Disputing A Speeding Ticket: 3 Defenses Commonly Used For Pacing

9 July 2015
 Categories: Law, Articles


Excessive speeding in Canada as defined by the Motor Vehicle Act is driving at a speed greater than 40 kilometers per hour over the designated speed limit. Excessive speeding can lead to a fine of at least $368, three penalty points and the impoundment of the vehicle. If you were ticketed based on pacing, which is when police officers calculate your suspected speed by matching your speed on the road and checking their own speedometer, there is a lot more room for you to file a dispute. This article will take a look at the 3 most commonly used defenses.

Improper Road Configuration and Condition

To get an accurate measure of your speed, the police officer must prove that he or she spent a good amount of time following you. If the road configuration involves hills, traffic lights, curves and stop signs, you can use all of this information to prove that it was impossible for the police officer to have paced you for a long enough period of time.

Pacing is the most accurate when you are driving down a straight road. If there are hills, dips, and other obstacles, it becomes increasingly difficult for the police officer to prove that his or her assessment of your speed is accurate. If you received a speeding ticket in an area with poor road configurations or conditions, you can easily bring up this point to challenge the accuracy of the claims being made against you.

The Time of the Day – Particularly Targeting Dusk and Nighttime

Other than road configurations and conditions, it can be difficult for police officers to accurately gauge your driving speed if there isn't enough light out. Speeding tickets issued at the falling light of dusk or during nighttime are considerably more vulnerable to disputes. The officer's only visual cues are a pair of taillights. Depending on the amount of cars on the road, it can be difficult to keep track of a single pair of taillights. In addition, it's also difficult for the officer to determine with 100% accuracy that the taillights belong to you.

If this is the case for your situation, you, or a lawyer that specifically deals with speeding ticket disputes, will want to bring up these issues during the cross-examination period with the officer.

The Distance of the Officer's Vehicle from Your Vehicle

The main reason why most officers don't usually issue speeding tickets when they only have pacing as evidence is that it is difficult to determine whether the officer's speed is based on pacing you at a constant speed or whether the officer's speed is a result of catching up to you. Most police officers do not tend to tailgate suspected speeding drivers and will leave some distance between you and them. You, or an attorney, should always question the officer regarding how far back the officer was and how the officer knows without a doubt that he or she accurately drove at a constant distance from your vehicle.

If this is the case, you should testify seeing the police officer in your rearview mirror and checking your speedometer. You want to emphasize that the speed recording through pacing is inaccurate because it is nothing more than the officer trying to catch up with your vehicle.


If you have been issued a speeding ticket, you have every right to file a dispute. Before going to court, make sure you know the type of speed detection method used to determine your speed. If you are inexperienced, get an experienced vehicle offence lawyer from a firm like Roadlawyers  to represent you in court.