Drivers advocacy group Sense BC is giving the provincial government’s new system, taking the process to challenge traffic infraction tickets out of the courts, a big thumbs down.
Co-founder Ian Tootill says the idea is identical to the much maligned photo-radar program, a driver is guilty until he or she can prove they are innocent.
“Well photo-radar is a de-facto conviction. It is up to the accused to prove that he is innocent. The idea of this E-ticketing is very similar. You are not going to be able to face your accuser. The accused is going to be put at a disadvantage.”
Tootill says with no appeal process for drivers he predicts police will begin writing tickets like there is no tomorrow.
“I have spoken to ex-police officers about it and they believe that if its much easier to write tickets and not have them contested it will be much easier to have ticketing blitzs knowing it is an easier way to raise money.”
Tootill says the BC Liberal government has a track record of ill thought out legislation.
“Unfortunately with this government the willingness to erase due process, or eliminate it, seems to be to frequent. Civil asset forfeiture is one example and this is yet another and no I am not happy about it.”
Under the changes, drivers trying to dispute tickets can no longer do so in court but would now face a three-step appeal process.