NEWS

Fighting parking tickets could move from court to .com

04/28/2015 11:06 EDT | Updated 08/01/2015 06:59 EDT
Every motorist who gets a traffic ticket in Ontario gets his or her day in court to dispute the ticket.

But soon that court date could be a virtual one, as the province looks at an online system for challenging minor charges.

That would mean both citizens and traffic enforcement officers would no longer have to come into court to fight or defend the tickets.

Taxi driver Mohamad Zbib is in favour of the shift to online. "I drive the night shift," he says, sitting outside traffic court at Toronto's Old City Hall courthouse on Monday afternoon. "I didn't get enough sleep and then I had to come to court."

He was waiting to fight a ticket for making a right turn in front of a TTC bus.

About 17 per cent of all cases before the Ontario courts involves a charge under the Provincial Offences Act — the vast majority traffic violations like speeding tickets.

"It takes a lot of the time of the court system it's very costly, it's not very friendly to the public and that's why we are consulting," said Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur.

As Zbib sits through the dozens of cases on the traffic docket, eight police officers wait in the courtroom. Officers' court time on such cases cost the Toronto force more than $5-million last year.

Toronto has already introduced a new parking ticket dispute process which allows motorists to dispute their parking tickets for parking meter/pay-and-display machine offences or permit related offences via fax and/or email. A province-wide program may be in the future.

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