It’s been a weird and wild week on Canadian roadways. Here are some of the oddest traffic law cases in recent news.
Leadfooted Calgary cops raise eyebrows
Calgary photo-radar cameras are catching a conspicuous number of one particularly speedy demographic: police.
CTV News reports that cameras caught speeding cops 861 times — with no emergency lights flashing — in a two-year period.
Those 861 instances resulted in 24 tickets, six of which were paid.
Of course, cops won’t always use their lights in an emergency situation, but a University of Calgary law professor says police rarely have to justify their speeding and when they do, they’re justifying it to fellow cops, which is “incestuous self-investigation.”
Charges laid after slow-speed chase
The most boring police “chase” since O.J. Simpson occurred last week near Owen Sound, Ont., when police caught a suspiciously slow driver.
Provincial police driving a marked cruiser spotted a man driving under 40 km/h in an 80 zone, and tried to pull him over for a sobriety check.
He ignored the flashing lights and the cops followed him for five kilometres until he finally pulled over. He said he thought he didn’t have to stop until he heard a siren. He was charged with failing to stop on the right for an emergency vehicle.
Tip: most provincial and territorial highway traffic acts say you must pull over for an officer “when signaled or requested.” Sirens not required.
Conspicuous car theft
Elsewhere in Ontario, the provincial police had to take more drastic measures to stop a stolen car… one of their own cruisers.
The South Porcupine detachment in Matheson, Ont. discovered last Saturday that one of its black-and-whites was missing, and spotted it on the roads early Sunday morning.
They followed, but eventually had to throw down a spike belt to stop it.
A 30-year-old man is charged with multiple counts including theft, break and enter, resisting an officer and driving under suspension.
N.B. man rues road-rage rant
A New Brunswick man issued a public apology after video of his road-rage shouting spree went viral.
Eric Bohnsack said his “response was out of line,” when he berated driver Iain MacDonald who he claimed cut him off. MacDonald’s son recorded a cellphone video of Bohnsack’s tirade that quickly gained more than 600,000 views on Facebook.
For his part, Bohnsack said he was “going through a difficult time, but that is no excuse for my actions.” He called MacDonald to apologize personally, and said he is seeking counselling for his anger issues.
The most interesting infraction in the world
This isn’t a Canadian case, but it’s too good to pass up.
It’s surprisingly common for deceitful drivers to put a dummy in the passenger seat so they can use a carpool, or HOV (high occupancy vehicle), lane. However, it’s probably smart to make sure your ‘passenger’ isn’t an internationally famous playboy, sportsman, gadabout, and TV personality.
A Washington state police trooper pulled over a suspicious carpooler and found the passenger was a cardboard cutout of “The Most Interesting Man In the World,” from the popular Dos Equis beer ads.
The driver said, “He’s my best friend.” Which is hopefully a joke, since it’s otherwise way too depressing to think about.
Police later sent a snarky tweet, saying “I don't always break the HOV lane law, but when I do I get a $124 ticket!
“Give him an A for creativity!,” it added.