Manitoba

Traffic court delays benefit some Winnipeggers

A backlog in challenging a traffic ticket in Winnipeg court is working to the advantage of some people.
Some people choosing to fight their traffic tickets are not able to get a court date until 2013. (CBC)

A backlog in challenging a traffic ticket in Winnipeg court is working to the advantage of some people.

Some cases are now being scheduled for 2013, which provides a ready-made defence.

Lawyer Scott Newman has been able to settle tickets for several clients because they waited 12 to18 months to get into court.

The delay flies in the face of the Charter right for reasonably swift justice, he said

"A traffic ticket, a speeding ticket — it's a one-officer case. There's no reason such a matter should take 12 to 18 months to get in front of a judge," he said.

"At the end of the day the Crown attorney and myself were able to work out an an amenable resolution to all parties' concern. The motion was never argued in front of a judge."

Len Eastoe, a former police officer whose company, Traffic Ticket Experts, helps motorists fight their fines, said he booking clients to see a judge for January next year.

And he says undue delay to get to trial is a defense that works.

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