University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

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smitty
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University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby smitty » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:28 pm

Hey all,

Was wondering if anyone could help me out with this...

It's my understanding that many Universities have their special constables doing traffic enforcement on University property (speeding, stop signs, etc.). I remember reading somewhere (I think it was McMaster) that these Special Constables aren't issuing charges pursuant to the HTA but are instead issuing University tickets which would go against a student's university account. If a student were to get a ticket for say speeding and didn't pay it, they wouldn't be alowed to graduate, receive their transcripts etc. But the ticket would not go against their driver's licence.

So my question is, if these special constables are issuing tickets for moving violations and are not issuing them against the HTA or any sort of municipal by-law, but rather as a means of enforcement/revenue for a private institution, do these special constables actually even have the authority to be stopping vehicles for these violations in the first place? Would law require one to stop if requested by a special constable on Uni property?

Thanks guys!

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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby Respond Wayne » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:45 pm

There are a few McMaster Specials on here... I'm sure they will be around soon to answer your query. :popcorn:
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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby gotchya » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:18 pm

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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby 48highlander » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:52 am

smitty wrote:Hey all,

Was wondering if anyone could help me out with this...

It's my understanding that many Universities have their special constables doing traffic enforcement on University property (speeding, stop signs, etc.). I remember reading somewhere (I think it was McMaster) that these Special Constables aren't issuing charges pursuant to the HTA but are instead issuing University tickets which would go against a student's university account. If a student were to get a ticket for say speeding and didn't pay it, they wouldn't be alowed to graduate, receive their transcripts etc. But the ticket would not go against their driver's licence.

So my question is, if these special constables are issuing tickets for moving violations and are not issuing them against the HTA or any sort of municipal by-law, but rather as a means of enforcement/revenue for a private institution, do these special constables actually even have the authority to be stopping vehicles for these violations in the first place? Would law require one to stop if requested by a special constable on Uni property?

Thanks guys!


I take it you got a ticket. The short answer is it depends on the University as each one has different agreements with their sponsor agencies. Also depending on the University they may have the option of giving you an "in-house fine" (so your actual drivers license and insurance don't get effected) instead of an Offence Notice under the HTA (or for trespassing which I believe Mac does, they can correct me if I am wrong). Also some Universities like Mac, the road network is actually private property (or most of it) and not public highway so the HTA wouldn't apply (for the most part).

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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby Dave Jenkins » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:04 am

smitty wrote:Hey all,

Was wondering if anyone could help me out with this...

It's my understanding that many Universities have their special constables doing traffic enforcement on University property (speeding, stop signs, etc.). I remember reading somewhere (I think it was McMaster) that these Special Constables aren't issuing charges pursuant to the HTA but are instead issuing University tickets which would go against a student's university account. If a student were to get a ticket for say speeding and didn't pay it, they wouldn't be alowed to graduate, receive their transcripts etc. But the ticket would not go against their driver's licence.

So my question is, if these special constables are issuing tickets for moving violations and are not issuing them against the HTA or any sort of municipal by-law, but rather as a means of enforcement/revenue for a private institution, do these special constables actually even have the authority to be stopping vehicles for these violations in the first place? Would law require one to stop if requested by a special constable on Uni property?

Thanks guys!


As Ontario universities are "private property" anyone entering upon said property are subject to the rules and/or regulations regarding the use of the property. Special constables and security guards are agents of the owner and thereby authorized to interact with persons on the property that may be violating a set rule/regulation.

If you want to get to the bottom line the "traffic stop" itself may not be authorized but the act of speeding is a violation of the university rules/regulations (i.e. McMaster) and in that respect the special constable has the authority to stop that person in order to rectify the situation. In a worst case scenario using McMaster it would become a Trespassing issue in the end as this relates to the use of the property. University property use rules/regs factor in to allowed/prohibited activities under the TPA.

McMaster is one example of a self contained property which makes the HTA a rather useless authority (99% of it anyway). Guelph has city streets separating portions of its campus and they have HTA authority for those streets.

