Ontario scraps idea to take traffic ticket system out of the courts
Original article published by the Toronto Star http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/ontario-scraps-idea-to-take-traffic-ticket-system-out-of-the-courts-1.2882485
Allison Jones, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, May 1, 2016 10:03AM EDT
The province has decided against implementing Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) at this time. While this has generally flown under the public radar, there was a large push to change the way that traffic tickets are being contested in Ontario. The idea was that minor traffic tickets would be dealt with in a way that would not mimic the criminal system, but more of a civil system that simply dealt with the fines. Naturally, the problem with this was that aspects of the conviction, like demerit points and your insurance rates going up, would not be reduced at all.
Beyond this, people would be losing their right to actually contest these tickets. You would be assumed guilty, and be able to argue the fine amount, but the avenue to actually have your say in court would be eliminated. We experience calls from people everyday that are very adamant that they did not commit the offence they were accused of. This is often for minor offences, like speeding or cell phone violations. Under the AMP system, these individuals would not be able to present their position in court.
Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of groups, like the Ontario Paralegal Association (who we are a part of) and individuals who were vocally against the AMP system, the change has been taken off the table. While the Attorney General will continue to explore other avenues and changes, this movement has been set aside for the time being.
This is great news for anyone who has, or who will ever, fight a traffic ticket, and ensures that we maintain our right to a face our accuser and present our case at court.