April 12, 2021

Amendments Give Citizens New and Innovative Options to Resolve Tickets

Today, Government introduced The Summary Offences Procedure Amendment Act, 2021.  The amendments in this Act will make it easier for citizens to resolve traffic tickets by introducing several process improvements and a new online system.

"The current procedure for resolving tickets can be cumbersome," Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said.  "These changes will modernize the court process and will provide citizens timely and effective access to justice."

The changes will first be implemented for traffic tickets.  The program will later extend to tickets for other offences.  The amendments will make the process for resolving tickets simpler and more efficient while still being fair for all citizens.  For example, the amendments will allow defendants to:

  • request an extension to their fine payment due date without attending court;
  • enroll in the Fine Option Program prior to their court appearance, which will allow them to start paying down the fine earlier; and
  • participate in an early resolution discussion with a prosecutor either online, on the phone, or in writing.

These changes will significantly reduce court volumes by enabling defendants to resolve many tickets without having to travel to a court house.  Government is in the process of developing an online system to enact these changes.  The first phase of the online system is expected to be operational by fall 2021.

Tickets issued under The Traffic Safety Act represent 90 per cent of all charges for provincial offences.  The most frequent traffic offences are speeding, photo laser speed enforcement, red light cameras, unregistered vehicles, and holding, viewing or using electronic communications equipment.