Why aren't radar detectors legal in Ontario? | Page 3 | GTAMotorcycle.com

Why aren't radar detectors legal in Ontario?

Rob MacLennan

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They are illegal because no one has takin the law to court. From what I understand it wouldn’t stand up.
Don’t ask me to explain. When I owned one about 8 years ago I did a lot of research at that time.
The law was repeatedly challenged in court, in the early days. It was upheld.
 

Allistonfjr

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Roadghost

Well-known member
The law was repeatedly challenged in court, in the early days. It was upheld.
I remember Mike Valentine (manufacturer of Valentine1) challenging the law in court. The Ontario judges were completely hostile to his case. He lost of course. However, the law has since been rewritten to include a clause that allows police to search your car for radar detectors. Some have said that section is illegal and needs to be challenged, but any hope of making RD's legal isn't going to happen in Ontario. Speeding tickets are a real money racket in this province, with the OPP, local courts and municipalities all getting a cut o' the cash.
 

Allistonfjr

Well-known member
I remember Mike Valentine (manufacturer of Valentine1) challenging the law in court. The Ontario judges were completely hostile to his case. He lost of course. However, the law has since been rewritten to include a clause that allows police to search your car for radar detectors. Some have said that section is illegal and needs to be challenged, but any hope of making RD's legal isn't going to happen in Ontario. Speeding tickets are a real money racket in this province, with the OPP, local courts and municipalities all getting a cut o' the cash.
Yes largely about revenue. Here's the proof. Install permanent radar cameras and post signs warning of these radar cameras. Have driven multiple times in the UK. They warn drivers of radar cameras. No taxing drivers in these areas. The reality is in high government spending places like Ontario (some of the lowest speed limits in North America) they will take your money at every opportunity.
 

GreyGhost

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Yes largely about revenue. Here's the proof. Install permanent radar cameras and post signs warning of these radar cameras. Have driven multiple times in the UK. They warn drivers of radar cameras. No taxing drivers in these areas. The reality is in high government spending places like Ontario (some of the lowest speed limits in North America) they will take your money at every opportunity.
If they seriously wanted to curb speeding instead of just revenue generation, average speed cameras are the way to go on controlled access highways. It is trivially easy to install on 407 (iirc 407 bills used to show entry and exit times as well as distance travelled). This both eliminates people slamming on their brakes when they get to a radar location (like in alberta) and allows you to control all speeding with two cameras per interchange and some software. This could also easily ticket trucks exceeding their governed speed.
 

Allistonfjr

Well-known member
If they seriously wanted to curb speeding instead of just revenue generation, average speed cameras are the way to go on controlled access highways. It is trivially easy to install on 407 (iirc 407 bills used to show entry and exit times as well as distance travelled). This both eliminates people slamming on their brakes when they get to a radar location (like in alberta) and allows you to control all speeding with two cameras per interchange and some software. This could also easily ticket trucks exceeding their governed speed.
Yes
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
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I'm always amazed at the number of people who gripe about speeding fines, calling them "nothing but revenue generation", blah blah blah.

Don't F'n speed. You won't get a ticket. Zero revenue generated. Argument invalid.

The reason speeding has hefty fines and licence ramifications has a lot to do with, uh...discouraging the behaviour.

What would you all suggest happen when people are caught speeding? Have the police just ignore it but send a nice polite "Kindly stop speeding, thank you, sorry" letter to the offender?
 

Allistonfjr

Well-known member
I'm always amazed at the number of people who gripe about speeding fines, calling them "nothing but revenue generation", blah blah blah.

Don't F'n speed. You won't get a ticket. Zero revenue generated. Argument invalid.

The reason speeding has hefty fines and licence ramifications has a lot to do with, uh...discouraging the behaviour.
People speed because limits are set artificially low for the design of the road. Vast majority of drivers will drive at a speed that feels comfortable. If the limit on the 400 was raised to 115 there would just be less people speeding. My experience driving in the states at a 70mph limit is most drivers are within or very close to that limit. Again, whats been discussed before, if they wanted to stop speeding outright it could be done.
 

jeff96

Well-known member
People speed because limits are set artificially low for the design of the road. Vast majority of drivers will drive at a speed that feels comfortable. If the limit on the 400 was raised to 115 there would just be less people speeding. My experience driving in the states at a 70mph limit is most drivers are within or very close to that limit. Again, whats been discussed before, if they wanted to stop speeding outright it could be done.
I agree with you completely. In practice though, it's very unlikely that you'd get a speeding ticket for 115 in a 100 km zone.

We have a system where it's generally accepted that it's okay to ignore speed limits and it's become a negotiation of when and how much we can break the law.