And yes, Mac tickets for traffic/parking (not to be confused with PON's for liquor of trespassing) are applied to the students account and you do not get your transcript until you have settled up.
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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby devilwoman » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:42 am

do these special constables actually even have the authority to be stopping vehicles for these violations in the first place? Would law require one to stop if requested by a special constable on Uni property?


Yes we can stop you and yes you do have to stop. Our authority on campus is the same as a regular police officer.

So in other words....pay your ticket.
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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby Gard » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:52 am

I think it's a good system. You want your sheepskin? Then pay the feckin' fine.
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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby devilwoman » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:18 am

I remember reading somewhere (I think it was McMaster) that these Special Constables aren't issuing charges pursuant to the HTA but are instead issuing University tickets which would go against a student's university account.


So was it Badge #161 that got ya? :smirk: I hear that officer can be quite the meanie. Or did they get you for trying to defraud the parking system?

Highlander got it quite right.....it is up to each special constable's sponsor agency to determine protocols (traffic stops, uniforms, training, etc). HPS authorizes Mac to conduct traffic stops. We would not be doing them if HPS did not allow it. In fact, HPS even determines what our lighting on our cars is....we have red/blue combo to fall in line with them.

Many of our traffic stops for simple university regulations have led to criminal code charges...impaired, dangerous operation, etc. We are not simply making said stops to "harass" our student population, but when people blow stop signs at pedestrian cross walks, drive through a CLEARLY marked pedestrian area only zone, we have a duty to enforce those regulations to ensure the safety of our students, staff and visitors.

Additionally, as mentioned above, we have a clearly marked pedestrian/emergency vehicle/bus only zone....so if you enter it and you are not A. Driving an emergency vehicle B. Driving a bus or C. Are a pedestrian/cyclist, technically we can issue you a TPA offence for "entry where entry prohibited".

I think it's a good system. You want your sheepskin? Then pay the feckin' fine.


Oh and for non-affiliated persons (guests of students, etc)...you don't pay, it goes to collections. Like your credit rating? Pay the ticket.
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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby Tommy » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:10 pm

I doubt it, but I am really hoping the OP comes back here to defend his position, or argue this... I could use a good laugh today...
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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby Dave Jenkins » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:47 pm

Gard wrote:I think it's a good system. You want your sheepskin? Then pay the feckin' fine.


That reminds me......Back when I started we had a set of restraints for MHA matters. They were leather with sheepskin lining. They were soft and comfortable....and worked very nicely. :mrgreen:
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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby Sk82 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:12 pm

At the U of S, we have provincial HTA (aka the Traffic Safety Act of Saskatchewan) peace officer status. We issue the exact same provincial tickets that the RCMP or Municipal Police issue. Failure to pay those tickets is between you and the court (i.e. warrant, extra fine when you renew your license.)

We also do have the U of S bylaw act which contains many of the same offences that the provincial HTA has (i.e. disobey stop sign, speeding, seatbelt, etc). U of S bylaw tickets if left unpaid go to collections or depending on the offence and $ amount may go to warrant. I always use the HTA charge rather than the U of S Act charge. There have been plenty of people that think they can avoid payment of U of S Act charges if they aren't from the U of S. In one way or another they fine always gets collected.
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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby Bald Man » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:16 pm

Dave Jenkins wrote:
Gard wrote:I think it's a good system. You want your sheepskin? Then pay the feckin' fine.


That reminds me......Back when I started we had a set of restraints for MHA matters. They were leather with sheepskin lining. They were soft and comfortable....and worked very nicely. :mrgreen:


did you guys tie each other up back at the office? Please say this didn't involve assless chaps? :lol:

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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby meathead1 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:50 pm

aren't all chaps, by definition, assless? Otherwise they are just pants.
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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby No 20 Year Medal » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:03 pm

Don't encourage him :roll:
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Re: University Special Constables-Traffic Enforcement

Postby Dave Jenkins » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:03 pm

Bald Man wrote:
Dave Jenkins wrote:
Gard wrote:I think it's a good system. You want your sheepskin? Then pay the feckin' fine.


That reminds me......Back when I started we had a set of restraints for MHA matters. They were leather with sheepskin lining. They were soft and comfortable....and worked very nicely. :mrgreen:


did you guys tie each other up back at the office? Please say this didn't involve assless chaps? :lol:


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