Posts Tagged ‘police’

Forum Weekly Review January 24

In this weekly segment, we cover the top discussions going on in the car forums. These threads may be the most recent hot topics, or epic threads that we just wanted to dig up and feature.

If you have a suggestion for a thread to be included on the forum weekly review, e-mail it to info@beyond.ca. If you have not joined our forums, register today its free!

Roses for Valentine’s Day
I’m sure there are a lot of guys on here (and maybe even some girls) that think Valentine’s Day is the dumbest day ever. Another Hallmark holiday created and commercialized so restaurants can double their prices and halve their service. However, for those of you who DO plan on doing something special for your girlfriend, wife or other special someone in your life a new sponsor has joined Beyond.ca offering a bouquet of roses for only $59.99 with free delivery. They will also be providing late night delivery service (until 11pm!) so check them out if you plan on going out for V-Day.

Police Parade Goat Around as Robbery Suspect
The next time you complain about the Calgary Police Service doing a poor job, refer to this thread. Police in Nigeria are holding a goat as a primary robbery suspect and will continue to do so until their investigation is finished. A vigilante group made the “arrest” and handed the goat over to police. They claim the goat was a car thief who had used witchcraft to change shape. The belief in witchcraft is common in Nigeria, and apparently stupidity runs pretty rampant over there too.

Do you know why I pulled you over?
At some point in time, drivers will hear that question from a police officer. Most if not all of the time we know the answer to the question but we never know what we should say. Should you be honest and admit fault or play dumb and hope for the best? If you’re honest and get a ticket anyway, you’re screwed with no recourse. If you lie, you may lose out on the warning you would’ve got and be handed a ticket. What would you do?


Bait Car Program Coming To Calgary

If you’ve spent any time at all on car forums, you are bound to have run into bait car videos. A bait car is a vehicle owned by the police that is intended to be stolen. They are generally models that have a high theft rate such as Ford F150s, Honda Civics, and Acura Integras. The bait cars are loaded with GPS tracking equipment, surveilance cameras and microphones. The most important technology inside a bait car is a device that allows police officers to remotely disable the vehicle allowing police to move in and apprehend the driver.

The Vancouver Police Department has been using bait cars with great success since December 2004. From Spring 2003 until Spring 2004, over 26,000 vehicles were stolen in the Vancouver area. Two years after the program started from Spring 2006 until Spring 2007, 17,000 vehicles were stolen. In just two years car theft dropped a staggering 35%.

The Calgary Police Department announced today it will be starting its own bait car program. Every day, an average of 17 vehicles are stolen off Calgary streets. The yearly hit to insurance companies is over $60M, and the insurance companies hope that the new bait car program will allow them to reduce premiums for motorists.

I think it is about time that Calgary gets its own bait car program with the amount of stolen cars we see reported on beyond every week. I look forward to seeing the videos that are posted by the Calgary Police to further discourage people from stealing cars.


Jaywalkers Beware, They Are Out To Get You!

If you’re looking to save a few seconds while walking over to Starbucks by crossing the street in the middle of the block you may want to reconsider. For the month of November, Calgary Police are targetting jaywalkers in their Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). They will also be looking for drivers that fail to yield to pedestrians who are using crosswalks.

There has been many projects aimed at increasing pedestrian safety around the world, including new scramble pedestrian crossings, improved crumple zones in newer vehicles, and of course the controversial $25M pedestrian bridges.

However, one thing that does not get enough attention is the fact that pedestrians need to take their safety into their own hands (or feet) by being more alert. Its not uncommon to see pedestrians waltzing into the path of a vehicle pulling out of an alley in downtown without even looking to see if a vehicle is approaching. Similar events occur all day at most downtown intersections when the herd of sheep we call downtown workers will step into the roadway as soon as the light goes green. If anyone is running a red light, we’ll see it on the evening news.

