FREDERICTON (GNB) – Proposed amendments to the Provincial Offences Procedures Act were tabled today as a first step towards modernizing the provincial ticketing process.

“We are focused on keeping New Brunswickers safe on our roads and highways, as well as increasing access to justice,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry. “These proposed amendments will establish a new streamlined process for contesting motor vehicle infraction tickets in court. The legislation will also allow for tickets to be generated electronically, like in other Canadian jurisdictions.”

The proposed process would be established later in 2018 and eliminate the need for a person contesting a ticket to appear in court twice: once to set a date for trial, and once to attend the trial. Instead, people contesting a ticket would be required to file a notice of dispute within 45 days, which would constitute a plea of not guilty. Failure to either pay the fine or file a notice of dispute would result in the person being deemed guilty. Uncontested tickets would be dealt with administratively, rather than before a judge.

“We anticipate this proposed process will reduce the amount of time the justice system spends on these administrative matters, and improve service and access to justice for New Brunswickers,” said Landry.

The proposed changes would also permit tickets to be generated using electronic equipment.

“With an e-ticketing process, police officers will be in a position to issue tickets faster,” said Landry. “This means less time on the side of the road and an increase in safety for our police officers.”

The electronic ticketing process would be phased in once the amendments are in force. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police would be the first law enforcement entity to issue electronic tickets. Motor Vehicle Act violations would be the only offences served by the new process as part of its initial implementation phase. Motor vehicle offences committed by youth would not be included in this phase.