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Thread: Toronto Star

  1. #1
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    Default Toronto Star

    Article in the Toronto Star. Same old same old although the article reveals the cop was using a Laser Atlanta gun.

    Const. Shane Stevenson peers through the viewfinder of his Atlanta Speed Laser radar gun, narrows his gaze on a black sports car barrelling along Islington Ave. toward him and gently squeezes the trigger.

    He steps onto the street and points at the driver to pull over.

    The car whizzes by. Stevenson is certain that he and the driver have made eye contact. But she keeps going. Spotting a red light ahead, certain he can catch her, he jumps into his cruiser and gives chase.

    The driver pulls over, some 300 metres down the road. She's about to have a very bad day.

    For Stevenson, part of an elite team of Toronto officers with the Strategic Traffic Enforcement Measures, ruining people's days is all in a day's work.

    Since its formation in 2003, STEM members have been Toronto's chief ticket writers. Their aim is to get bad drivers off the road by nabbing them under the Highway Traffic Act.

    The team has 10 full-time officers but you'd never guess it from the number of tickets they handed out last year 43,590, about one eighth of the 376,819 tickets written up by the Toronto Police Service in 2004.

    Judging from two days the Toronto Star spent on a ride-along, that figure would have been higher if police were capable of writing up everyone whizzing past, refusing to buckle in and driving in the wrong lane.

    While those offences are the most common, STEM officers have seen it all: drivers reading the newspaper, applying makeup, even brushing their teeth.

    As for excuses, they've heard them all. Bathroom emergencies are common defences for speeding, but don't expect relief. STEM officers have followed drivers to washrooms, issuing tickets when their business was finished. On average, each STEM officer issues about 25 tickets per shift, but 100 a day is not unheard of. Sgt. Bev Logan, one of the supervisors of the program, insists there is no quota. Quotas would be "too limiting."

    Success, Logan says, is measured by the fact drivers are slowing down in trouble spots. "The speed in areas where we're routinely stationed, which people refer to as fishing holes, have reduced considerably," she says.

    Typically, STEM rotates throughout the city and each day blitzes neighbourhoods in a different police division. The officers complement each division's in-house traffic unit, and use collision data to decide where to patrol. Enforcement is focused in high-risk areas, such as school zones, high collision spots and areas where speeding is a problem.

    They're all business, and breaks are few and far between.

    "We have provincial guidelines to follow," says Const. Andrew Ouellet, explaining that drivers looking for lenience will have to go elsewhere. "If the court wants to drop the fine, so be it."

    It's a sentiment echoed by Stevenson and his partner, Const. Jim Wallace, one morning while stationed on Islington Ave. near Golfdown Dr., just north of Highway 401.

    "I don't pick and choose who I make a deal for. I make it fair for everyone," says Stevenson, moments before pulling over a taxi for doing 67 km/h in the 50 km/h zone.

    STEM officers spend about one quarter of their time in court. "I'd say people are convicted on 99 per cent of my tickets," Stevenson says. While these officers say they seldom miss their scheduled days in court, a Star investigation has shown Toronto has one of the highest rates in the province of tickets being withdrawn at trial. A leading reason is officers not showing up in court. Police Chief Bill Blair has acknowledged that 63 per cent of Toronto police scheduled for court duty don't show up.

    Wallace, a 24-year veteran, is well acquainted with the intricacies of traffic court guilty pleas rewarded with lesser charges, justices of the peace withdrawing charges to spare a backlogged system, and deal-making between prosecutors and ticket agents.

    Sometimes he walks out of Old City Hall courthouse shaking his head in disbelief.

    "I'm big on seeing the right thing done," says Wallace, a day after attending night court only to have two cases withdrawn because time ran out. Rather than adjourn them, the justice of the peace opted to withdraw the charges standard practice in the overcrowded system.

    "It downplays the importance of what we do," he says.

    Soon after, the black sports car barrels down Islington and through the crosswalk.

    After Stevenson has given chase , the driver steps out of her car. Despite being clocked at 68 clicks, she appears surprised.

    As she searches for her driver's licence, insurance and ownership, Stevenson pulls out his notebook. He records her speed, road conditions, sign visibility, weather and what lane she was travelling in information he'll need if the case goes to trial.