Earlier this summer, a judge ruled that Angela Ta, who was behind the wheel of a vehicle that struck a mother and her six year old daughter in a crosswalk was not at fault. The judge in the case ruled that the pedestrians stepped onto the roadway when the vehicle was so close it was not possible to expect the vehicle to be able to come to a stop safely. Jenna Chang died the following day. Not even a guilty verdict would bring Jenna back.

I suspect they’ll leave chinatown alone though ;)


Smile! You’re On Camera, Calgary

Calgary will soon be joining Toronto by deploying public surveilance cameras. In an effort to deter crime in the downtown core, the city is installing three cameras at crime hot spots at the end of this year. The wireless cameras will be accessible by Calgary Police officers via their in car laptops to assist in any investigations.

Police spokesman Kevin Brookwell said, while the cameras won’t necessarily prevent crimes, “they will be a valuable investigative tool for us.” “Accessing other (closed circuit TV) systems that exist, there’s a tremendous value in either identifying suspects or determining the course of events.” The cameras, which police will be able to access from laptops, will be directed at public spaces such as sidewalks, roads or green space. Using technology, their range will be limited, so they can’t pan into windows, for example.

Toronto has been piloting public surveilance cameras since December 2006 by installing three cameras as a pilot project. In May 2007 they added 13 more cameras to the system at a total cost of $2M paid for by the Ontario Government. The biggest difference between the Calgary cameras and the ones installed in Toronto is how privacy is handled. In Toronto, none of the video cameras are monitored, all footage is erased after 72 hours. When a crime occurs within the range of any camera, the footage can be retrieved from the system.

Camera in Toronto - Photo by Colin Mcconnell / Toronto Star

Camera in Toronto - Photo by Colin Mcconnell / Toronto Star

The Calgary video surveilance system is setup in such a way that there is potential for abuse, especially if officers are able to control where the cameras are pointing from their vehicles.

Depending on how surveillance cameras are operated and who is monitoring them, a lot could happen to that image of you, captured as you walk or shop or drive. It could be monitored by someone in a control room, who could manipulate the camera to get a better shot of your cleavage. He could print it and post it on the wall of his room.

Don’t think it doesn’t happen. In Tuscaloosa, Ala., state police have been accused of focusing their cameras on the breasts and buttocks of young women walking down the street. In Britain, police in a control room in the Midlands were recently caught taking close-ups of women with large breasts.

Other Canadian cities like Winnipeg are also slated to trial public surveilance cameras. The cameras went up in Toronto without any public outcry, so it will be interesting to see if there are any opposition to the cameras being installed here in Calgary. With the rash of violence this summer, its a safe bet that the public will be accepting of the cameras if they not only help deter crime, but help the police solve crime as well.


Not All Calgary Police Officers Are Pricks

In fact, the title of this blog post is misleading because most Calgary Police Officers are actually pretty friendly folk. The driver of this turbo Honda Prelude would probably agree since he was given a warning after being pulled over for nearly tripling the speed limit on Bow Trail just exiting downtown. The officer actually only estimated the speed at just slightly above double the limit, but the driver later admitted he was going about 160.

Sure it sucks that his car was towed but paying to get your vehicle out of the impound lot is about $80 vs. the mandatory court appearance, possible suspended license, and at least a couple grand in fines. I’d wish that I would encounter cops like this, but then again I never break any traffic laws ;)

Kids, don’t try this at home! Especially if you’re from Ontario.




Stopping for Police

Judging by the result, it may be a significant event in many driver’s lives to be pulled over by the police. I’ve seen everything from jamming on the brakes and stopping in the middle of the lane to following oblivious drivers for many kilometers before they caught sight of my emergency lights. The tendency was closer to the former rather than the latter, although some drivers made it quite plain that my choice of a place to stop them was not a good one.

In most cases, I would turn on my emergency lights and catch up to the vehicle that I wanted to stop. I would then follow along behind until the driver noticed me and pulled over. If the spot they chose was not a good one, I would ask that they move to a safer location and finish the contact with them there. The choice of where to stop was really theirs because I was signalling them to stop. The law requires that they immediately come to a safe stop and the safe stop qualifier allows some leeway in the driver choosing to find an appropriate place to pull over depending on the circumstances.

