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Canada Crime Transportation Your Rights Online

Online Forum Speeding Boast Leads To Conviction 457

Posted by Soulskill
from the life-in-the-fast-lane dept.
Meshach writes "In Canada, a nineteen-year-old man has lost his driving license for six months and is facing one year of probation after the police arrested him for dangerous driving as a result of a post on an online message board. The tip apparently came from an uninvolved American who called the Canadian authorities after he saw the post bragging about how fast the man went."
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Online Forum Speeding Boast Leads To Conviction

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  • by odies (1869886) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @05:16AM (#33213068)

    What evidence was there, other than the bloggers post, that an offence had occurred?
    How could the police charge him without it?

    He admitted it himself. Admitting your crimes on the internet are no different than admitting them in real life. There also were pictures and videos of his crime.

    Same laws apply to Internet as real life. It would be pretty stupid to go tell police that. Well, they can read the internet too.

  • by HonestButCurious (1306021) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @05:40AM (#33213184) Journal
    There you go [5series.net]
  • by macemoneta (154740) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @05:51AM (#33213220) Homepage

    As far as I understand, pictures and video are not evidence unless someone testifies to their veracity. Under questioning, all he has to do is say he photoshopped the "evidence" for his own amusement at the reaction they would provoke in the forum. I suspect what happened instead is that he verified that the media were real to the police, and that's why he was charged. That's speculation though, as the article doesn't have enough information to determine the basis for the charge.

  • Re:A BMW? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Xest (935314) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @05:56AM (#33213230)

    I'm not sure why that's posted on a spoof site, in my experience it's quite fucking true! BMWs seem pretty common and run of the mill in the UK now and I don't really encounter many that are driven badly above the norm for most cars, One series seem common as muck and I even saw one with one of those learner signs on the top of it the other day which made me chuckle.

    Most Audi drivers on the other hand, there's generally two types, there's the middle England Daily Mail reading wife who drives one because her husband bought her it and she thinks it makes her cool but actually scares the living shit out of her to drive so she sticks to 30mph on safe 60mph roads, and then there's the dickhead, who drives 60mph on safe 30mph roads, overtaking on blind corners down country lanes because he thinks the national speed limit sign means "Drive as fast as you fucking can at a minimum of 60mph down every part of this road", when in reality it means something along the lines of "Drive whatever speed is safe for the section of the road you are on, upto 60mph on safe open straight parts with good visibility".

    But then it's also no suprise that on the 25 mile commute each way a day I do, that the cars I see in bushes are also nearly always Audis, driven by both types of driver- the dickhead who lost control, and the middle England Daily Mail reading wife who did a 90 degree turn off the side of the road into a ditch because a tractor was coming the other way on the other side of the road towards her at 10mph and that made her panic.

    Still, it could be worse, at least they're not the annoying Nissan Micra and Fiat 500 drivers that seem to exist solely to slow the flow of traffic down to something like 5mph on every stretch of road possible whilst still managing to drift across the other side of the road because turning the wheel to navigate a 2 mile long 10 degree turn is just too much for them!

  • Read the article (Score:3, Informative)

    by ctid (449118) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @05:57AM (#33213232) Homepage

    He pleaded guilty to this.

  • by KiloByte (825081) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @06:00AM (#33213252)

    Except that the speed he stated was 1.0000000033c, and that means he went back in time, at least for some observers.

  • by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @06:14AM (#33213294)

    Why shouldn't it swing both ways? Doesn't the policeman have to make sure that there's actually a dead person?

    You are not the first to have made that mistake. All that has to be proven is beyond reasonable doubt, not beyond any shadow of a doubt. While hard proof of a dead person (such as identifiable remains) would obviously give you "beyond any shadow of a doubt", it's quite possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt without such proof, as Hans Reiser's trial demonstrated.

    IOW, the police only need good reason to believe that there's a dead person.

