$1M in photo radar fines in Winnipeg refunded due to error

Winnipeg police are refunding more than 2,500 photo radar ticket fines issued between June 27 and July 1 because of an error in wording.

Police cite 'administrative error' for cancelling out tickets to avoid overflow of court fights

Winnipeg police are refunding more than 2,500 photo radar ticket fines issued between June 27 and July 1 because of an error in wording. 1:57

Call it a million-dollar mistake.

Winnipeg police are refunding more than 2,500 photo radar tickets issued between June 27 and July 1 because of an error on the tickets.

A mobile photo radar unit was stationed on Kenaston Boulevard south of Scurfield Boulevard at a construction zone, police said.

A total of 2,574 tickets will be cancelled because police said the tickets contained incorrect “offence title and citation” information.

The repealed tickets cited “Speeding, Section 95 (1),” when the correct name for the violation was “Speeding in a Designated Construction Zone, Section 95 (1) (b.1).”
Photo radar snapped shots of speeding drivers headed southbound on Kenaston south of Scurfield Boulevard in a construction zone between June 27 and July 1. (Lindsay Tsuji/CBC)

As a result of the “administrative error,” police said recipients of the tickets will get full refunds.

“In the interest of fairness to motorists and transparency for all involved, the WPS recommended tickets be fully refunded due to the improper wording, as described above,” stated a Winnipeg police release.

Detective-Sgt. Natalie Aitken said the problem with the wording of Speeding in a Designated Construction Zone would have caused many ticket fights in court.

“This could be potentially a problem going forward and we took the initiative instead of dealing with those matters on a one-case-by-one-case basis.”

Manitobans weigh in on refund

Some drivers in Winnipeg think the error could be related to the construction zone speeding laws having doubled earlier April 1.

Some of the Winnipeg police systems weren’t updated when construction zone laws changed this spring, so tickets were given out for speeding, rather than speeding in a construction zone.

A few drivers near the construction zone in question on Kenaston Boulevard Wednesday were upset to hear about the mistake, while others were holding out hope their tickets would be refunded.

“When they're introducing new things, potentially there's going to be errors and they just have to work through the glitches,” said one Winnipeg resident.

One driver said his wife got dinged speeding through the Kenaston Boulevard construction zone and hopes she is among those getting a refund.

"I hope they're refunding them because my wife got caught [there], $442 and change, about a week ago," he said.

The province said it plans to mail letters to everyone affected and provide instructions on how to get their refunds.


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