If it was really important that the driver stop regardless, I would turn on my emergency lights and siren. The additional use of the siren removes the driver’s discretion in choosing to do anything more than immediately moving to the nearest edge of the roadway clear of an intersection and coming to a full stop. Where we ended up was entirely my responsibility to deal with.

The presence of an emergency vehicle should not come as a surprise to any driver unless their ability to see is limited by the character of the highway. Being aware of traffic other than that directly in front of you allows a defensive driver to act in anticipation rather than react in panic or not act at all. It would probably also have reduced the complaints about me having picked a lousy place to stop someone as well.

Reference Links


Forum Weekly Review August 23

In this weekly segment, we cover the top discussions going on in the car forums. These threads may be the most recent hot topics, or epic threads that we just wanted to dig up and feature.

If you have a suggestion for a thread to be included on the forum weekly review, e-mail it to info@beyond.ca. If you have not joined our forums, register today its free!

Playground Zones: Cause More Harm For Children?
What started off as a rant for drivers to slow down in Playground zone turns into a heated debate on the effectiveness of Playground Zones. Do These 30 km/h zones distract drivers even more? Do they create a false sense of security for parents?

Dog Dies During Traffic Stop
In this video, an officer pulls over a speeding driver (who hit up to 100mph) who is rushing to the vet for his sick dog. Instead of escorting the man to the vet, or allowing his girlfriend to take the vehicle and continue on the officer detains the man and the dog eventually dies. Should the officer have let him continue on and ticket him later? Is a dogs life important enough to risk the lives of other drivers? Would a warning have sufficed?

Indian boy who performed surgery at 7 is now 13 years old
An incredible story about a boy in India who performed surgery on an 8 year when he was only 7 years old. This gifted child is now 13 and believes he will find the cure for cancer, but is he really that intelligent? Will his development slow down as he ages? Researchers think so and politely tell the boy he is not ready and needs to take a step back to re-evaluate his goals. What do you think?


Forum Weekly Review August 16

In this weekly segment, we cover the top discussions going on in the car forums. These threads may be the most recent hot topics, or epic threads that we just wanted to dig up and feature.

If you have a suggestion for a thread to be included on the forum weekly review, e-mail it to info@beyond.ca. If you have not joined our forums, register today its free!

Craziest Project Car Ever? Champ Car Project
When you hear about someone’s project car, you never expect they’re working on getting a Champ Car back up and running. The racing series may be gone, but thats not going to stop this car from hitting the track again. Check out the thread for tons of detailed pics and the latest progress.

Why I Hate Realtors
Are realtor’s salaries justified? Somebody certainly doesn’t think so! Should wages be proportional to how important a job is? Should a surgeon make more than a realtor? What about Pro sports? Join the debate and share your views.

All Cops are A$$Holes! or are they?
We hear about bad experiences with Police Officers all the time on the forums and this thread is a welcome change. Forum members are sharing their positive experiences interacting with law enforcement. Many people have good stories but often they do not share them, here’s your chance to share your story if you have one.


Girl Gets Busted Stealing Bait Car


Vancouver Deploys Cardboard Cops

In a low cost effort to reduce the number of people speeding along dangerous stretches of roadway, Vancouver Police are deploying cardboard cutouts of police officers pointing a radar-gun down the road.

The idea to use these tricky methods to trick drivers was probably stemmed from the highly successful Bait Car Program also used in B.C. to catch car thieves. Vancouver Police plan to rotate 8 of these cardboard cut-outs around city streets along with real officers to help nab speeders and reduce fatalities.

And these mock-ups are so realistic that while being tested on a Vancouver street this week, “a tow-truck driver pulled up and started talking to it,” Staff Sergeant Ralph Pauw told a press conference on Thursday.

Hmm… not the brightest guy in the world ;)


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