May 27th, 2018

Quebec photo radar ruling won’t help you out of a fine here

By Peggy Revell on January 12, 2017.

Sorry Hatters who don’t like photo radar — a recent Quebec ruling won’t be the key to getting out of a speeding ticket here.

“It’s kind of apples and oranges; it doesn’t affect our program at all,” said Insp. Joe West with the Medicine Hat Police Service, saying there’s no worry at all about the ruling issued just over a month ago that puts into question all the photo radar tickets across “la belle province.”

In that ruling, a Quebec court judge spared a woman a $1,160 speeding ticket issued from photo radar, saying that the evidence against her amounted to hearsay because police didn’t personally witness the woman breaking the law, or check to see if the radar machine was functioning properly.

This unmanned, standalone system is similar to the red light camera program in Calgary, said West, with information downloaded so an analyst can go through it and send out the summons.

“That’s very different from our photo radar program,” said West — namely, that here there is a human operator. Photo radar equipment is tested before and after each shift, said West, and none of the summons would be issued if it was realized afterwards that the equipment wasn’t properly working.

While photo radar is in place, the officer has to have a certain line of sight of the vehicles being monitored, make notes on each vehicle that passes exceeding the speed limit, and cross references that info with the photos.

Since the Nov. 30 decision, hundreds of photo radar cases have been put on hold in Quebec due to the ruling.

–with files from The Canadian Press

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