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Brian P

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I'm always amazed at the number of people who gripe about speeding fines, calling them "nothing but revenue generation", blah blah blah.
Because the speed limits are too low.

In most of continental Europe, general motorway speed limits are 130 km/h, and that is generally followed. As far as I know, Ontario has the lowest speed limit on such roads. It is tied for that honour with some other places that are much more congested and with much shorter travel distances between cities (e.g. Japan).

In Germany, secondary roads mostly have 100 km/h limits and they are generally followed. Roads with lower limits are usually in the mountains and are tight and narrow, and the limits generally make sense for the conditions. In Italy, there is no rhyme nor reason to the speed limits on secondary roads (and the limits are mostly too low, sometimes ridiculously so), and they are widely ignored ... only followed when passing the speed cameras, which there are plenty of. (Italian driving style is foot to the floor in a Fiat Panda)

If everyone ignores the speed limit then everyone isn't wrong ... the speed limit is wrong.
 

Allistonfjr

Well-known member
Because the speed limits are too low.

In most of continental Europe, general motorway speed limits are 130 km/h, and that is generally followed. As far as I know, Ontario has the lowest speed limit on such roads. It is tied for that honour with some other places that are much more congested and with much shorter travel distances between cities (e.g. Japan).

In Germany, secondary roads mostly have 100 km/h limits and they are generally followed. Roads with lower limits are usually in the mountains and are tight and narrow, and the limits generally make sense for the conditions. In Italy, there is no rhyme nor reason to the speed limits on secondary roads (and the limits are mostly too low, sometimes ridiculously so), and they are widely ignored ... only followed when passing the speed cameras, which there are plenty of. (Italian driving style is foot to the floor in a Fiat Panda)

If everyone ignores the speed limit then everyone isn't wrong ... the speed limit is wrong.
Well stated


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PrivatePilot

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Because the speed limits are too low.

In most of continental Europe, general motorway speed limits are 130 km/h, and that is generally followed. As far as I know, Ontario has the lowest speed limit on such roads.
Although there's some merit to that argument, there's MANY things to keep in mind that partially invalidate it:

1- IMHO it's unrealistic to think that if the speed limit on the 401 was raised to 130 people would just follow it. Everybody wants to push the limit, and in the era of "Me me me, I'm the most important person on the planet and my plans are more important than yours", people will inevitably push them to 140...150.

2- Not everyone will want to drive 130, so we end up with bigger speed differentials which are proven dangerous anywhere they happen. Trucks are governed at 105KPH for example and with our current average driver skillset where many can barely manage to remain in control of their vehicle at 100KPH, 130 would be arguably dangerous.

3- Public acceptance of raising the limit to 130 for trucks would be lukewarm, so the speed differential issue comes into effect. And many fleets wouldn't do it anyways for two reasons - insurance companies are now writing polices based on these limits, and the difference between 100 and 130 would generate an astronomical increase in fuel consumption. With many fleets already running on the ragged edge of profitability, that can't be justified. The only ones that would run 130 are the ones already skimping on maintenance and safety and often with low or no experience drivers at the wheel (would YOU want that?), so that opens a whole different can of worms.

and lastly...

4- The quality of the drivers in this province wouldn't safely handle 130 on the 401 series highways. Anyone who's ever spent any time driving through the province would surely agree that we have some TERRIBLE drivers here. This is the fault of stupid easy licencing requirements over the last many decades that has put a whole generation of drivers on our roads that are barely capable of navigating city streets, much less safely merging on a highway, or maintaining a safe flow with traffic travelling at a much higher speed many seem to be capable of driving at to begin with. Coming back to your Europe argument, compare the level of mandatory driver training there vs the joke we have here and you can see why their drivers are actually capable of handling those speeds - they're trained to do it. In this province you can get your licence out of a Cracker Jack box with little effort and we have loopholes like downtown Toronto drivers doing their road tests in sleepy little towns hours away with 1 traffic light that only make the situation worse.
 
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Blackfin

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Trucks are speed-limited in Germany and their speed differentials can be far larger than ours. No carnage there.

I also don't believe that if the limits were raised here to, say, 120kph, that people would automatically begin to cruise at 150 or 160. I suppose some might but laws could still deal with them.
 

