New traffic ticket dispute procedures take effect

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VICTORIA, B.C. — The Province of B.C. is phasing in changes to the way traffic tickets are disputed, and some of those changes may benefit truckers.

For instance, drivers will now be able to contest their fine or request more time for payment by submitting a written application, rather than appearing in person. However, drivers who plead not guilty will still have to appear in court in person.

The new rules allow police officers to make court appearances by telephone and video conferencing, in an effort to allow police to spend more time on the front lines.

The changes are designed to reduce court backlogs, says Attorney General, Geoff Plant. Last year, more than 90,000 traffic tickets were challenged in the province, costing about $8 million. It’s expected the provincial justice system will save $1.9 million per year while making it more convenient for drivers who feel they’ve been unfairly ticketed for a traffic offence.

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