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Another staggering day of speeds on Highway 401 with five drivers being charged with Stunt Driving on Thursday, January 9, 2020.
Today’s Northumberland spent the day with Highway Safety Division Constable Chad Laperle monitoring mainly eastbound traffic on Highway 401 from the Wesleyville overpass in Port Hope.
Speeds for the day ranged from 152 kph to 157 kph.
Along with Laperle was Northumberland OPP Constable Kevin McAllister.
Other tickets were given throughout the day, but for Stunt Driving charges, McAllister had one charge of a driver traveling at 157 kph and Laperle charged four drivers charged ranging in speeds of 152 kph to 155 kph.
Laperle has charged a staggering 18 drivers with Stunt Driving in only five shifts this year. (Five the first day, three for the following three days and today four drivers were charged)
Drivers once again face fines starting at $2,000 a mandatory Provincial Offences Court appearance, a seven day driver’s license suspension and the vehicle impounded for seven days.
One tow operator said the two is $250 and impound fees are $60 a day, but that can vary for different towing companies.
The excuses, one driver said he had bladder issues and was “zipping” to go to the washroom at the next exit.
Another, simply said, “it’s my fault for being stupid.”
Laperle has been a member of the Highway Safety Division since 2011 and said the role of the HSD is traffic compliance along with commercial motor vehicles and collision investigations.
And for anyone who is wondering, giving tickets isn’t about quotas.
“It’s a public safety issue.”
“People are traveling well in excess of the posted speed limit. And there is such a gap between their speeds and the flow of traffic that it makes it dangerous.”
Laperle said speed is one of the four factors involved in the majority of fatal collisions along with not wearing seatbelts, impaired driving and cell phones.
If any driver needed to act immediately because of a blown tire or the actions of another driver, “at that speed it’s going to make everything that much quicker and dangerous.”
Laperle said people driving along the highway aren’t expecting the speeds some vehicles are traveling.
“You’re taking people by surprise. You look in your mirror one minute and the next minute, there is a car flying pass you on the inside lane.”
‘Most of these people don’t slow down. They just work their way through traffic.”
The Stunt Driving legislation has been around since 2008 and most people traveling the roads of Ontario are well aware of what Stunt Driving is said Laperle.
“Everybody knows. It’s posted on the highways, it’s posted when you renew your driver’s license, it’s in the media.”
For those who chose to put others in danger along with themselves, Laperle simply says, “you’re rolling the dice.”
And sooner or later you’ll lose.
The device the officers use
The speed measuring device used by police on this date was a device commonly called a laser.
It is referred to by police as a LIDAR. Which is an acronym for Light/Detection/And Ranging.
The model of Lidar used today was a Dragon Eye-Speed Lidar This device projects a beam of infra-red light through a transceiver which strikes a moving motor vehicle and is reflected back to the receiving optic within the Lidar device.
This light is sent out in pulses and takes several hundred readings in a second.
It measures the distance of the vehicle with each reflected pulse of light so that when multiple readings are taken for the one vehicle it then calculates the distance traveled by that vehicle in a known amount of time and the measured speed is calculated using a distance over time calculation.
This is different than radar.
One of the main differences between Radar and Lidar is that the beam of light being projected from the Lidar is extremely narrow and it spreads out at a known rate.
At 100 metres the size of the beam projected is approximately 30 cm (which is about the size of a license plate).
This device is excellent while being used in moderate to heavy traffic as the officer can specifically target a vehicle in traffic and determine it’s speed without getting a speed from another vehicle.
The officer simply looks through the heads up display targeting a specific vehicle and pulls the trigger activating the Lidar and the speed and distance is displayed within the device’s heads up display which can be magnified with an 8x Scope.
Often times the officer is targeting vehicles at distances up to 1 km away.
The target vehicles speed has been captured in a matter of seconds. Most times before it is even possible for the driver of the subject vehicle to see the officer. The Lidar is accurate to +/- 1 kph.