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‘Can you spare a fine?’: RCMP ‘panhandlers’ ticket distracted B.C. drivers

Container

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We get followed by people with cameras all the time. There are entire groups of people dedicated to catching us dirt bags.

I dont think most cops would care- it might however change their view of your intentions and ensure that the laws are enforced to the nth degree however- so that you cant complain we didnt do our jobs.
 

George Wallace

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Just to set the record straight; I am not saying to start following the cops around and filming them.  I am thinking along the lines of the "Black Box" in aircraft where, after an incident/accident/crash/whatever, data can be retrieved to show what happened.  It could do away with some of the questions in doing Accident Reports and Insurance investigations if a video record was there to show what exactly happened, not what 'memory' of witnesses may be.  ( We all know from scientific studies that witnesses all see, or don't see, and then remember events differently.)

In this case, we would have a video record of his use of correct spelling on his sign.
 

Container

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seen.

Why not call the MP Guardhouse and pass along that the MP's are rolling through stop signs to the point where children are asking why the police ignore the law"?

If I was guardhouse Capo- I'd have a field day with it.
 
J

jollyjacktar

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Container said:
seen.

Why not call the MP Guardhouse and pass along that the MP's are rolling through stop signs to the point where children are asking why the police ignore the law"?

If I was guardhouse Capo- I'd have a fiels day with it.
You could not fart in a PC in Calgary without someone telephoning into the Guardhouse faster than you can type the word.  The poor bastard in the PC would be called back lickity split to be roasted over the open fires of the Shift I/C or PolOps WO.  Founded or unfounded your ass was grass with the error siding on the complainant as a rule.  Needless to say you watched your P's and Q's when out and about.  Not a bad thing when you expect it of those you deal with professionally.  Discipline by example.
 

Jarnhamar

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Does this set a bad precedence in that motorists knowing cops are dressing up like panhandlers will now go out of their way to avoid them (just cause) meaning panhandlers will be given less money?

I'm still in favor of cracking down on cellphone drivers over panhandlers "earning" less money.


Container said:
I dont think most cops would care- it might however change their view of your intentions and ensure that the laws are enforced to the nth degree however- so that you cant complain we didnt do our jobs.

ya man.  I've been let go/off the hook way more times than I've been busted for minor stuff. I'm not a huge fan of police following the law to the letter- for very selfish purposes.

Mind you BC is different, RCMP out there seem retarded.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Container said:
The idea is that with less cell phones being used the roads are safer. The police use those communications devices, radio, computer, and cell phone to coordinate response to 911 calls. You know- life and death stuff.

They should absolutely be accountable for explaining what exactly they were doing with their cell phones etc if someone observes thema nd makes a complaint. I hate seeing PO's doing any cell phone crap while they are on duty. But they are used for legitimate reasons. No matter how sour some people are about being told that they have to pay attention when they drive.

Horror of horrors- PO's are exempt from most of the highway traffic requirements!

Um no they have radios in their cars which is the only thing the exemption should cover. One day a cop is going to kill someone while their head is buried in a computer, with a witness to back that statment and then you will see a change. The police lobby groups pushed this law claiming distracted drivers were dangerous, well a distracted driver is a distracted driver regardless of occupation. Had the police lobby groups remianed silent and they were granted an exemption I could live with it, but to have them shove the law down our throats and then have the gall to exempt themselves is beyond reason which is why people are getting pissed about the subject.

As I recall most of the those traffic regs exemption also only apply when you have either lights or sirens on?
I know someone who was injured by a police car running a red light without lights or sirens, they are claiming they were on a call, it should be interesting when it goes to court. Meanwhile he has been off work for 6 months and in pain.
 

TN2IC

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I know some of the buses in our fleet have black boxes. Just saying, useless information for some folks. :D

Regards,
TN
 

J.J

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Colin P said:
Um no they have radios in their cars which is the only thing the exemption should cover. One day a cop is going to kill someone while their head is buried in a computer, with a witness to back that statment and then you will see a change. The police lobby groups pushed this law claiming distracted drivers were dangerous, well a distracted driver is a distracted driver regardless of occupation. Had the police lobby groups remianed silent and they were granted an exemption I could live with it, but to have them shove the law down our throats and then have the gall to exempt themselves is beyond reason which is why people are getting pissed about the subject.

As I recall most of the those traffic regs exemption also only apply when you have either lights or sirens on?
I know someone who was injured by a police car running a red light without lights or sirens, they are claiming they were on a call, it should be interesting when it goes to court. Meanwhile he has been off work for 6 months and in pain.

