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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 03-03-2013, 09:05 PM   #1
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Requirement for speed limit signage?

This afternoon I received a speeding ticket for doing 60km/hr in a 40km/hr zone.

The ticket invokes section 146(7) of the BC MVA, which states: "If, under a bylaw adopted by a municipality or a law enacted by a treaty first nation, signs have been erected or placed on a highway limiting the rate of speed of motor vehicles driven or operated on a designated portion of the highway, a person must not, when the sign is in place on the highway, drive or operate a motor vehicle on that portion of the highway at a greater rate of speed than that indicated on the sign."

Normally, I'm not the type to make excuses when I'm clearly guilty of committing the infraction, and I don't dispute that I was exceeding the speed limit when the ticket was issued.

However, my question is this: is there a regulation specifying how often speed limit signs must be posted? Or is it simply up to the driver to know the speed limit of the road he's driving on at all times, regardless of signage?

My understanding of the law is that all municipal roads have a 50km/hr speed limit unless otherwise posted. While the road I was traveling on has some signs indicating the 40km/hr limit, there were none posted between where I turned onto this road and the time I received the ticket, so I had no indication of the reduced speed zone. For what it's worth, this is a busy road with sidewalks and wide shoulders.

I'm aware that ignorance is not an excuse... but at the same time, I can't help but feeling cheated. I've been driving for ten years in BC without a single speeding ticket, so it's frustrating to break that streak at a time and place where I was legitimately unaware of the speed limit and there was no way to acquire that information (without the help of a GPS or previous knowledge of the road).

So, is there a law that stipulates that signs must be posted every X distance in order to reasonably assume all drivers are aware of the reduced speed limit?

And, further to that, is this a ticket worth disputing in court?

Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:09 PM   #2
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Even if the speed limit was 50km/hr, you were travelling at 60km/hr. Either way, the ticket is still valid and will stand in court. The JJP will tell you the exact same thing after finding you guilty.

As for your question about signage, I don't have an answer to that. =)
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sho_bc View Post
Even if the speed limit was 50km/hr, you were travelling at 60km/hr. Either way, the ticket is still valid and will stand in court. The JJP will tell you the exact same thing after finding you guilty.
This is true, it would still be the same offense if it were a 50km/hr limit. By the letter of the law, it's speeding. Fair enough.

If I were to dispute the ticket, I would probably have to plead guilty and request a reduction of the fine/points on the grounds that my speed was not unsafe nor unreasonable given the conditions of the road. I guess I would just be appealing to the common sense of the judge based on inadequate signage, potential margin of error on the radar gun, and my ten years of accident- and offense-free driving.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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The fine can not be reduced below $138, unless you pay within the initial 30 days, in which case you get a $25 discount. The JJP's can not waive/remove the points, either, unless the police officer amends the ticket to show the driver as the Registered Owner, instead. And from my own experience, some JJPs are reluctant to do that, and some will flat out refuse, if the driver isn't the actual registered owner.

You won't gain anything by arguing potential margin of error of the radar. In your case, it is irrelevant. Maybe if you were stopped for driving 51km/hr and you could show that you had no previous knowledge of the speed limit on the street (despite the signs not being between where you entered the street and where you were stopped), but not for 60km/hr.

As for driving history, again, the JJP can not reduce it below $138. If you're concerned about the money, best bet is to pay it within the 30 days.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:34 PM   #5
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For context, this is roughly where the infraction occurred. Road and weather conditions were similar to those seen in the photo.

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Old 03-03-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sho_bc View Post
The fine can not be reduced below $138, unless you pay within the initial 30 days, in which case you get a $25 discount. The JJP's can not waive/remove the points, either, unless the police officer amends the ticket to show the driver as the Registered Owner, instead. And from my own experience, some JJPs are reluctant to do that, and some will flat out refuse, if the driver isn't the actual registered owner.

You won't gain anything by arguing potential margin of error of the radar. In your case, it is irrelevant. Maybe if you were stopped for driving 51km/hr and you could show that you had no previous knowledge of the speed limit on the street (despite the signs not being between where you entered the street and where you were stopped), but not for 60km/hr.

As for driving history, again, the JJP can not reduce it below $138. If you're concerned about the money, best bet is to pay it within the 30 days.


Good to know, thanks for the info.

I'm actually more concerned about the points and the blemish on my driving record than I am about the fine, but I guess that's also not going to be reduced for the same reasons?
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:39 PM   #7
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Exactly. The only power the police/JJPs have over points, are as I described above, re: Registered Owner vs Driver when convicted (RO gets no points, Driver gets points). ICBC/OSMV deals with the points exclusively.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amaru View Post
This afternoon I received a speeding ticket for doing 60km/hr in a 40km/hr zone.
This is what happens when political will and/or emotionally driven petitions get in the way of proven methodologies for setting speed limits.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:24 PM   #9
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Yeah, as much as I'm not usually on your side, Sebastian, Burnaby has recently stuck up a frakton of signs that have lowered the speed limits in my neighborhood to 40k/hr.


And not a single frak was given that day, nor since.
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