A YouTube video uploaded last week has caught the attention of the Calgary Police. The video, timestamped April 8, 2014 is filmed from a dash camera mounted to a Porsche Cayenne according to the video description. It shows a Ford Mustang Shelby driving well over the speed limit on Crowchild Trail with the Cayenne in pursuit. All of this occurs in heavy traffic at the start of the evening rush hour according to the dash camera timestamp. In a bid to catch up to the Mustang, the Cayenne driver dives into the restricted bus only lane and eventually pulls back in behind the Mustang before the video ends.
With the closure of Race City there are no venues for car enthusiasts to get their need for speed out of their systems and incidents like this are probably occurring daily. With the proliferation of dashcams, videos like this will likely continue popping up despite how silly it is to provide police with evidence of your wrongdoings. Check out the video below.
I’m not going to preach about how stupid this is because I was young once. All I can say is, there are better times to be driving like this. If you’re lucky enough to still be kicking around in a few years there hopefully will be some new race tracks in the Calgary area for you to get your speed fix.
Calgary Police say that over the next six months you may see a number of police vehicles from the United States on some Calgary roads as part of a production filming for the new TV series Fargo. Filming will take place in and around the Calgary area (I’m guessing anywhere there are snowy roads) and will continue at least until May 2014.
As part of the filming, the production company will be using a variety of different marked police vehicles made to look as if they are from the City of Bemidji Police and Duluth Police. While driving on City of Calgary roads there will be covers placed over the light bars. Calgary Police want the public to know they are aware of the production, who are working in co-operation with the Calgary Economic Development Film Office.
If you’ve ever seen Fargo the movie and thought, gee this looks a lot like Calgary in winter, you’re probably not alone as the production crew seem to agree.
We’ve all seen the video of the Calgary Police officers “street racing” to the local Tim Hortons that was first posted on our forums before spreading like wildfire across social media. It has since made it onto the pages of Yahoo News drawing tens of thousands of viewers to the video on youtube. I put street racing in quotes because anyone with a shred of common sense knows there was no racing, speeding maybe but even then it was likely within 5-10 km/h of the posted limit.
What I do find interesting is the comments by Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson as quoted in the Calgary Herald:
“I’ve noticed that the speeds for two of the police vehicles [did not make] it to 50 kilometres per hour, but there’s one vehicle there that we’re looking at what he was doing and what his intentions were at that point in time.
“So until that review is done, we’ll wait to see what comes out of that.”
What does speed have to do with it? Is Hanson saying that you must be speeding to be racing? or you must be speeding to receive a stunting ticket? The Calgary Police Service should save their time by not investigating the actions of this officer because we can all agree what he did was harmless. Instead, resources should be put together to look into all the stunting and racing tickets that have been issued over the past 5 years to see how many of them did not involve speeding.
Personally I think most people are missing an important issue that is raised with this video. While it seems nearly everyone is saying that it is no big deal, they miss the fact that tickets are written (probably daily during the summer) for the exact scenario that is played out with the race to Tim Hortons.
I hope the officer does not receive any serious disciplinary action for what he did. I do however hope there is no double standard when it comes to ordinary citizens that are pulled over and ticketed for doing the same thing. As citizens we must take a day off (unpaid) to attend court, while the lead footed officer was likely spoken to for 20-30 minutes, while being paid I might add.
A long-time Beyond forum member, Scat / Snowcat / Snowcatxx87, and subject of a discussion thread titled “Keeping Calgary’s roads safe!!“, has been charged by Calgary Police for careless driving. In a series of YouTube videos which have been shared on our forums, Elliot Hayward chronicles his adventures riding on Calgary roads and having to deal with bad drivers.
In one of his “street encounters” videos entitled “You can’t park there, idiot“, Hayward rides up on a “pedi” or pedestrian who is jaywalking on 7 Street SW. Instead of stopping or changing lanes he decides to accelerate his bike to buzz the pedestrian because as he explains, “It’s now MY right of way”. This act, along with numerous other dangerous moves on the streets have led to police laying a charge of careless driving. Police explain that they had wished to slap the more serious Dangerous Driving charge on Hayward, but the Crown wanted a charge they could realistically prove in court.
While I agree that Hayward did not necessarily have to do what he did to get his point across–he crossed the line from being a simple observer to someone that is also committing offences–I don’t think a charge of careless driving is appropriate. The YouTube clips are simply highlights of his riding and do not paint a complete picture of how Hayward normally rides. If we were to attach dash cameras to all vehicles in Calgary for a 24 hour period, I would bet that every single driver will commit at least a few offences.
Still, I know many beyonders will enjoy following this story as it works its way through the courts!
