A Quebec judge’s ruling on a photo radar ticket might mean other similar tickets might be invalid, although the provincial government says they’re going to keep the system in place.
The ruling came after a woman challenged her $1,160 speeding ticket in court. The ticket had been issued by photo radar. Without proof of either the machine’s calibration or proper signage in the area, Serge Cimon said the radar’s evidence was inadmissible and illegal.
Cimon’s ruling slammed the province’s photo radar system and its police implementation. He even accused the prosecution of trying to drop the charges before trial in an attempt to avoid losing, with thousands of other tickets then being legally questioned (700,000 issued by photo radar in Quebec since 2009, says AutoTrader). He also said if prosecutors continue to issue tickets based on photo radar, drivers/riders fighting those tickets may be entitled to repayment of their legal fees, since the charges will have been laid illegally.
No changes announced
However, despite Cimon’s broadside salvo, the provincial government indicated its intention to stick with the current photo radar system, and may appeal Cimon’s decision. With $92 million in tickets since introduction, it’s easy to see why. The province was actually planning an increase in photo radar enforcement in coming months. However, if Cimon’s decision holds up, we’d expect to see many more motorists challenging their radar tickets in court — a procedure that could get very costly for the Quebec government.
There have been recent rumblings of speed camera purchases from other provinces — Quebec’s next-door neighbour Ontario is supposedly moving forward with a plan to install them, and the anti-fun crowd in New Brunswick has made some noise asking for them as well. But if the cameras get junked in Quebec, that will surely give pause to premiers in other provinces, which is a good thing for motorcyclists.