    The driver doesn't have the car's ownership. Back at his cruiser, Stevenson learns she cancelled her insurance policy in 2004. He runs a check on her driving record and finds three convictions in the past three years, including one for driving without insurance in 2003.

    When Stevenson is through, the driver will have a $60 speeding ticket, a $110 ticket for failing to surrender proof of ownership, a $5,000 ticket for driving without insurance and a ticket for failing to stop, which carries a fine between $1,000 to $5,000 and automatic licence suspension for up to a year.

    Without insurance, she can't drive her car. It will have to be towed to Mississauga.

    She and her two passengers will have to find other transportation.

    The speeder vows to fight the tickets in court.

    "This really stinks," she says. "Bad way to start the day."

  2. #2
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    I'll say...

    You know today I was on the service road on the highway, and I got stuck behind a minivan, and said, damn is that person going slow, we're barely moving! I glance at my speedometer, 65km/h. People were whizzing by on the right side (I was on left!)

    Limit was 50! :shock:

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Toronto Star

    Quote Originally Posted by spankyaf
    The car whizzes by. Stevenson is certain that he and the driver have made eye contact. But she keeps going. Spotting a red light ahead, certain he can catch her, he jumps into his cruiser and gives chase.

    The driver pulls over, some 300 metres down the road. She's about to have a very bad day.

    Soon after, the black sports car barrels down Islington and through the crosswalk.

    After Stevenson has given chase , the driver steps out of her car. Despite being clocked at 68 clicks, she appears surprised.

    As she searches for her driver's licence, insurance and ownership, Stevenson pulls out his notebook. He records her speed, road conditions, sign visibility, weather and what lane she was travelling in information he'll need if the case goes to trial.

    The driver doesn't have the car's ownership. Back at his cruiser, Stevenson learns she cancelled her insurance policy in 2004. He runs a check on her driving record and finds three convictions in the past three years, including one for driving without insurance in 2003.

    When Stevenson is through, the driver will have a $60 speeding ticket, a $110 ticket for failing to surrender proof of ownership, a $5,000 ticket for driving without insurance and a ticket for failing to stop, which carries a fine between $1,000 to $5,000 and automatic licence suspension for up to a year.

    Without insurance, she can't drive her car. It will have to be towed to Mississauga.

    She and her two passengers will have to find other transportation.

    The speeder vows to fight the tickets in court.

    "This really stinks," she says. "Bad way to start the day."
    This lady is a Moron.......that should be taken Off the road ASAP.
    I have No Sympathy for her.
    It's horrible and irresponsible drivers like her that seem to have taken over the roads in the GTA.
    But really what an A Hole.....no insurance and still speeds........not to bright.

  4. #4
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    Montreal , Qc
    Like today in Tunnel Lafontaine N/B , 3 lanes , strickly forbidden to cross the double line , I was driving far left 100 kms / 70 kms limit .For this guy in a Murano it was not fast enough , so he passed to the center and came back squarely in left. Net gain : 300 feet ahead he was still slowed down by a guy going 100 kms ! Some driver has the brain disconnected , I like to speed : at the right place at the right time . :roll:

    Salut Smaart .

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Toronto Star

    Quote Originally Posted by spankyaf
    Article in the Toronto Star. Same old same old although the article reveals the cop was using a Laser Atlanta gun.

    Const. Shane Stevenson peers through the viewfinder of his Atlanta Speed Laser radar gun, narrows his gaze on a black sports car barrelling along Islington Ave. toward him and gently squeezes the trigger.

    He steps onto the street and points at the driver to pull over.

    The car whizzes by. Stevenson is certain that he and the driver have made eye contact. But she keeps going. Spotting a red light ahead, certain he can catch her, he jumps into his cruiser and gives chase.

    The driver pulls over, some 300 metres down the road. She's about to have a very bad day.

    For Stevenson, part of an elite team of Toronto officers with the Strategic Traffic Enforcement Measures, ruining people's days is all in a day's work.

    Since its formation in 2003, STEM members have been Toronto's chief ticket writers. Their aim is to get bad drivers off the road by nabbing them under the Highway Traffic Act.

    The team has 10 full-time officers but you'd never guess it from the number of tickets they handed out last year 43,590, about one eighth of the 376,819 tickets written up by the Toronto Police Service in 2004.

    Judging from two days the Toronto Star spent on a ride-along, that figure would have been higher if police were capable of writing up everyone whizzing past, refusing to buckle in and driving in the wrong lane.