Calgary Police Sargeant Texting While Driving (Photo by: forum member Jetta-2.0)
Starting this Thursday, Police in Alberta will be able to start issuing tickets under the Traffic Safety Act for distracted driving. On September 1, 2011 the amendment of Section 115 takes effect and will prohibit drivers from using hand-held cell phones to not only make calls but more importantly text or e-mail. The use of electronic devices such as laptops, portable gaming systems, video screens (portable or built into the vehicle) is also not allowed. While using a GPS will still be allowed, drivers will not be able to enter information into one while driving.
The new distracted driver bylaw does not stop there though. Reading, writing, drawing and personal grooming and hygiene are all on the “not allowed” list. Getting caught doing any of the above activities while operating a vehicle and it’ll cost you a nice $172. Notice the use of the word “vehicle”. That’s right, if you do any of the above while riding your bicycle, you could technically still be ticketed so put away that floss as you pedal down the pathways.
Will the distracted driving bylaw be effective as a road safety measure? Without demerit points to go with the fine, some drivers may find it worth the risk to continue doing what they do. On that same note, police officers knowing that the ticket does not have demerits may write more tickets as they know most people will not bother fighting the ticket as it will likely cost more to fight than to simply pay the fine.
Those in the insurance industry may be able to shed some light on this, but as a non-moving violation will drivers that get hit with this face higher insurance premiums? According to the Government of Alberta website, drivers that commit moving violations may get two tickets, one for the distracted driving and one for their moving violation. Police departments will be happy to hear they’ll be able to pick up an extra $150 in revenue each time they issue one of these tickets.
Some questions for you to ponder as we countdown to 9/1: Is eating a distraction? What about pets running around the vehicle? Can a conversation with a back seat passenger be a distraction? Is driving distracted worse or is driving while tired?
The campaign is a highly visible one with signs posted at LRT lots warning thieves that Bait Cars are being used. Ads for the Bait Car program are also running on buses and on bus shelters. Calgary Police are confident that the expansion of the Bait Car program will further reduce car thefts which had already dropped by 29% over the last year and by over 50% since 2007.
“The message is simple. Steal a bait car and we’ll catch you and you will go to jail.
“We have a lot of success with this program as part of the overall auto theft strategy,” police Staff Sgt. Colin Adair said.
No details of the Bait Car program were released to ensure the program remains effective but the bait vehicles will be placed randomly in lots where auto thefts are a problem. I really hope they release the videos from the Bait Cars.
If you are a habitual jaywalker, this morning may not be a good day to do it. Calgary Police and Calgary Transit officers will be out in full force starting at 6:30am targetting pedestrians who jaywalk. The goal of the blitz is to increase awareness of the dangers that jaywalking poses.
Police departments from all across Canada have been focusing on pedestrian safety after a rash of pedestrian deaths in Toronto and one just last month in Calgary. In all of these cases, the pedestrians were crossing the street at an unsafe spot.
“It’s a concern to us and that’s why we’ve decided to take this initiative,” he said, adding the idea that drivers are always to blame in pedestrian-vehicle crashes is simply untrue.
“Anybody who uses the road has a responsibility to make sure they’re using the road properly, safely and lawfully.” – Const. Peter Adria, Calgary Police Service
The safety blitz is expected to run through to the end of the morning rush hour and if the past is any indication, the City of Calgary will be getting a nice injection of revenue after this is all said and done. Last summer during a crackdown on pedestrians on 8th street and 7th avenue, officers were kept busy issuing warnings and tickets.
A fun event was held on Friday morning for the commute to work. A mini challenge was put up to see whether a cyclist, a transit rider or a person driving a car would get downtown faster. The three challengers met at 16th Avenue and 19th street N.W. and they would meet at Eau Claire Market. The event was organized by Lonny Balbi in an effort to raise awareness that cycling is an excellent alternative to driving.
“Today’s event is a fun event to show Calgarians that cycling is a viable way to get to work,” said event organizer Lonny Balbi.
Of course, knowing that the result of the challenge is not surprising. The cyclist of course obeyed all traffic rules but even if he didn’t I doubt he would’ve received any tickets since he was Rick Hanson, the Calgary Police Chief. He arrived at Eau Claire in 21 minutes. The car took 26 minutes and the poor transit rider took over 40 minutes.
While the race was obviously geared towards the cyclists to encourage everyone to bike to work, I was surprised that it took the transit rider 40 minutes to reach Eau Claire unless they couldn’t get on a morning train because it was so packed either that or they stopped off at Tim Horton’s while walking from the train station on 7th avenue.
This upcoming Friday, May 1st is Bike to Work Day. Let’s just hope the weather cooperates for those that will be hitting the pathways to get to work.