  • by Elldallan (901501) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @06:17AM (#33213300)
    Maybe you can construe it as that but in a court of law as long as you don't formally plead guilty there simply is no way that admitting guilt in an online forum rises beyond the level of resonable doubt.

    According to the article the accused pleaded guilty which is why he was convicted, not because he confessed his crime in a public forum(although that is why he was sued it is not why he was convicted), had he pleaded not guilty it is extremely unlikely that he would have been found guilty by the court solely based on him admitting to the crime in a forum without any corroborating evidence whatsoever.
  • by teh kurisu (701097) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @06:18AM (#33213304) Homepage

    You wouldn't automatically be charged, but you'd probably be arrested or at the very least invited to the police station for questioning. The police would probably examine your claim, compare it with missing persons reports, and decide whether you're telling the truth or just being a nuisance (in which case, you might get a warning or be charged with wasting police time).

    (and you can't prove otherwise)

    The article has a link to the actual forum post, which is worth a read if you're under the impression that the only proof the police had was a confession. In fact, the driver mentions the location and date of his crime, plus the fact that there were witnesses. There's more than enough information there for the police to conduct an investigation.

    In the end, the guy pleaded guilty not just on the internet but in a court of law.

  • Re:A BMW? (Score:3, Informative)

    by zippthorne (748122) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @06:40AM (#33213408) Journal

    On my 45 mile commute each way, the only cars I ever see in the bushes have red and blue lights bolted to the top, and everyone slows down by 10-20 mph when approaching one whether speeding or not. They're a real menace.

  • by El Lobo (994537) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @06:42AM (#33213422)
    The CBC story is missing some details. The conviction was only secured against the man because of eye-witness statements that confirmed a 2006 BMW M5S was travelling at a very high rate of speed on the street in question.

    His bragging alone would not have secured a conviction. There was also evidence that on the same car forum the man was claiming that he was smoking pot and driving on a different occasion. This however, could not be confirmed and charges were not pursued.

    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/08/10/facebook-speeding-conviction658.html#ixzz0wIDKdH3a [www.cbc.ca]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @06:50AM (#33213448)

    Excerpt:

    #1 by bmw550ifreak > The title says it all basically. Anyways, yesterday I was going back home during the day time after the GYM, and when I hit the street next to my house " Appleblosom dr" the zone there is 40 km/h, as soon as I turn into that street, I stopped the car, pressed the (M) button, DSC off, max short shift, and take off 1st gear ( 8000 RPM, switch) and so on... I hit 140 in like 6 or less seconds lol, some old guy was standing on the sidewalk tlaking to another guy, he had a pencil and a paper, he decides to run into my car to stop me, but I was too fast. Do you think he could tka emy liscence number ? lol I think I was too fast, I really doubt that. Though, I gotta admit, I cant stop racing with this car, beleive it or not, I killed a black E63 AMG Last week on Dufferin street. It was almost equal but in the end I had more power.

    Basically starts off with a few hundred posts of people telling the guy to stop speeding/being a moron/etc, then things get juicy around the end of page 22

    #329 by YRG (somebody made an account and posted this single post): Any witnesses that wish to come forward on Apple Blossom Drive, Vaughan about the dangerous operation of 2006 BMW M5S please contact Sergeant Morash, of York Regional Police, Community Response Unit at
    581@yrp.ca

    #331 by bmw550ifreak > Maybe it was just a lie about going 140, so I can show off in the forums ( maybe its an option?) maybe I did not even get into an accident or it turned up in a different way. Chill ok? if you want to create problems PM we'll talk. Think about your family, your job etc.. dont put your nose into non of your business, you dont even know me..k?.. thanks.

