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Pleading guilty may mean lower traffic fines in B.C.

VICTORIA, B.C. -- The B.C. Liberals are considering implementing a two-tier system of traffic fines resulting in lo...


VICTORIA, B.C. — The B.C. Liberals are considering implementing a two-tier system of traffic fines resulting in lower fines for those who plead guilty avoiding court challenges.

Attorney-General, Geoff Plant, announced Tuesday the system is being considered as it would eventually save the province money.

“We’re looking at whether that idea would work in the context of speeding tickets and Motor Vehicle Act infractions,” Plant tells local media. “There is a range of ideas, and frankly this is one of those times when I’d be interested in what the public has to say about these things.”

Plant is also examining ways to require less police presence in the court room when drivers do decide to challenge traffic infractions. This raises concerns for Vancouver-based lawyer, Michael Klein, who says the ability of a defendant to confront and question his accuser is a fundamental principle of the criminal justice system.

The move is partially motivated by the closure of 24 courthouses across B.C. as part of the province’s cost cutting measures.

“We’re going to change the way we do justice in British Columbia,” says Plant. “This is not just about reducing expenditures by 12 per cent over three years. It is also about changing the way we do things so we can serve the public better.”


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