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Despite the fact that it is older technology, radar is still frequently used by police to measure vehicle speeds today. When used properly, it is an accurate method of determining how fast a vehicle is traveling. The courts also accept qualified radar evidence of speed during a trial as commonplace.
When I was trained to use radar to measure traffic speed it was a one day long course. We were taught the basic theory of operation including an explanation of the Doppler Effect which is the basis for the device. A written test followed to insure we understood what had been taught. Finally, we all went to the side of the road where we were given a chance to make some measurements under the watchful eye of an experienced officer.
I typically started my traffic enforcement shift by testing my radar and recording the results of the test in my notebook. These tests vary a little depending on the manufacturer and type of radar in use, but it usually consists of a power on self test or an internal test initiated by pushing a button, a phase where all indicators and display segments were lit simultaneously to show they were functioning and a tuning fork test.
Tuning forks substituted for the moving vehicle. The fork was struck to make it vibrate and then held in front of the radar antenna. This would produce a specific reading on the radar display.
If and only if all of these tests were passed was the radar considered ready for use. If there was a failure the unit was taken out of service and sent for repair.
During some 28 years of operating traffic radar I can only recall one instance when the radar failed to operate correctly and it was immediately apparent to me.
A typical investigation involving radar to measure vehicle speed begins not with the instrument, but with the officer’s eyes. A visual observation of the target is made and a speed estimation developed. Some officers become quite accurate in making this estimation after years of practice with the instrument.
Following the estimate, a measurement of the vehicle speed is made with the radar. The officer compares the estimate with the measurement to insure that the two reasonably coincide. If they do, the offending driver is stopped and ticketed. If they don’t, further observation and measurement is required.
Should the visual estimate and radar measurement never reasonably compare, a ticket based on the radar evidence cannot be written.
A radar beam is similar to a flashlight beam. It begins relatively narrow but widens as you move away from the antenna. Ideally, only the target vehicle should be in the radar beam at the time of the speed measurement, but this is not always possible. In this case, careful observation and measurement may still result in an accurate measurement and confidence in which vehicle is producing the speed reading.
Radar measurements also suffer from what is known as cosine error. If the vehicle being measured is moving directly toward the antenna, a true speed will be detected. If the vehicle is moving at an angle to the beam, a lower than true speed will be read depending on the cosine of the angle.
The benefit goes to the driver with stationary radar operations.
The cosine error is critical with moving radar as it affects the patrol vehicle speed reading which is used to calculate the violator’s speed from the closing rate of speed. The officer must compare the patrol vehicle speed to the speedometer when making a measurement. If the two are not the same, a higher than true speed will be displayed.
If all of this adds up, the speed investigation is complete and the officer can decide on what, if any, action to take.
The final step in my daily patrol after parking in the detachment lot was to test the radar again and record the results in my notebook.
Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible for conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., May 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Major cruise lines have announced they plan to resume sailings as early as August 1. For travelers planning to book a cruise post-COVID-19, travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth.com, explains what they need to know about travel insurance.
Coverage for Contracting COVID-19 Still Available
Travelers booking cruises now, or keeping their travel plans, can still purchase a policy for COVID-19 concerns, however, coverage is limited, and varies by provider.
As of May 6, 2020, Squaremouth.com reports five travel insurance providers that offer coverage if a traveler contracts COVID-19 while cruising. These policies include emergency medical and medical evacuation coverage if a traveler contracts the virus while on the cruise and need to receive medical care or be medically evacuated.
As of May 6, 2020, there are four travel insurance providers on Squaremouth.com who include trip cancellation coverage if a traveler contracts coronavirus, or is quarantined, and unable to travel as planned.
Being Denied Boarding Due to Cruise Line Screenings May Be Covered
Previously, cruise lines denied boarding to travelers who had a fever or had recently traveled to a destination considered high-risk for the coronavirus. When cruising returns, it is possible these regulations will continue. If a traveler is not allowed to board their cruise because they have a fever or are sick, they may be covered to cancel their trip if they receive documentation from a doctor. However, if a traveler is denied boarding because of a recent visit to a risky destination cancellation coverage may not be available.
Cancel for Any Reason Is Best Option for Cruisers With Cancellation Concerns
Many of the unprecedented impacts on travel related to COVID-19 are not covered by standard insurance policies, like travel bans and border closures. The best cancellation option during this time of uncertainty around travel is a Cancel for Any Reason policy. This optional upgrade can reimburse travelers 75% of their trip cost and is the only option that allows travelers to cancel their trip for any reason not covered by a standard policy, including travel bans or fear of traveling due to coronavirus.