    #333 by bmw550ifreak > Ok I agree, but I dont like the fact that he comes on these forums like a freaking hero and tries to scare me or something. DELETE this thread its getting old,

    #340 by bmw550ifreak > lol obviously I am not going to kill his familly, I am not that bad of a person I dont even think about it, I just said to mind his own business and not trying to show off power here on the forums because its annoying how people do it over the internet in person MUCH better. 2nd :twoup: I quit weed 2 1/2 weeks ago

    #341 by sdg1871 > Vlad, have you ever given any credence to the possibility that the poster you threatened is indeed a police officer?
    She specifically identified [sic] himself by name and by his department.
    Threatening a police officer could send you directly to jail for a long long time. My advice: stop posting on this thread immediately because you may be making an already perilous legal situation infinitely worse.
    I think that you should get a lawyer immediately as you seem to be heading for big trouble. You may want to Google Sgt. Morash. Look at what I found: http://www.town.rich...ases_06_05_2009 -- notice who the last member of this road safety committee is -- Sgt. Elaine Morash.

    #342 by bmw550ifreak > Ok sorry for everything. I will stop posting, I just want to let everybody know that I do not do anything stupid on the roads anymore and I dont speed anymore on any major streets. I took this into my consideration, sgt.Elain morash if you see this please PM me back.

    http://www.globaltoronto.com/Vaughan+gets+driving+after+online+post+about+speeding/3381185/story.html

  • by xmundt (415364) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @06:55AM (#33213468)

    Oh yea...and another thing....about half way down the road, it appears that there is a public school on the North side of the street...so no WONDER the LEOs were interested in nailing this kid.

  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @07:01AM (#33213498) Homepage Journal

    The CBC story doesn't mention photos and videos.

  • The Track (Score:3, Informative)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @07:28AM (#33213586)
    From the thread, skelevirus had it right:

    How about this rocket scientist, take your baby to the track. Go as fast as u want

    Bought a kickass cool car that goes fast fast fast? Go for it - take it to the track and drop the hammer and see what the car is really made of. The public streets, with kids and grandmas and, you know, everyone else in the damn world, is not the track. Getting someone else killed just so you can enjoy an adrenaline rush is disgusting.

    I'm glad the cops nailed him - I wish they'd confiscated the car (100kmh above the speed limit is, to say the least, excessive).

  • by ergrthjuyt (1856764) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @08:52AM (#33214194)

    one where you may have perfect visibility of potential dangers.

    Speeding is always perfectly safe until it isn't. It's one of the leading cause of accidental death in developed countries and is THE number one cause of teen deaths.

    Laws based on fixed speed/rules suck.

    Translation: Speeding laws suck, they shouldn't apply to me. Only other people are bad drivers.

    Traffic police should be required to prove that it was dangerous every time.

    Yes, they I should have experiments and arrive at some sort of a "maximum speed." They could even put it on a sign.

  • Re:Snitch (Score:3, Informative)

    by m.ducharme (1082683) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @09:14AM (#33214392)

    TFA says that he was doing 100 km/h over the limit. As far as I know, there are no road conditions in which it's safe to do 140 km/h (minimum) in a residential neighbourhood.

  • Re:Snitch (Score:4, Informative)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @09:29AM (#33214554)

    In this case it was enough. This prompted the local police to investigate when someone directed them to the forum post. They found witnesses to the event in the area where he committed the crime, and the guy ended up pleading guilty as a result.

    The story doesn't claim that he was found guilty on his confession alone, but it was enough to get him convicted of a crime.

  • Re:Snitch (Score:5, Informative)

    by BobMcD (601576) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @10:21AM (#33215118)

    Statements made online are neither the equivalent of testifying in court nor expected to be 100% TRUE. If the only "evidence" the cops had was his online statement, they had no evidence at all.

    Do bear in mind the following, tiny fact:

    A 19-year-old man from a Toronto suburb has pleaded guilty to careless driving

    Doesn't matter if they had "evidence" or not, if the judge accepted the plea, the case is closed.

  • by Abstrackt (609015) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @10:28AM (#33215198)

    As someone who owns a motorbike ... I have to say there really are times when 100KPH over the speed limit is still safe.

    (and that says enough)

    Don't be an idiot. Seriously.

