Traffic court reform in Alberta

Consultations underway about potential changes

The Alberta government is considering changing the way traffic tickets are handled to make them easier to pay while making sure they can still be challenged. Importantly, these changes are also being looked at in light of how much court time and other resources they use.

A lot of court time and resources are used to address traffic ticket disputes. In 2012-13 alone, more than two million tickets were issued in Alberta. Of these tickets, roughly 57 per cent were not paid by their due date, which then required an appearance in Alberta’s Provincial Court.

This means there is less court time available for more serious and violent criminal cases, and is why we are exploring options for paying and challenging traffic tickets. We need to find a process that is fair, efficient and proportionate to the complexity and seriousness of the offence in dispute.

Consultations about these potential changes are underway. We are talking to stakeholders who are involved in giving, processing or accepting payment for traffic tickets. Legal and community interest groups have also been invited to participate in the consultations.

These consultations are aimed at finding a way to use our court resources as efficiently and effectively as possible. Regardless of the changes considered, Albertans will always have the right to challenge a traffic ticket.

This project is very much in its early stages. Please feel free to read the discussion guide being used at the stakeholder consultations and provide your feedback to us at Consultations are ongoing until March 31, 2014.

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5 Responses to Traffic court reform in Alberta

  1. Mike Stashko says:

    The automated enforcement of traffic law is a joke. It does nothing to address the actual safety of Alberta’s roadways. It generates revenue, and lots of it, for municipalities, but does nothing for the real causes of collisions. If we really want safer roadways in Alberta, we need to target the drivers who put the public at risk. People who actually drive without due accountability. Far in excess of the speed limit, impaired by drugs and alcohol, operating modified vehicles which leave clouds of black diesel smoke in their wake obscuring vision for all other motorists. I see these behaviors regularly, and I am ashamed to live in a province which values the revenue generated by photo enforcement for driving 11km/hr over the speed limit with the flow of traffic over real, and very present, public dangers. The ideology isn’t working. Quit making your citizens a source of revenue and protect them.

  2. Pingback: Facts about traffic court reform in Alberta | Alberta Justice & Solicitor General

  3. johnathanverroen says:

    I find it interesting after being pulled over and my car impounded for 30 days because I didn’t know my license was suspended due to an unpaid fine that I could lose my license and screw with my career for 6 months. This is retarted, not to mention going into the traffic court and sitting there listening to how the justice of the peace ladies are speaking to people coming in. How are they allowed to yell and speak to people the way they do ? Speak down to people who aren’t informed on the way the justice system works. Something needs to be done here.

  4. Rod Boisvert says:

    How Ironic is this ” Alberta justice system ” I go to pay my registration on both my Vehicle’s to fine that , I have a fine to Pay for a traffic violation ? The amount of this was $ 353 dollar for going and
    through a “red photo light ” back in July26/13 . I find this very disturbing as I received no mail to this violation and also being charged a late fee ? I had to pay this fine before I can get my Registration up to date . Go figure you got my address right for my registration but not for this so called traffic violation that I can’t go to court and fight or give reason for this act . over 7 month’s back , I proceed left on a green light when the person in front of me stalls their vehicle .I have to stop and wait “confused ” now in to the intersection ” Bang light turns and flashes by the time WE and the car in front starts and proceed ahead . I,am 58 yr’s old with a clean driver app. I don’t speed and I obey the the law’s , MY true feelings on this matter is just this nothing but a ” Cash Cow ” Yes I can understand that any vehicle going through a Red light would most be deserving
    of their action’s . So I’am going to ask for a reduce fine in this matter and see if I can receive some type of credit . let just see if I get a response or a request to my date & location of this defense .

  5. Darryl Hay says:

    I do not understand what you mean by “minor traffic offences” in your discussion guide, and do not believe there is such a thing. EMS callouts, hospitalizations, rehabilitation, and damage to infrastructure are the least of the consequences of improper operation of motor vehicles.
    As a pedestrian, bicyclist, driver, and living near a street, I feel at risk, due to lack of traffic enforcement and lack of penalties.
    Lack of or failing to produce License, Registration or Insurance documentation wastes time and resources and indicates lack of attention and respect.
    A dirty or obscured license plate could foil a camera, and is unfair to all who maintain their vehicles.
    Tinted glass could foil a camera and endanger an Officer, and need be prosecuted.
    Speeding is a hazard to anyone using or living near a highway.
    I believe there is too much chance of human error, and police officers’ time is too valuable for traffic enforcement in any case.
    Traffic enforcement need be automated, with expenses paid by fines, increased until violations cease.
    Mobile radar, cameras (still and video), and other sensors should be utilized to prove and prosecute violations such as speeding, distracted driving, stunting, following too close, obscuring windshields/windows/license plates, driving on shoulder, overtaking when unsafe, etc.

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