Yellowknife lawyer beats speeding ticket thanks to legal loophole

A Yellowknife lawyer fought his way out of a speeding ticket this week, thanks to a loophole in the territory’s Motor Vehicles Act.

He argued that data from a radar device was not admissible as evidence

A Yellowknife lawyer fighting a speeding ticket this week argued that the data from a radar device used by municipal enforcement was not admissible as evidence. (File Photo)

A Yellowknife lawyer fought his way out of a speeding ticket this week, thanks to a loophole in the territory's Motor Vehicles Act.

In 2013, municipal enforcement clocked Michael Woodward, a lawyer for the Government of the Northwest Territories, going about 115 km/h on Highway 4 near Giant Mine.

A justice of the peace found Woodward guilty, and fined him $100.

But, this week the lawyer's appeal went before the Supreme Court of the N.W.T., and he argued that data from the radar device used by municipal enforcement was not admissible as evidence.

It's required that the device's tuning forks are calibrated by an expert once a year for accuracy.

The forks in question were calibrated in Alberta. But according to the Motor Vehicles Act, the forks needed to be certified by an officer of the Northwest Territories, otherwise readings from the radar device are not admissible as evidence.

The judge agreed, and acquitted Woodward.

The department of transportation says the loophole is now closed. It has appointed the tuning fork experts in Alberta as officers under the N.W.T. Motor Vehicles Act.

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