    I was driving safely under the conditions once, following the speed limit, wearing the gear, and a truck didn't stop at a stop sign. I hit that truck at highway speeds and spent nearly two years in rehab, and that was when doing everything right. The day after I landed in the hospital some kid had hit a dog in a residential zone and ended up in a coma, and from what I heard he did everything right as well. One guy I knew put his bike down and broke his leg when a bee flew into his helmet and stung his face.

    Enough shit happens to those of us who ride without asking for it. People like you are the reason everybody else thinks bikers are asking for all the things that go wrong. Come back here after you've snapped your femur and tell me asking for trouble is worth it.

  • Re:Snitch (Score:3, Informative)

    by geminidomino (614729) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @11:09AM (#33215676) Journal

    Speeding is a civil charge. It just has to be shown as more likely than not he did speed.

    Not in the US, and it seems kind of odd that it would be in Canada since the government is the one bringing the case.

  • by tehcyder (746570) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @11:09AM (#33215680) Journal

    Speeding is always perfectly safe until it isn't. It's one of the leading cause of accidental death in developed countries and is THE number one cause of teen deaths.

    There is a difference between speeding as in being over the legal speed limit, and speeding as in driving too fast for your abilities.

  • The Real Story.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:17PM (#33216444)
    If you read the original forum [5series.net], his real problem is he admitted he was a telemarketing manager. After that he was pretty much fucked.
  • Re:Snitch (Score:5, Informative)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:19PM (#33216470)

    Yes, since the summary was somewhat lacking:

    “Just looking at forums is obviously not enough, so an investigation was launched,” said Const. Serguei Barmakov.

    He said police canvassed the neighbourhood and found a person who had witnessed the speeding incident and was willing to give a statement. Soon after, they found Rigenco.

    Ref: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/845967--speeding-boast-online-costs-19-year-old-his-licence [thestar.com]

  • Re:Snitch (Score:5, Informative)

    by Americano (920576) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:24PM (#33216564)

    Ah, I see you believe the urban legend that speed in and of itself is dangerous. Speed in itself is no more dangerous than a fork is on it's own.

    You are wrong. "A car" in itself is no more dangerous than a fork on its own.

    The "danger" of speed increases in proportion to the increase in speed. How, you say?
    1) Less reaction time when something unexpected happens - blow a tire, new pothole, sudden curve, animal in the road, child in the road, broken down car in the road...
    2) F=ma. When your car, traveling at a given velocity, suddenly and rapid decelerates due to impacting something, that Force is transmitted into you, the fame of your car, and the object you've hit. The higher your speed (velocity), the higher your deceleration (negative acceleration) when you come to a stop due to slamming into something. Therefore, the force involved in the crash is directly proportional to the speed at which you strike an object. More speed = more force, given the same car.
    3) Increased braking distance - meaning the time it takes you to *safely* stop and not kill yourself or someone else is greater the faster you are going.

    Speed, in and of itself, is dangerous. There are conditions where "60m/h" is a generally safe speed. There are conditions were "20m/h" is generally a safe speed. But no matter how you look at that, the higher speed is "more dangerous" in a given circumstance than the lower speed.

  • Re:Snitch (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anarki2004 (1652007) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:29PM (#33216652) Homepage Journal
    Actually, if somebody is walking down the highway and I hit them, it probably is their fault, whether I'm going 60 or 160. WTF would a pedestrian be doing on the highway? If I nail a construction worker, that's different as there would be warnings and whatnot. A pedestrian has no business being on a highway (I'm talking about interstate highways and whatnot, not heavy traffic surface streets, FYI). I agree, speeding in a residential area isn't cool, or for that matter speeding anywhere that you may be putting somebody else in danger. In conclusion, a pedestrian on the highway is a really bad way to argue against speeding.
  • Re:A BMW? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Xest (935314) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:22PM (#33217546)

    Miles are still the standard measure of distance for motoring in England on every road sign, every map, and in every car.

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. -- A.H. Weiler

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