As I recall, you are wrong...some calls need to be taken on a phone, here are a couple of examples;
-not to jam up a radio for priority calls
-to avoid scanners

You don't even need to be in a marked car to "be exempt" from the highway traffic act(s), you need to be attending a call for service etc.

If it is such an issue to you contact your local Police service and request if you or your family ever contact 911 or call for assistance you do not want them speeding, running red lights or breaking any other traffic law.
LEO's are charged all the time for traffic offences while attending calls if it is believed they caused an accident etc

Like it or not LEO's are allowed to "break" the law to get the job done. Most people understand that there generally is a reason why the police are running lights, talking on the phone etc. Most of the public are supportive of the police, but there will be a few out here whose position will vary with the wind.  ::)
 

mariomike

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Surprised no one has yet suggested two-officer cars as a solution to distracted police drivers. Metro went that route in 1976.
 

Colin Parkinson

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http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/LOC/freeside/--%20M%20--/Motor%20Vehicle%20Act%20RSBC%201996%20c.%20318/00_Act/96318_05.xml#section122

Exemption for emergency vehicles
122  (1) Despite anything in this Part, but subject to subsections (2) and (4), a driver of an emergency vehicle may do the following:

(a) exceed the speed limit;

(b) proceed past a red traffic control signal or stop sign without stopping;

(c) disregard rules and traffic control devices governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions;

(d) stop or stand.

(2) The driver of an emergency vehicle must not exercise the privileges granted by subsection (1) except in accordance with the regulations.
(3) [Repealed 1997-30-2.]

(4) The driver of an emergency vehicle exercising a privilege granted by subsection (1) must drive with due regard for safety, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the following:

(a) the nature, condition and use of the highway;

(b) the amount of traffic that is on, or might reasonably be expected to be on, the highway;

(c) the nature of the use being made of the emergency vehicle at the time.

What I find interesting is that 122 (1) is subject to 122 (2) yet a review of the regulation they appear to be silent on the subject except for Sec 47?
http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/26_58_00

Perhaps better eyes then mine can find the exemption that allows police to break the traffic laws without lights or sirens?
 

J.J

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Where does it say lights, sirens or even the vehicle has to be marked?
 

Colin Parkinson

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It says that you cannot do the following except in accordance to the regulations, when I looked at the MVA, I could not find any regulation that allows an exemption. I am not saying there isn't, but can not find it. So perhaps you can show me where it says in law/regulation that a emegancy vehicle can ignore the traffic laws without lights or sirens. I would be grateful if you did so.
 

yoman

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Each province has different regulations regarding emergency vehicles and their respective traffic acts. Might help if you guys are looking at the same one. Just say'in.

mariomike said:
Surprised no one has yet suggested two-officer cars as a solution to distracted police drivers. Metro went that route in 1976.

The cons to doing this are that you will have less visibility on the road. That is, unless you double the amount of personnel on each shift to make sure you still have the same visibility and coverage as before. I can see this being a tad difficult with most of the smaller detachments/police services.

I highly encourage anyone who hasn't been on a police ride a long to do so. You will see why it is sometimes necessary to operate the laptop and all the other gizmos while driving. For example, some services have a GPS feature in their laptops to guide the responding officer to the location of the call.
 

J.J

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Colin P said:
It says that you cannot do the following except in accordance to the regulations, when I looked at the MVA, I could not find any regulation that allows an exemption. I am not saying there isn't, but can not find it. So perhaps you can show me where it says in law/regulation that a emegancy vehicle can ignore the traffic laws without lights or sirens. I would be grateful if you did so.

I am not familar with BC traffic laws, but here in Ontario the HTA has exemtions

Fire department vehicles and police vehicles

(13)  The speed limits prescribed under this section or any regulation or by-law passed under this section do not apply to,

Note: On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, subsection (13) is amended by the Statutes of Ontario, 2005, chapter 26, Schedule A, subsection 17 (6) by striking out the portion before clause (a) and substituting the following:

Fire department vehicles and police vehicles

(13)  The speed limits prescribed by this section or by a regulation or by-law passed under this section or set under section 128.0.1 do not apply to,

See: 2005, c. 26, Sched. A, ss. 17 (6), 34 (2).

(a) a fire department vehicle while proceeding to a fire or responding to, but not returning from, a fire alarm or other emergency call;

(b) a police department vehicle being used in the lawful performance of a police officer’s duties; or

(c) an ambulance while responding to an emergency call or being used to transport a patient or injured person in an emergency situation.