It is important to note that travelers who purchase Cancel for Any Reason policies must cancel their trips 2-3 days prior to departure in order to be reimbursed, so a last-minute cancellation, such as being denied boarding at the cruise port, would be too late.
TRAVEL INSURANCE INFORMATION FOR COVID-19
The Traveler’s Guide to Travel Insurance for COVID-19 was created to inform travelers about their insurance options during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Coronavirus Pandemic Current Event Center includes answers to frequently asked questions and providers’ position statements. These resources are updated daily as the situation evolves.
SQUAREMOUTH compares travel insurance policies from every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth’s comparison engine and third-party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare travel insurance policies side-by-side. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.com.
‘Take lots of photos, don’t take a denial at face value, make notes’
The excerpted article was written by CBC News
As Northern Alberta residents discover the extent of flooding damage to their homes and businesses, a Fort McMurray lawyer offers a few practical tips that could pay off later in dealings with insurance companies.
Take photos. Make lists. Understand your policy. And don’t give up if your claim is initially denied.
“They’ve just been back to the property for the last day or two and the news is pretty heartbreaking,” said Christine Burton, a Fort McMurray lawyer who has worked through insurance issues with numerous residents in recent years.
“People are dealing with the shock and impact of cleaning up,” Burton told CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM on Tuesday. “We’re telling people, ‘Please, take lots of photos, don’t take a denial at face value, make notes. Stay safe.'”
More than 14,000 people were evacuated as a result of recent river flooding in and around Fort McMurray, as well as along the Peace River.
As people progress from clean-up to rebuild, it is critical that they understand their insurance policies, even if it means hiring a lawyer to work through “subtle” policy language, said Burton.
Most policies won’t include coverage for overland flooding, when water flows over dry land before entering a property through doors or windows.
“It’s often a special endorsement you can buy. It’s very often expensive,” Burton said. The cost depends on the flood risk in the area where you live.
However, property owners whose policy includes a special endorsement for sewer backup may be able to get some money from their insurance companies.
“Take photos of your basements, the drains, the sump pump. Make notes of everything that’s happening, make lists of everything that you’ve lost.
“Fort McMurray has become a little bit of an expert, unfortunately, at insurance claims through fire — and we’re still dealing with some of those claims,” Burton said. “Don’t take a denial at face value. You can challenge this. Understand your policy.”
Don Scott, mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, has said he expects residential damages from the flooding in Fort McMurray could top $100 million.
In a statement, the Insurance Bureau of Canada said overland and sewer backup coverage are the key parts of a policy that pertain to flooding events but both of these are optional and must be added to home insurance policies.
Properties in high-flood areas may not be offered the coverage, the statement said.
“If a home has flood damage from this event but did not purchase the optional overland flood insurance or it was not available as the area is high-risk for flood, the policy would not cover the damages,” Celyeste Power, vice-president for the insurance bureau’s western region, said in the statement.
Property owners not covered by insurance may be able to access provincial disaster relief funding. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said the provincial disaster relief program will likely be triggered for Wood Buffalo flooding.
Under that program, the government would provide some financial support for recovery costs for critical public infrastructure and non-insured private infrastructure.
Between 2009 and 2019, insurers paid out an average $1.9 billion per year on catastrophic flooding claims, compared with an average $422 million annually in the period from 1983 until 2008, according to Insurance Bureau data.
More than $2 billion in insured losses resulted from the June 2013 flooding event in southern Alberta, which caused $6 billion in damages and displaced 100,000 people.
NEW YORK, May 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Insurance in Canada: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sector Impact
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‘Insurance in Canada: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sector Impact’ report provides brief review of the key trends and evolving developments that shape the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Canadian insurance industry.
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It provides the impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy, the key business lines impacted by the virus outbreak and the revised market sizing estimates against pre-COVID-19 forecast period (2019-2023) across business segments of life and general insurance.
The report brings together research, modeling and analysis expertise, giving insurers access to information on segment dynamics in the country.
– Economic Impact.
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This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the impact of COVID-19 in the Insurance Industry in Canada –
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13,000 people forced from homes in Fort McMurray, Fort Vermilion