FREDERICTON (GNB) – Amendments to the Provincial Offences Procedures Act (POPA) will change how tickets under the Motor Vehicle Act are disputed.

A new process comes into effect today, March 2, which will eliminate the requirement for an individual to appear in court to set a court date. Instead, individuals will now need to file a notice of dispute with the court within 45 days of receiving a ticket to get their court date. If no notice is filed, the individual will be deemed guilty.

“These changes will create efficiencies in our courts by removing uncontested tickets from the court process and by reducing the number of times an individual appears in court for a contested ticket,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General Andrea Anderson-Mason. “This will free up valuable time in our court system which could be used on other important matters.”

More information about the process will be printed on tickets and is available online.

The change in the ticketing process comes as the RCMP will begin issuing e-tickets in the province as of today.

“We are excited to be introducing e-ticketing into the province’s enforcement activities,” said Public Safety Minister Carl Urquhart. “Not only will this create a more modern and efficient system, it will help reduce the time peace officers spend roadside.”

The e-ticketing process will consist of an officer swiping a driver’s licence through an electronic card reader. The offence information is then added by the officer and an e-ticket is printed directly from the officer’s vehicle. The electronic record is then shared with the province and saved in an information system that is accessible to the police, the courts and Service New Brunswick.

The RCMP in New Brunswick will be the first to employ the technology as part of a phased-in approach. Initially, it will only be used for most violations under the Motor Vehicle Act. Handwritten tickets will still be issued by other enforcement agencies and for other POPA offences.