is not a legal defence to a ticket but it may be an explanation in your request for a fine reduction. However, it will not get you a lower penalty in a civil suit with ICBC and other insurance companies.
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zulutango View Post
the posted speed was decided on based on a number of things (that involve crashes, road design, traffic volume, etc)
If posted speed limits were truly reflective of safe travel speeds, then you wouldn't see 80% or more of the vehicles exceeding the speed limit by 10 or 20km/hr.


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Going with the flow in bad weather just because everyone else is doing it will end up with you and all the others cars crashing. Happens a lot in winter with blowing snow, fog, dust storms.
Perhaps it's not so much "going with the flow" that is causing the collision but rather failure to adjust following distance for the weather conditions.
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:03 PM   #10
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If posted speed limits were truly reflective of safe travel speeds, then you wouldn't see 80% or more of the vehicles exceeding the speed limit by 10 or 20km/hr.
No.......the posted speed limits ARE truly reflective of safe travel speeds. The 80% of the drivers exceeding the speed limit think they know better!
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:18 PM   #11
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Perhaps it's not so much "going with the flow" that is causing the collision but rather failure to adjust following distance for the weather conditions.[/QUOTE]

The problem is that they are all exceeding the distance in which they can see and safely stop/swerve/whatever. The flow they choose to be in is the same as if it was a nice clear dry sunny day. A sensible flow in the bad weather would allow proper vehicle control...and that may even mean parking it or not venturing out into any flow at all.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:05 PM   #12
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Well now that you add visibility into the mix, then yes, I will agree that going with the flow may not be the best option if it means overdriving your range of vision.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:27 PM   #13
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Cools, thanks for the update.

I'll probably stick to roads where people aren't driving so crazy then.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:33 AM   #14
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I'll probably stick to roads where people aren't driving so crazy then.
If you find that road....let me know......I'd like to drive the same one!
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:18 AM   #15
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Ditto. Simnut beat me too it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:17 PM   #16
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I live in North Burnaby, my normal commute is to church Knight and 59th on a Sunday morning. I'm out of the house by about 8ish, and the roads are pretty clear so everybody does speed.

So let's say the average speed on Lougheed at that time is about 75km/h in the 50km/h zone west of Holdom all the way to Boundary, but once you past boundary, it tends to drop off towards under 70.
I head up Rupert all the way to 54th ave. At least on 54th, people are driving a more respectable 65 all the way to the 57th ave merger, then even slower for those couple blocks until Knight st.

Compare this to if I were to head down all the way to Marine drive, people would be going 85+.


So I guess that's what I mean by less crazy cause Lougheed and 54th are still fairly wide streets, less chance of an idiot driver popping out from the side getting me killed.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:15 PM   #17
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No.......the posted speed limits ARE truly reflective of safe travel speeds. The 80% of the drivers exceeding the speed limit think they know better!
Plenty of studies to indicate that speed over the posted limit is rarely the cause of most collisions. It may play a role, or exacerbate the damage caused in some instances, but with the speed limits as given, raising or lowering them by a modest amount (I believe between -30km and +25km) - to the level that drivers generally use the roads at, was not a factor in a increasing or decreasing collisions.

One of the most notable was a study conducted by the US Department of Transportation. Google, raising and lowering speed limits, DOT.

In fact, one of the interesting findings, was speed limits that were set lower than regular travel rates had a significant impact on the number of violations in particular areas, but no impact on decreasing collisions.....

So the recent 30km/h "trial" as Hasting... what kind of empirical evidence was that based on exactly?
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:26 PM   #18
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So let's say the average speed on Lougheed at that time is about 75km/h in the 50km/h zone west of Holdom all the way to Boundary, but once you past boundary, it tends to drop off towards under 70.
If that's the case, you're safer driving at the posted 50kph rather than at the flow of 75kph.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:16 PM   #19
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I would like to know how some of you are deciding what is a safe speed on a particular road? Is it because YOU can drive it safely at that speed? Is it because 80% of the people can drive it safely at that speed?

I think the speed should be decided on how the other 20% of the drivers can drive on that particular road. After all, they do share the road with you and me, and I would rather those 20% be safe, so I can be safe....even though it means me driving below my capabilities on that particular road.

Disclaimer: The percentages in the above paragraphs are fictitious, but it gets the point across....sometimes "limits" are placed according to "the lowest common denominator" .
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:26 AM   #20
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^there is so many variables to how I judge my speed.

In a city, daytime... I usually drive slower then the speed limit. Reason; you always have to expect that lady 3 lanes over talking on her cell phone is going to tweek out and cause a pile up. Anything can happen when you have other people. It just adds to the variables.

Highway 93 in the Rockies on a sunday evening, I will gladly do 200+kph if I'm by myself. The reason being is I know the only person I'm going to kill is myself, maybe a bear or moose. I will also slow down to other traffic, being in the event I had a tire explode from heat/foreign object, there really isn't that much time to react (I've had it happen), and its always best to be going slower around other people.

Usually on most highways, I look for the idiots that want to go faster then me, and I let them find the speed traps, while I follow 20 car lengths behind at the same speed or slightly slower.

Risk factor is everything, Expect the worst! Don't street race in city limits! EVER!
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:36 AM   #21
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If that's the case, you're safer driving at the posted 50kph rather than at the flow of 75kph.
Yeah, some stretches like the White Spot (Gilmore) to Boundary have no side streets and wide lanes. I've seen cars do 85+ there.
You guys gotta admit, you're not doing 50 or even 60 on that stretch.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:16 AM   #22
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[....even though it means me driving below my capabilities on that particular road.

I drive well beneath mine all the time. Much safer that way and if I need to use them then I can start using by having them in reserve...instead of riding at the limit and needing more and having none to draw on. I also believe that most of my fellow road users are either distracted, over-driving their abilities or not capable of using what they need, let alone what they have, in a crisis situation. I'm very seldom disappointed.
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:07 PM   #23
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If 20% of the driving public is "at their limits of comfort and capability" while driving at the speed limit, then this is the group of drivers who need improvement, not the 80% who are more than capable of safely driving at speeds more reasonable for the road.

Don't plance unreasonable constraints on the majority to accommodate the minority.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:23 PM   #24
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If 20% of the driving public is "at their limits of comfort and capability" while driving at the speed limit, then this is the group of drivers who need improvement, not the 80% who are more than capable of safely driving at speeds more reasonable for the road.

Don't plance unreasonable constraints on the majority to accommodate the minority.
Ahh...that is where you are wrong. Should the roads only be available to those that can drive like the 80% then? And the other 20% banned from the roads? Nope....ain't gonna happen. And the 20% are not drivers that need improvement either. Some are older....some are NEW drivers that are not yet comfortable in vehicular control , some are timid drivers........many reasons why!!!

In this case, you CANNOT ignore the 20% of the "slower" drivers.....they have as much right to the road as those drivers who THINK they can drive the road faster!

There are roads designed only for "the good" drivers....they are called race tracks!
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:18 PM   #25
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If there are trucks on the road with heavy loads - they can only go so fast safely - you can't just not allow them on all the roads. Having a higher limit on a road where trucks need to go slowly for safety reasons is just a recipe for disaster.
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