Thousands of photo-radar traffic tickets issued by law enforcement were ruled invalid by a Montreal, Quebec judge late November, due to the inability of the Crown to verify the calibration of the cameras at the time of each alleged offence.
The ruling, obtained by La Presse, was handed down by Judge Serge Cimon, who elaborated that, without a police officer present to witness the offence with a freshly calibrated radar gun, all photo-radar tickets handed out in the province are inadmissible in court.
Potentially thousands of photo-radar-issued tickets have been called into question, raising a complex fiscal and legal predicament for Quebec’s provincial courts.
The question of the legitimacy of the photo-radar tickets was raised by lawyer Nicolas Rousseau, who was representing a woman sent a ticket amounting to $1,160 for the allegedly driving 141 km/h in a 70 km/h zone in Montreal.
Rousseau later commented that the judge’s ruling in this case signals there is a systematic province-wide problem with issuing such tickets.
“The judge ruled that the way provincial police systematically process such tickets is wrong, and he called on authorities to fix it,” said Rousseau in an interview with CBC News.
Additionally, Cimon ruled that an officer must be present at the time of a speeding offence to witness both the calibration of the radar as well as the presence of adequate signage in the area where the alleged offence occurred.
Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée said the province is reviewing the ruling and may file an appeal to reverse the court’s pronouncement.