Fight traffic tickets to move online and out of court

TORONTO

Many of us have had the unpleasant experience of having to go to court in order to dispute an unfair traffic ticket.
Every motorist slapped with a traffic ticket in Ontario has the opportunity of fighting it in court if he or she has reason to contest it. These days a good number of those venturing to fight tickets have no good reason other than to hope the officer fails to show in which case the ticket gets thrown out.ticket-2
But all that could soon change and getting a court date will soon be a thing of the past. The future looks virtual. The province is actively working on an online system for challenging minor charges.
That would mean both citizens and traffic enforcement officers would no longer have to come into court to fight or defend the tickets.
About 17 per cent of all cases before the Ontario courts involves a charge under the Provincial Offences Act — the vast majority traffic violations like speeding tickets.
“It takes a lot of the time of the court system it’s very costly, it’s not very friendly to the public and that’s why we are consulting,” said Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur.
Toronto has already introduced a new parking ticket dispute process which allows motorists to dispute their parking tickets for parking meter/pay-and-display machine offences or permit related offences via fax and/or email. A province-wide program may be in the future.
Most drivers would gladly pay off the traffic ticket without disputing it if it wasn’t for the fact that they’d be hit later with higher auto insurance premiums. So a $200 traffic ticket could after factoring in the higher cost of auto insurance could cost a driver thousands of dollars. This is what motivates so many to take a day off work or engage a paralegal to go in and fight that ticket. The whole system is wasteful, dozens of police officers are summoned in order to defend the ticket. Such cases cost the Toronto force more than $5-million last year.

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