Monday, January 28, 2008

The ticket business

I had been under the impression that flashing headlights to warn someone to slow down because of a speed trap was illegal for many years. But this article suggests something more cynical at work. Public safety, indeed.

Can you say "fishing hole," boys and girls?

Okay, so speeding is speeding, and speeding is against the law everywhere. But seriously.

As any concerned citizen would do if he knew someone was possibly going to break a law – especially if he knew the cops were lying in wait at the potential scene of the crime – Diamond flicked his headlights at oncoming traffic.

As you would. And as you would, most of the oncoming traffic did slow down.

Now, still assuming, perhaps naively, that slowing traffic down to make the roads safer is the objective of radar (it never works, but that's a story for another day), you'd think the cops would be happy that Diamond was assisting in their cause.

You'd think they'd want everybody flashing their headlights, all the time. Who'd take a chance at speeding then?

But no, stationed at the west end of the bridge were a couple more cruisers, pulling people like Diamond over for warning people about the radar trap.

$110 and no points.

I checked the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). I could find no reference to radar speed traps at all, let alone anything about it being illegal to warn other drivers about them. After all, traffic reporters and some websites even announce their locations.

And later on, in court:
The prosecutor called [him] to the bench, asked his name, read the charge, and asked how he pleaded.

"Not guilty, your worship,"' he responded.

Then the prosecutor said, "The police officer has no evidence in this case, your worship."'

"Case dismissed,"' said the justice of the peace.

WHAT? The police officer has "no evidence"? If he had no evidence, why the heck did he lay the charge in the first place?

The fact is, he had no law upon which to base the charge, because Diamond had not done anything illegal.

They assume that you will assume you had in fact done something illegal, fork over your cash, and they smile all the way to the bank.

Now, dad always said that in court, you take a win any way you can. But we were disappointed not to take it to trial so as to set a precedent against this little Buford T. Justice scam by the Toronto Police.

Someone more paranoid than me might suspect they did not want it to go to trial for that very reason, so as not to put their scurrilous behaviour on the trailer for all time.

1 Comment:

Canadian Infidel said...

It's also not illegal to have one headlight burned out, left one (drivers)must be working though. You also don't need to signal if a vehicle is more then 150 Meters away.
Etc, etc, people should read the Highway Traffic Act, there are so many bulls*** tickets handed out that way.