Dash cam footage helps send Charlottetown driver to jail

CHARLOTTETOWN -- A 32-year-old Charlottetown man whose Porsche was filmed wildly careening down a city street has learned the hard way that amateur dash cams can provide a prosecutor's dream evidence.

See Full Article

Steven Green pleaded guilty to dangerous driving last month and was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 days in jail after the video depicting his wild and swerving drive went viral.

He was also handed a nine-month driving prohibition by Judge Jeff Lantz at the Charlottetown provincial court hearing.

Jeff MacDonald, the prosecutor on the case, said in an interview Wednesday that a truck just behind Green's car happened to have his dash cam running during the entire incident.

"It's incredibly useful," he said in an interview.

"In prosecutions typically we're limited to eyewitness testimony describing an incident. When you have a picture it's worth a thousand words and when you have a video, it's probably worth a million."

The video -- which has close to two million views on YouTube -- shows Green accelerating out of a stoplight, fishtailing and initially crashing into a concrete median.

The two-seat sports car veers to the right and then accelerates again to enter into the oncoming lane of traffic, where its rear right wheel comes loose and flies off before the Porsche comes to a rest.

MacDonald said the sentence was a joint recommendation, and was based partly on two prior convictions for driving offences.

Defence lawyer Peter Ghiz says while the video was useful evidence for the Crown, it also raised questions as to why the car would swerve so wildly rather than going in a straight line.

He said his client had informed him his dog was in the front seat and stepped on a control button and then fell into the driver's side wheel well.

However, Ghiz said that the defence accepted the Crown's proposal for the 10-day sentence, considering it a reasonable compromise.

The Crown can ask for a maximum of six months in jail under the criminal code.

"It (the video) cuts both ways. On the one hand it would suggest the person was grossly negligent ... on the other hand, what in the world happened to have made the video go in that direction," said Ghiz.

Steve Kee, the director of communications with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, says his agency doesn't have figures on the number of dash cams being sold or precisely how they're being used.

But he says the dash cams are turning up in court cases elsewhere in the country.

"They're a bit of a silent witness ... It can be helpful," he said.

Drivers purchase them for a variety of purposes, but one reason is to provide evidence in traffic accidents or other incidents on the road, said Kee.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Charlie Gard, British baby who was focus of legal health battle, has died

    World News CBC News
    Critically ill baby Charlie Gard, whose medical and legal story in Britain sparked compassion and controversy around the world, has died. The Daily Mail reported the death, citing the boy's mother, Connie Yates. The child, who had a rare genetic disease called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, died just days shy of his first birthday. Source
  • Charlie Gard, focus of legal health battle, dies: reports

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- British media are reporting that 11-month-old Charlie Gard, focus of a legal health battle, has died. More to come. Source
  • Christy Clark resigns as leader of B.C. Liberal Party

    Canada News CBC News
    Former premier Christy Clark is stepping down as leader of the B.C. Liberal Party effective Aug. 4, and is leaving politics. "Serving as premier and serving the people of British Columbia for the past six and a half years has been an incredible honour and privilege," Clark said in a statement. Source
  • Non-addictive cigarettes on the way: U.S. regulator announces goal to cut nicotine levels

    World News CBC News
    A restaurant worker smokes a cigarette in Boston, Massachusetts. (Brian Snyder/Reuters) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aims to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes while exploring measures to move smokers toward e-cigarettes, in a major regulatory shift announced on Friday that sent traditional cigarette company stocks plunging. Source
  • North Korean missle lands in ocean off Japan

    World News Toronto Sun
    TOKYO — North Korea fired a ballistic missile Friday night which flew longer than any of its previous missiles and landed in the ocean off Japan, according to officials from Japan, South Korea and the United States. Source
  • La Machine's giant creatures 'come alive' to roam Ottawa streets

    Canada News CTV News
    Two giant mechanical creatures are now roaming the streets of Ottawa in a four-day urban theatre performance involving a spider that can reach 20 metres when completely outstretched and a 45-ton half-dragon half-horse that towers 12 metres high. Source
  • Dog bites owner, man pronounced dead at scene: police

    Canada News CTV News
    KITCHENER, Ont. -- The coroner is investigating the death of man who was bitten by his own dog as he was suffering from a medical emergency. Waterloo regional police say they were called to a Kitchener, Ont. Source
  • Red Cross to monitor Canada's immigration detention centres

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal government has signed a contract with the Canadian Red Cross for the monitoring of Canada's immigration detention centres to ensure they comply with domestic and international standards, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced Thursday. Source
  • $65M at stake in fraud trial for 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli

    World News CBC News
    The defence lawyer for Martin Shkreli says the former pharmaceutical CEO would lose a $65-million US stake in a drug company he founded if he's convicted at his securities fraud trial. Attorney Ben Brafman told jurors Friday during closing arguments in federal court in New York that a drug company official who testified against Shkreli was biased, because if Shkreli is convicted of a felony, the company would get to keep his stake. Source
  • Farmer stunned to find 10 cows killed by lightning in scene like 'war zone'

    Canada News CTV News
    VERNON BRIDGE, P.E.I. -- Ten P.E.I. cows have been killed by a lightning strike so powerful it appears to have tossed some of the animals over a fence. Veteran farmer Blair Henry said the grim discovery of six cows and four calves was difficult -- he thought fondly of the animals he considered pets, having raised some of them for the last decade. Source