Good news, everyone! Cambridge, Ontario officially crime free. Police cite bus driver for speeding and issue press release

September 19, 2014

Last week, the local media in Kitchener, Ontario was abuzz with news that the local police department, Waterloo Regional Police, had stopped a bus for speeding in the neighbouring city of Cambridge.

Here is the story, verbatim, from the Kitchener-Waterloo record (fair use, Record. So sue me):



GO Transit bus driver nabbed for speeding

Cambridge Times

CAMBRIDGE – Police pulled over a double-decker Go Transit bus this morning (Sept. 8), after an officer on radar patrol spotted the bus speeding.

The bus was loaded with passengers, travelling on Beaverdale Road in Hespeler at about 9 a.m.

Police declined to say how fast the bus was going.

Similar stories ran on local radio stations as well as the lone local television station.

The road in question is a rural two-lane. The posted speed limit goes from 80 km/h (50 mph) down to  50 km/h (30 mph) before going back up to 80. The bus driver would have been attempting to detour around traffic on the nearby Highway 401, an approved procedure by the bus company, GO Transit.

I found it rather curious that, in all the media reports, the actual speed of the bus was not reported. I sent an e-mail to Waterloo Regional Police chief Bryan Larkin. I have yet to hear back.

Dear Mr. Larkin:

In the absence of any prominent media contact on your WRPS website, I will address these questions to you.
Last week, local media breathlessly reported that one of your heroic police department employees bravely, acting in the best interest of safety of course, bravely intercepted a GO bus on Beaverdale Road in Cambridge. 
According to your press release, the bus was travelling “in excess of 50 km/h” in place in the area. Strangely, it neglects to say just how far in excess.
This, of course, would the be the same stretch of road where the speed drops from 80 to 50 and back. As you know, it is a rural stretch of road and as, such, under the highway traffic act, the speed limit would be 80 unless otherwise signed. So a driver – any driver – who wasn’t paying complete attention would assume that the speed was 80. And might even push it up to 90. Or 100.
Ah, but that’s why your boys in black love that road so much! It’s like Waldo, Florida. Except there are no palm trees.
Three questions:
1) Just how fast was this bus going? 65? 70? 80? The inference one gets from reading the press release is that you want to brag about your trophy – the GO bus – but you are embarrassed to admit the bus was travelling no faster than everybody else does. He couldn’t have been going that fast, or you would have said so. And he wasn’t doing 100 because you didn’t tow the bus away. So, let’s have it, Bryan. How fast was he going?
Seriously, Bryan. I’ve seen this before. The local police department makes a big deal about some “speeding” crack down in a school zone and some cop brags on TV about how they stopped a delivery truck for doing 80 in a 50. Or something. 
2) Is it standard practise for your police department to issue press releases about speeding charges? And in bagging his trophy for doing absolutely nothing that anybody else on the road doesn’t do, did your police department employee stop to think about the inconvenience caused to the passengers on the bus, the humiliation caused to the bus driver, not to mention the very likelihood he (or she, I don’t know) will be fired for this?
3) When I – and my trusty dashcam that I bought to protect myself from Orangeville’s Police Officer of the Year (2004) Peter Curtis – see you guys driving in an utterly reckless manner (i.e. doing 140, 150 on the 401) turning on the cherries just to go through red lights, tailgating, etc, what are you going to do about it? 
After the Dzsanski murder at the Vancouver airport, Benjamin “Monty” Robinson’s free ride for killing Orion Hutchinson, the G-20 and the murder of Sammy Yatin, it’s no secret that most Canadians have lost their respect for the police. As for me, I lost my respect for you guys years before that. Oh, and by the way, Bryan: I have a stellar driving record. I don’t “hate cops” because I got a ticket. I “hate cops” because you guys have become militarized and you think
you’re my boss.

Police department employees are increasingly taking umbrage when the slaves confront them. In the United States, the answer is to arm police departments for war against the people. Reports of “officers” tazing and otherwise torturing people for perceived non-compliance are now commonplace. The manly men in black even shoot dogs.
Fortunately, such behaviour in Canada is rare and is a guaranteed to result in criminal charges against the police employee (of course, they almost always beat the rap, but they don’t beat the ride). Unlike the United States, the constitution is still intact in Canada. Judges still uphold defendants’ rights and still expect police department employees to observe them.
Mr. Larkin: When your police department is so petty that it not only stops a bus and cites its driver, and then issues a press release gloating about your catch, and you don’t even say how fast this bus was traveling, and when you can’t even answer your e-mail and tell us what the driver’s speed was, you are nothing more than the Chief Revenuer. Of course, we already knew that.
There is one question in my e-mail I should have asked, but didn’t: Mr. Larkin, where do you derive your moral authority to lecture us peons about “traffic safety” when it is well-documented that when a police department employee gets pulled over in his own vehicle, he need only show his fellow P.D.E. his badge and he is on his way.
In the history of the Highway Traffic Act (the legislation governing motor vehicles in the province of Ontario) and similar motor vehicle act legislation across Canada and the United States, I can say with a great deal of confidence that the incidence of police charging other police with traffic offenses is nearly non-existent. With apologies to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, “no changeling has ever harmed another.”
And courageous police officers who DO charge their fellow police department employees are ostracized severely. Or worse.
It’s too bad this bus driver didn’t have one of those fancy badges.
All the news stories reporting this incident (at least the ones I came across) disabled the comments.

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