For Immediate Release
May 8, 2002 Ministry of Attorney General
VICTORIA - Legislation introduced today will modernize B.C.'s violation ticket dispute process for handling disputed traffic tickets, allow for discounted traffic traffic fine amounts, and enhance court safety, said Attorney General Geoff Plant.
"The current process for disputing traffic tickets is antiquated and inefficient,, and has created frustration for both the police and the public at large," said Plant. "This has resulted in lengthy and often unnecessary court proceedings, and in police resources being diverted away from vital, on-the-street law enforcement. The new system will improve and streamline the process, saving time for the public, and allowing the police to focus on protecting public safety."
Under the changes to the Offence Act, people will still be required to dispute tickets in person, but will now be able to dispute the amounts of those fines in writing. Similarly, for the first time ever, police will now be able to provide evidence in writing, and may also present to court by phone or through videoconferencing. The changes announced today are expected to reduce costs by
$4.7 million a year, mainly from savings for police time.
Last year, $4.3 million in police costs were incurred for officers to attend court.
People who pay traffic violation fines within 30 days will also be eligible for a discounted rate. This is similar to the fine structure on for municipal parking tickets.