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Ten ways NOT to get pulled over by the police

My whole life, I’ve never been pulled over by a police officer. Looking back, here are ten habits that have contributed to a clean driving record. You can do these, too:

1) I drive within ten kilometres of the speed limit.

2) I signal my turns.

3) I signal my lane changes.

4) I drive a car that looks legal. If your car looks illegal, you will probably get pulled over (in British Columbia, for example, this could mean tinted front windows).

5) I make sure my headlights are on at night (no headlights = possible drunk driver).

6) I make sure my driver’s license and my vehicle insurance are both valid (no insurance is an arrestable offence in British Columbia).

7) I make sure the insurance sticker on my rear license plate is up-to-date (sometimes people have insurance but they forget to update their sticker).

8) I wear my seatbelt.

9) I don’t drive like a jerk.

10) I don’t drink and drive.

These are just my personal thoughts, based on my personal experiences. Happy New Year everyone. May you all have a ticket free 2013. Please drive safe.

Whistleblower protection and FOIPPA

In British Columbia, some government institutions have a tendency not to fully comply with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. As a result, I’ve begun to include the following in all of my FOI requests. Perhaps, in some small way, it will help employees become more aware of their rights (and responsibilities):

In responding to this request, please note Section 30.3 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act:

Whistle-blower protection

30.3  An employer, whether or not a public body, must not dismiss, suspend, demote, discipline, harass or otherwise disadvantage an employee of the employer, or deny that employee a benefit, because

(a) the employee, acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has notified the minister responsible for this Act under section 30.2,

(b) the employee, acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has disclosed to the commissioner that the employer or any other person has contravened or is about to contravene this Act,

(c) the employee, acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has done or stated an intention of doing anything that is required to be done in order to avoid having any person contravene this Act,

(d) the employee, acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has refused to do or stated an intention of refusing to do anything that is in contravention of this Act, or

(e) the employer believes that an employee will do anything described in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d).

Crime stats in Canada for 2011

Here is an overview of police-reported crime for selected offences in Canada (2010 and 2011).

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Recommendations for municipal police boards

Here are ten recommendations from the 2003 report on municipal police board governance from the Justice Institute of BC. There are many more recommendations listed in Appendix A of the report. Here, I’ve simply picked a few of the more interesting ones:

1) The Police Services Division should establish an annual plan for how they will provide effective support to municipal police boards.

2) Municipal police boards should adopt an agenda format that focuses discussion on issues of substance and that other matters be presented in the form of reports, which are supplied in pre-meeting reading package.

3) Municipal police boards should take steps to minimize discussion and time spent on matters that are for information only and focus discussion on issues that directly pertain to governance of the police department.

4) Municipal police boards should discuss, in public and within the confines of privacy legislation, both positive and negative agenda items.

5) Municipal police board meetings should be held regularly in public locations, where the public has free and unfettered access.

6) Municipal police boards should actively discuss and review their policy on which matters are moved to the in-camera portion of the board meeting.

7) The Police Services Division should allocate dedicated staff and resources such that reports of municipal police board in-camera meetings are reviewed in a timely manner.

8) The Police Act should be amended such that the Chair of the municipal police board be elected from within the board.

9) The Police Act should be amended such that the Mayor be an ex officio, non-voting member of the municipal police board.

10) Municipal police boards and police departments should actively seek out opportunities and venues in which the work and the contribution of the board might be better publicly recognized and acknowledged.