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‘Bright green Porsche’ speeding defence fails in B.C. Supreme Court

Driver claimed he was singled out for his flashy auto
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The driver of a bright green Porsche (not the one pictured here) caught doing more than 150 kilometres per hour in West Vancouver must pay his $483 fine, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled. | Porsche

A man busted driving more than 150 kilometres per hour on Highway 1 in West Vancouver has failed to have his excessive speeding conviction overturned in court.

Just after 1 a.m. on Oct. 14, 2020, Han Wang was pulled over by West Vancouver police when an officer spotted him driving between 150 and 160 km/h, just east of the Caulfeild exit, according to a B.C. Supreme Court ruling released this week.

At his initial trial in North Vancouver Provincial Court, Wang testified in his own defence that he was driving with a female friend when he attempted to pass a slower moving vehicle. While he was in the passing lane, the driver of a white BMW approached from behind at a much faster speed but Wang said he was unable to get back into the right lane because the slower moving vehicle had by then sped up. A third “super fast” vehicle then approached and Wang was able to get out of the way. It was then he was pulled over by a West Vancouver Const. Chris Colgan and his vehicle was towed, he told the court, but none of the other speeding drivers were.

The judicial justice found him guilty and levied a fine of $483.

Wang appealed his conviction, arguing the decision was in error because he was simply following the traffic and there was no proof he was speeding. The West Vancouver officer ticketed him alone because of his Porsche’s distinctive bright green colour, he argued.

Justice Heather MacNaughton, however, rejected all of Wang’s arguments. At no time during his trial did Wang testify what speed he was driving, and there was no suggestion from him that Colgan had been wrong either in his estimates or his actual measurement of Wang’s speed using a laser device or speedometer, she said.

As for the argument Wang was singled out because of his flashy auto, “I accept that it is likely that a police officer’s attention might more easily focus on such a car. However, this does not displace the evidence that the green Porsche was, in fact, speeding,” MacNaughton wrote.

Wang also asserted that the officer made an error recording his vehicle identification number but MacNaughton reasoned the identity of the driver of the green Porsche was never in question.

“There is no dispute that Mr. Wang was stopped driving a green Porsche in the early morning hours of Oct. 14, 2020. Recording the VIN number is not important if you have the vehicle which was observed speeding. There is no confusion about the vehicle in this case,” she wrote. “Const. Colgan described a bright green Porsche in his evidence; Mr. Wang does not dispute that he has a bright green Porsche; he was stopped while driving a bright green Porsche; he was handed the violation ticket after he was stopped; and the bright green Porsche was apparently towed from the scene. On the evidence, there is no reason to believe that Const. Colgan had the wrong person or the wrong vehicle.”