JavaFan

gringo diablo
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it's not just the US and Europe with higher speed limits

I just drove from N. BC back to E. Ontario
every province between there and here has higher limits

even on 2 lane secondary highways
what would be automatically 80 here
is 90 or 100 in the western provinces

Texas has to be the most absurd I've seen
2 lane secondary highways, no controlled access
80 mph limit, nuts

I like the way Scotland does it
30 mph in built up areas
everywhere else, drive to your limitations
 

PrivatePilot

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Trucks are speed-limited in Germany and their speed differentials can be far larger than ours. No carnage there.
.
Studies have been done many times across the US states where differential speed limits are quite common (here's just one from the US Federal Highway Admin) and they have shown a very statistically significant increase in crashes caused by said differential.

There's simply no debate there, it's real, it happens. I spent a decade of my driving career criss-crossing the USA..and I can tell you from real, first hand, real world experience, it IS a real issue.

If it doesn't in Europe (admittedly I'm not into Googling the stats right now, but perhaps you'd like to backup your statement with some statistical links showing such), again, I would attribute it to the fact their drivers are far better trained and educated vs ours. And perhaps the attitude of the average driver behind the wheel (in short, less idiotic) also contributes to such.
 

Allistonfjr

Well-known member
Although there's some merit to that argument, there's MANY things to keep in mind that partially invalidate it:

1- IMHO it's unrealistic to think that if the speed limit on the 401 was raised to 130 people would just follow it. Everybody wants to push the limit, and in the era of "Me me me, I'm the most important person on the planet and my plans are more important than yours", people will inevitably push them to 140...150.

2- Not everyone will want to drive 130, so we end up with bigger speed differentials which are proven dangerous anywhere they happen. Trucks are governed at 105KPH for example and with our current average driver skillset where many can barely manage to remain in control of their vehicle at 100KPH, 130 would be arguably dangerous.

3- Public acceptance of raising the limit to 130 for trucks would be lukewarm, so the speed differential issue comes into effect. And many fleets wouldn't do it anyways for two reasons - insurance companies are now writing polices based on these limits, and the difference between 100 and 130 would generate an astronomical increase in fuel consumption. With many fleets already running on the ragged edge of profitability, that can't be justified. The only ones that would run 130 are the ones already skimping on maintenance and safety and often with low or no experience drivers at the wheel (would YOU want that?), so that opens a whole different can of worms.

and lastly...

4- The quality of the drivers in this province wouldn't safely handle 130 on the 401 series highways. Anyone who's ever spent any time driving through the province would surely agree that we have some TERRIBLE drivers here. This is the fault of stupid easy licencing requirements over the last many decades that has put a whole generation of drivers on our roads that are barely capable of navigating city streets, much less safely merging on a highway, or maintaining a safe flow with traffic travelling at a much higher speed many seem to be capable of driving at to begin with. Coming back to your Europe argument, compare the level of mandatory driver training there vs the joke we have here and you can see why their drivers are actually capable of handling those speeds - they're trained to do it. In this province you can get your licence out of a Cracker Jack box with little effort and we have loopholes like downtown Toronto drivers doing their road tests in sleepy little towns hours away with 1 traffic light that only make the situation worse.
Your standing up for the nanny state we live in. Government must protect us from ourselves. Speed in it's self does not cause accidents. Distracted, careless actions cause accidents. Though of coarse speed can make an accident worse. Some will always push limits. Most will drive to what is comfortable.
 

Riceburner

Well-known member
Did the speed limit all day yesterday on primary and secondary highways....all but a handful passed me(they probably had the cruise set like me). I did have to pass someone doing less than the limit though. lol
 

PrivatePilot

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Your standing up for the nanny state we live in. Government must protect us from ourselves. Speed in it's self does not cause accidents. Distracted, careless actions cause accidents. Though of coarse speed can make an accident worse. Some will always push limits. Most will drive to what is comfortable.
Well, by your logic, lets just abolish speed limits all together then? What could possibly go wrong?

Did the speed limit all day yesterday on primary and secondary highways....all but a handful passed me(they probably had the cruise set like me)
It's way more relaxing, isn't it? I often laugh at the people out there who will weave through traffic and take every opportunity to gain 12" from the car beside them, but more often than not end up stopped at the same traffic light as you 5 minutes later.
 

PrivatePilot

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Never said that. Realistic limits are fine. Blindly adhering to unrealistic laws is my issue. Love a good debate ;-).
So, where exactly is your line between "Nanny state" and "realistic limits"?

And do you think everyone shares your answer to that answer?

That's the issue. Nobody is ever going to be happy. Make the speed limit 150 and a subset will be happy, but many will still drive much slower, there will be more accidents, and they will be more severe.

Keep the limits where they are or maybe slightly higher (110 on 400 series and 90 on secondaries would be realistic IMHO) and we are at "nanny state" according to some.

Some suggest photo radar is an effective tool for punishing gross speeders. Others immediately call it a cash grab.

It goes on and on.
 

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