In Ontario each individual offence has an exemption for emergency vehicles
 

Colin Parkinson

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So in the HTA there is no where that it requires lights or sirens to be exempt? Very interesting. I note that B) is very generous in it's provisions. However if you were in a traffic accident while talking to your wife on the phone, in a police car, you might not be covered by this exemption. What does your Police Service Act & regs say on the matter? I checked the BC Police Services Act and it's silent on the matter based on a automated word search.
 

mariomike

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yoman said:
The cons to doing this are that you will have less visibility on the road. That is, unless you double the amount of personnel on each shift to make sure you still have the same visibility and coverage as before. I can see this being a tad difficult with most of the smaller detachments/police services.

There was resistance from the brass to the two-officer car in Toronto for the above reason.
"The TPA's aggressive tactics led the way for other associations and police unions to take similar action (the Montreal Brotherhood, for example). By 1976, police labour unrest had spread across the country. In Sydney, Nova Scotia, officers refused to cross picket lines of a strike with which they sympathized. Metro went on a slowdown over two-man cars. Regina went on an illegal strike to speed up contract negotiations.":
http://www.tpa.ca/TPA/History.aspx?tabId=3#hist

I certainly remember the TPA slowdown.




 

Container

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Colin P said:
So in the HTA there is no where that it requires lights or sirens to be exempt? Very interesting. I note that B) is very generous in it's provisions. However if you were in a traffic accident while talking to your wife on the phone, in a police car, you might not be covered by this exemption. What does your Police Service Act & regs say on the matter? I checked the BC Police Services Act and it's silent on the matter based on a automated word search.

There are a million scenarios where we dont use lights and sirens, and dont use radios. Im certainly not going to get into them on a public forum- Ive never seen traffic exemptions addressed in a police service act. The fact it it says in the performance of their duties- its a common phrase in most of the provinces Ive worked in. If you were doing something like talking to your wife and caused an accident- you would more than likely be charged for those actions and not have the protection of the exemption.

So yes- you wouldnt be covered in the instance you described. But there is a ridiculous amount of work being done on those other devices- they an operational requirement in a lot of cases and police work no longer can just be done over the radio. Should they be typing on an MWS terminal while driving- Id suggest its a bad habit- but switching screens and getting info from their call is no different, depending on the set up, then changing the radio station.

There is too much going on in the drivers work space. Thats true- however it is the publics expectation that we multitask while on the road. Cops need to start keeping in mind that the lights and sirens, or the pc in general, isnt a license to do whatever you need to do to get from call to call. Get control of your adrenaline and see the sirens as a request to contravene sections should conditions to do so safely exist rather than a license to do so in any case.
 

Container

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Emergency response by peace officer

4 (1)  A peace officer operating an emergency vehicle for purposes other than pursuit may exercise the privileges granted by section 122 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act if

(a) the peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the risk of harm to members of the public from the exercise of those privileges is less than the risk of harm to members of the public should those privileges not be exercised, and

(b) the peace officer operates the following emergency equipment, as applicable:

(i)  in the exercise of privileges described in section 122 (1) (a) to (c) of the Motor Vehicle Act, an emergency light and siren;

(ii)  in the exercise of privileges described in section 122 (1) (d) of the Motor Vehicle Act, an emergency light or an emergency light and siren.

(2)  Having determined that there are reasonable grounds referred to in subsection (1) (a), the peace officer referred to in subsection (1) may, in the following circumstances, exercise any of the privileges granted by section 122 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act without operating an emergency light and siren or by operating an emergency light alone:

(a) the peace officer is responding to an incident and has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been, is being or is about to be committed and that the risk of harm to members of the public entailed in operating an emergency siren or an emergency light and siren, as the case may be, outweighs the risk of harm to members of the public entailed in not operating them;

(b) the peace officer is engaged in the lawful execution of his or her duty other than as described in paragraph (a) or section 3 and has reasonable grounds to believe that it is safe to operate the emergency vehicle without operating an emergency siren or an emergency light and siren, as the case may be.

Thats the BC regulation. It allows for police cars to, depending on factors, decide whether they need lights and sirens all the time.
 
J

jollyjacktar

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mariomike said:
Surprised no one has yet suggested two-officer cars as a solution to distracted police drivers. Metro went that route in 1976.
Having two officer patrols is always the best solution, sure.  But you have to go with what you can afford and have available.  Many agencies cannot afford the luxury, like everyone they need to do more with less.  Double up and you cover less ground, it's all give and take.
 
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