Are radar detectors legal in BC?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Are radar detectors legal in BC?

    I was going to fly to Seattle and drive up I5 to Vancouver and then on to Whistler later this month. How is traffic enforcement in the area, pretty strict? I was thinking about tossing in my radar detector, would that be legal in Canada? What can I say...I like to get where I'm going and 85-90mph is my comfort zone. Will I be running a big risk of getting nailed?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Radar detectors are legal but virtually all the BC police department speed traps have switched to handheld Laser radar, so they generally don't trigger them until they've sighted on you.

    Sea to Sky highway has speed traps that move around, but they like putting them in the slower local speed zones where the local residential areas or intersections are (60 or 70km/h down from 80km/h).
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, laser is tough to beat. You can only hope they trigger on someone ahead of you as an alert, otherwise your radar detector goes off letting you know that you're going to get a ticket!

    Eh, maybe I'll skip the radar detector and try to behave. I'm going to have to figger out this km/h vs mph thing .

  4. #4
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    0.6 x km = mph

    90km/h is roughly 55 mph

    80km/h is roughly 48 mph

    60km/h is roughly 37mph

    50km/h is roughly 30mph

    Watch the 60km/h speed limit around Lion's bay, the Britannia Beach area speed limits and the 70 km/h speed limit around the south end of Squamish. There's another half dozen places where the RCMP will setup on a regular basis for the regular 80km limit. They usually give you 10-15km/h leeway unless they're short of quota or you're driving badly around the passing lane areas. The road itself between Horseshoe Bay and Furry Creek has many places where the cliff face enforces the 80km/h limit.

    Much of the road is now 4 lane divided, but there are some stretches that are 2 lanes with no passing, and then a passing lane added in every 2-4 km. Patience is a virtue on the 2 lane no passing areas, otherwise you stand a chance of being the cause of a huge traffic jam because of a crash that closes the road in both directions. You likely have a 10% chance of being caught in one of those traffic jams on most any weekend.
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  5. #5
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    Aah fack, 140km/hr is the speed I like to roll and it doesn't sound like I'm going to get away with that crap up there...I'm going to feel like I'm in a funeral procession all week long .

  6. #6
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    110 is the fastest legal speed anywhere in BC.

    Speeding fines are between $138 and $196

    Excessive speed (more than 40k over the limit) is $368 - $483

  7. #7
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    Unless you have a serious sports car, there's very few spots along the Sea to Sky between Vancouver and Squamish that traveling at 140km/h wouldn't turn your vehicle into a tunnel boring machine into the cliff face, or into a flying car off the ocean side exposure. That and there's usually enough traffic on the highway to make speeding an exercise in frustration. Save the need for speed for A Line.

    Average speed on the freeway in Vancouver anywhere near rush hour is about 25km/h.
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  8. #8
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    I-5 just north of Seattle has a lot of State troopers on it. So speeding is not really going to work here either.
    Once you're north of Vancouver, you would be just plain stupid to plan on going 85mph+ in a rental car on Mountain/Cliffside Roads you don't know. Sea to Sky Highway is super scenic enjoy the ride, it's not that long.
    Occasionally, they will have drunk driving checkpoints on the Sea to Sky. Where all traffic has to stop and talk to a Police officer before proceding. Haven't seen one in a couple years but they used to be common.
    Last edited by mtnbeer; 09-12-2010 at 12:29 AM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the insight on the route I'll be running, it's greatly appreciated guys!

    I do a lot of business driving in the states and there's stretches where you can fly and others where you have to maintain a more reasonable speed due to more concentrated enforcement.

    It looks like a wonderful, scenic drive up towards Vancouver and on to Whistler so I'll have to put myself in the "vacation mode" and relax to enjoy the views...maybe we'll even stop along the way to snap some pictures and smell the roses .

  10. #10
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    Actually, the Seattle to Vancouver Drive is not very scenic. Just lots of Cops from Seattle to somewhere past Everett.
    The Downtown Route through Vancouver is slow but cool (arterials only no Highways). The fastest way is to go east of downtown and drive thru the town of North Vancouver on Canada 1. Going that way is rural/suburban highways with occasional stop signs until you Reach Canada 1.

    From Horseshoe Bay (just North of Vancouver) to Whistler is super scenic. A lot of it is on cliffsides with awesome views of the Howe Sound the the West side. The road used to be gnarly but it's much easier of a drive since they widened the road for the Olympics. Still occasional fog, rockfall and trucks entering highways make it more interesting,

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    and this is why it's important not to be in too big a hurry on the Sea to Sky highway

    Sea-to-Sky Highway closed by crash

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-col...sky-crash.html

    The Sea-to-Sky Highway, which connects Vancouver and Whistler was been closed in both directions because of a head-on collision on Monday morning.

    The 13-kilometre section of Highway 99 between Lions Bay and Porteau Cove Provincial Park, just north of Horseshoe Bay, was closed after a pick-up truck and a Volkswagen Van had a head on collision around 10:45 a.m. PT.
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  13. #13
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    OK guys, you have me convinced. I plan to leave the radar detector and my penchant for warp speed at home and relax and enjoy my vacation at a slower pace. Getting an expensive ticket would piss me off but getting in a wreck would really bum things out!

  14. #14
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    It's not all about you anyway, ricko. It's about the people you'd take out by trying to do 140 no the sea to sky. so chill out and enjoy yourself seeing somewhere you've obviously never been to before, because we all want to make it there in one piece.

  15. #15
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    WOW, just saw the fines posted above and I guess I can say I was really lucky driving up from Seattle and then around the local area...40 over didn't seem like we were dusting too many drivers but I'll sure keep it more 'real' next time. I'm thinking a $400 speeding ticket would make those $15 hamburger seem cheap
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    I doubt you'll be driving very fast the first time up the 99. It's so pretty like. If you're not in too big a hurry stop at Shannon Falls.
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  17. #17
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    As of today the new laws governing Excess Speed (40km/h+ over the limit) come into effect in BC, and if you're nailed for that speeding infraction it's a 7 day vehicle impoundment and driver's license suspension right at the road side for a first offense and a 30 day period for a second offense, and 60 days for any subsequent offenses, plus a $368-$483 fine.

    New drinking & driving laws come into effect too, where blowing 0.05 to 0.08 will get you a roadside 3 day suspension and a $200 fine.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    As of today the new laws governing Excess Speed (40km/h+ over the limit) come into effect in BC, and if you're nailed for that speeding infraction it's a 7 day vehicle impoundment and driver's license suspension right at the road side for a first offense and a 30 day period for a second offense, and 60 days for any subsequent offenses, plus a $368-$483 fine.

    New drinking & driving laws come into effect too, where blowing 0.05 to 0.08 will get you a roadside 3 day suspension and a $200 fine.
    Yup, you've all convinced me....relax and take it easy up there. Wow, .05 puts you over the limit??? I'll be sure to keep my beer consumption confined to evenings when the car is parked for the night!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    As of today the new laws governing Excess Speed (40km/h+ over the limit) come into effect in BC, and if you're nailed for that speeding infraction it's a 7 day vehicle impoundment and driver's license suspension right at the road side for a first offense and a 30 day period for a second offense, and 60 days for any subsequent offenses, plus a $368-$483 fine.

    New drinking & driving laws come into effect too, where blowing 0.05 to 0.08 will get you a roadside 3 day suspension and a $200 fine.


    Watch out especially in construction zones too, going over 40 is easy to do. People are getting cars empounded for flying through a construction zone.....

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