    While those offences are the most common, STEM officers have seen it all: drivers reading the newspaper, applying makeup, even brushing their teeth.

    As for excuses, they've heard them all. Bathroom emergencies are common defences for speeding, but don't expect relief. STEM officers have followed drivers to washrooms, issuing tickets when their business was finished. On average, each STEM officer issues about 25 tickets per shift, but 100 a day is not unheard of. Sgt. Bev Logan, one of the supervisors of the program, insists there is no quota. Quotas would be "too limiting."

    Success, Logan says, is measured by the fact drivers are slowing down in trouble spots. "The speed in areas where we're routinely stationed, which people refer to as fishing holes, have reduced considerably," she says.

    Typically, STEM rotates throughout the city and each day blitzes neighbourhoods in a different police division. The officers complement each division's in-house traffic unit, and use collision data to decide where to patrol. Enforcement is focused in high-risk areas, such as school zones, high collision spots and areas where speeding is a problem.

    They're all business, and breaks are few and far between.

    "We have provincial guidelines to follow," says Const. Andrew Ouellet, explaining that drivers looking for lenience will have to go elsewhere. "If the court wants to drop the fine, so be it."

    It's a sentiment echoed by Stevenson and his partner, Const. Jim Wallace, one morning while stationed on Islington Ave. near Golfdown Dr., just north of Highway 401.

    "I don't pick and choose who I make a deal for. I make it fair for everyone," says Stevenson, moments before pulling over a taxi for doing 67 km/h in the 50 km/h zone.

    STEM officers spend about one quarter of their time in court. "I'd say people are convicted on 99 per cent of my tickets," Stevenson says. While these officers say they seldom miss their scheduled days in court, a Star investigation has shown Toronto has one of the highest rates in the province of tickets being withdrawn at trial. A leading reason is officers not showing up in court. Police Chief Bill Blair has acknowledged that 63 per cent of Toronto police scheduled for court duty don't show up.

    Wallace, a 24-year veteran, is well acquainted with the intricacies of traffic court guilty pleas rewarded with lesser charges, justices of the peace withdrawing charges to spare a backlogged system, and deal-making between prosecutors and ticket agents.

    Sometimes he walks out of Old City Hall courthouse shaking his head in disbelief.

    "I'm big on seeing the right thing done," says Wallace, a day after attending night court only to have two cases withdrawn because time ran out. Rather than adjourn them, the justice of the peace opted to withdraw the charges standard practice in the overcrowded system.

    "It downplays the importance of what we do," he says.

    Soon after, the black sports car barrels down Islington and through the crosswalk.

    After Stevenson has given chase , the driver steps out of her car. Despite being clocked at 68 clicks, she appears surprised.

    As she searches for her driver's licence, insurance and ownership, Stevenson pulls out his notebook. He records her speed, road conditions, sign visibility, weather and what lane she was travelling in information he'll need if the case goes to trial.

    The driver doesn't have the car's ownership. Back at his cruiser, Stevenson learns she cancelled her insurance policy in 2004. He runs a check on her driving record and finds three convictions in the past three years, including one for driving without insurance in 2003.

    When Stevenson is through, the driver will have a $60 speeding ticket, a $110 ticket for failing to surrender proof of ownership, a $5,000 ticket for driving without insurance and a ticket for failing to stop, which carries a fine between $1,000 to $5,000 and automatic licence suspension for up to a year.

    Without insurance, she can't drive her car. It will have to be towed to Mississauga.

    She and her two passengers will have to find other transportation.

    The speeder vows to fight the tickets in court.

    "This really stinks," she says. "Bad way to start the day."
    Interesting article, educational at least (of how the traffic police conducts its daily operations)... thanks a lot for posting it :wink:

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Toronto Star

    Quote Originally Posted by the horn13
    Quote Originally Posted by spankyaf
    The car whizzes by. Stevenson is certain that he and the driver have made eye contact. But she keeps going. Spotting a red light ahead, certain he can catch her, he jumps into his cruiser and gives chase.

    The driver pulls over, some 300 metres down the road. She's about to have a very bad day.

    Soon after, the black sports car barrels down Islington and through the crosswalk.

    After Stevenson has given chase , the driver steps out of her car. Despite being clocked at 68 clicks, she appears surprised.

