Radar de­tec­tors il­le­gal, po­lice warn

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY AETHNE HINCHLIFFE

Not only are radar de­tec­tors il­le­gal for the pub­lic to use, but also po­lice of­fi­cers have the tech­nol­ogy to de­tect them.

“ You’re go­ing to get caught,” said Const. Adam Gard­ner, an RCMP in­vest iga t o r o n t he prov­ince’s west coast.

Al­though the num­ber of radar de­tec­tors seized varies, Gard­ner said he got six in the past two months. He said it used to be more com­mon to see peo­ple from the main­land with radar de­tec­tors, but now they’re see­ing a lot more lo­cals with the de­vices.

“ Peo­ple don’t re­al­ize that we have the tech­nol­ogy to pick them up,” he said.

The po­lice pick radar de­tec­tors up with ‘radar de­tec­tor de­tec­tors’ in their cars. The of­fi­cer’s radar goes off when it picks up some­one else’s radar, said Gard­ner.

“For us it’s a type of ob­struc­tion for what we’re try­ing to do,” he said. “ We’re try­ing to keep the roads safe, and peo­ple are try­ing to pre­vent that by us­ing these.”

Read the signs

Po­lice have be­gun erect­ing signs, warn­ing mo­torists that the use of radar de­tec­tors is out­lawed.

Now that the signs are up, said Gard­ner, peo­ple can’t make the ex­cuse they didn’t know radar de­tec­tors were il­le­gal.

When he catches peo­ple with radar de­tec­tors, Gard­ner said he tells them it’s no good to ar­gue.

“I’m not guess­ing that you have one in your car,” he said. “I know be­cause of what I have in my car. Peo­ple are usu­ally pretty co-op­er­a­tive.”

The po­lice of­fi­cer keeps the de­vice un­til the de­fault date on the ticket, said Gard­ner.

“ The per­son does have the right to con­test the ticket, like any ticket,” he said. “ They can go to court and go be­fore a judge if they want to.”

Peo­ple have 30 days from the date of is­sue to ap­peal their tick­ets. Then there’s a 30-day ap­peal pe­riod. Gard­ner said radar de­tec­tors are de­stroyed af­ter 60 days.

“ Ba­si­cally, just to know that they can never be used again,” he said.

Speed­ing is al­ways a prob­lem, said Gard­ner, adding one of the big­gest prob­lems is peo­ple don’t take the dan­gers of moose into con­sid­er­a­tion. If it’s a nice day, peo­ple might not think about how dif­fi­cult it’s go­ing to be to stop when they’re trav­el­ling 140 kilo­me­tres per hour.

Ac­cord­ing to Gard­ner, 140 kilo­me­tres per hour is one of the lower speeds. He’s caught peo­ple driv­ing 200 kilo­me­tres per hour.

Un­der the High­way Traf­fic Act, there’s a $ 115 ticket for a first of­fence of be­ing caught with a radar de­tec­tor. Driv­ers also get two de­merit points on their li­cences. It’s the same pun­ish­ment as a seat­belt ticket or for driv­ing 11 to 20 kilo­me­tres over the limit.

“Peo­ple just have to know now they’re not go­ing to get away with it,” said Gard­ner. “ We’ve had it.”

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