Red Deer councillor couldn’t buck traffic ticket

A Red Deer city councillor found guilty of running a stop sign says he now wishes he had given evidence in his defence.

A Red Deer city councillor found guilty of running a stop sign says he now wishes he had given evidence in his defence.

Samuel “Buck” Buchanan went to trial in Red Deer traffic court on Tuesday to fight a ticket issued to him at an intersection in the city’s Deer Park subdivision at about noon on Valentine’s Day.

Acting in his own defence, Buchanan called his daughter, a member of the Calgary Police Service to the stand, but did not testify himself.

Nicole Buchanan said she and her husband, who was driving at the time, were pulled over at the same check about a half an hour after her father was ticketed.

Holding a birthday cake in her lap and assuming that she would be ticketed for not wearing her seatbelt, Buchanan said she was pulling her driver’s licence out of her wallet while the officer at the window spoke with her husband.

She denied Crown prosecutor Jordan Petty’s accusation that she had flashed her police badge — a practice known as “tinning” — to avoid getting a ticket.

Buchanan said she keeps her badge with her driver’s licence and could not tell whether the police officer could have seen the badge while he was talking with her husband.

The anticipated seatbelt ticket was not issued.

Traffic commissioner David Ellis would not allow Nicole Buchanan to testify about the conversation she had with the police officer who pulled her husband over because it was hearsay.

Community Peace Officer Ronold Brushett, who had set up the CheckStop in partnership with members of the Red Deer City RCMP traffic section, said he was sitting in an unmarked car with a clear view of the intersection, watching for infractions including failing to stop, occupants not wearing seatbelts and distracted drivers.

He then radioed his observations to an RCMP officer who was parked out of sight, about a block away.

Buck Buchanan, now retired after more than 30 years of service with the RCMP, challenged Brushett’s claim that his vehicle had rolled through the intersection at a speed of five to seven kilometres per hour.

Commissioner Ellis said he felt the Crown had proven its case.

Buchanan paid the $287 fine after he was found guilty.

He said outside the courtroom that he was unable to make the points that he had felt were important to his case and regrets not using the opportunity to testify on his own behalf.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com