    As she searches for her driver's licence, insurance and ownership, Stevenson pulls out his notebook. He records her speed, road conditions, sign visibility, weather and what lane she was travelling in information he'll need if the case goes to trial.

    The driver doesn't have the car's ownership. Back at his cruiser, Stevenson learns she cancelled her insurance policy in 2004. He runs a check on her driving record and finds three convictions in the past three years, including one for driving without insurance in 2003.

    When Stevenson is through, the driver will have a $60 speeding ticket, a $110 ticket for failing to surrender proof of ownership, a $5,000 ticket for driving without insurance and a ticket for failing to stop, which carries a fine between $1,000 to $5,000 and automatic licence suspension for up to a year.

    Without insurance, she can't drive her car. It will have to be towed to Mississauga.

    She and her two passengers will have to find other transportation.

    The speeder vows to fight the tickets in court.

    "This really stinks," she says. "Bad way to start the day."
    This lady is a idiot.......that should be taken Off the road ASAP.
    I have No Sympathy for her.
    It's horrible and irresponsible drivers like her that seem to have taken over the roads in the GTA.
    But really what an A Hole.....no insurance and still speeds........not to bright.
    10-12 years ago, in Toronto, somewhere on Yonge/St. Clair, got pulled over, was driving an old car that I just bought to replace my other old car but I was too lazy to call the insurance comp to cancel the policy for the other car, get a new policy for that current car, also I did not transfer my plates to the car I was driving when I got pulled over... the cop took my plates, he was kind and allowed me to park my car in a grocery store parking lot instead of towing it on my own expense and handed me a pretty expensive traffic fine (no insurance and wrong plates)... once again I had car insurance in the moment I got pulled over but forgot to link it to my (that time) current car... my first step was to get new plates for the car in the parking lot, which I did right away, and then I asked for a court date... so no insurance for that particular car I was driving when pulled over and wrong plates... COP DID NOT SHOW UP IN COURT... the judge, a woman, waited until I was the last one in court, maybe the cop will show-up, which it never happened... close call, never ever do that again, God always help you once and only once...

  7. #7
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    The odds of beating a ticket in TO are still pretty good. Even if the cops show up more and more people are pleading not guilty so the court doesnt have time for all the trials. They do one or two the JP usually gets frustrated and says no more trials today so everybody left gets kicked loose.

    Theres a great post on a motorycle board in TO that laysout all the steps on how to fight so more and more people are taking on the system

    Of course now they want to change it so the cop can give evidence electronically without being there. We'll see if this flys.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by spankyaf
    Of course now they want to change it so the cop can give evidence electronically without being there. We'll see if this flys.
    Well it worked with the "Accident Reporting Centres" because the Cops didn't want to attend "Property Damage Only" collisions.
    Cut in on their Tim Horton's time........
    It will probaly fly.

    Toronto's Cops one the whole are a Lazy Bunch......

  9. #9
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    Did you hear about the crazy Ottawa cops at the Tim Hortons? This guy from Montreal was on a business trip, went to the bar with the guys from the business, got drunk and tired whatever, he goes to the Tim Horton's for a coffee and to relax a bit, this female cop gets on the scene, and stays there, then this male cop comes in, rips the guy out of the booth thing, and beats the **** out of the guy! Not like the business man was making any sort of a scene, I think he was even sleeping! And of course, the candid security camera caught all of it!

    http://www.ottawasun.com/News/Ottawa...98584-sun.html

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    Default Re: Toronto Star

    Quote Originally Posted by spankyaf
    For Stevenson, part of an elite team of Toronto officers with the Strategic Traffic Enforcement Measures, ruining people's days is all in a day's work.
    Since its formation in 2003, STEM members have been Toronto's chief ticket writers. Their aim is to get bad drivers off the road by nabbing them under the Highway Traffic Act.
    The team has 10 full-time officers but you'd never guess it from the number of tickets they handed out last year 43,590, about one eighth of the 376,819 tickets written up by the Toronto Police Service in 2004
    Their cruisers, with no sirens on top of the vehicle, are all painted in dark blue but you still can see the real Toronto Police logo under the blue paint... and they have no ID#s on their cruisers like the regular police cruisers... they have all the radar devices in their cruisers but so far I haven't seen any Specter by the windshield... so watch for dark blue Ford Crown Vics (late models) with no regular lights at all...

 

 

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