Drivesmart: Dispute a traffic ticket penalty without attending court

Are you guilty of the offence shown on the violation ticket but unable to pay the ticketed amount?

Are you guilty of the offence shown on the violation ticket but unable to pay the ticketed amount? In many cases you can have the fine reviewed and set to a penalty more appropriate for your circumstances without having to set foot in traffic court.

When the penalty cannot be reduced or you need both a reduction and time to pay, that can be accomplished as well. All you need to do is to complete and submit two forms for the judicial justice to review.

The two forms are PTR021 – Violation Ticket Notice of Dispute, and PTR022 – Violation Ticket Statement and Written Reasons. These forms are available online or can be obtained at the nearest court registry office. These forms, along with a copy of the violation ticket that you were issued may be sent to the address listed on them or taken in person to the court registry.

A judicial justice will review them and may choose to ask the issuing officer about the circumstances that led to the ticket being issued. Your driving record is not reviewed as part of the process unless you decide to provide that information yourself. In case you are tempted to shade the truth here, remember that you are working with legal documents and there are penalties for being less than forthright.

Traffic ticket fines are meant to act as a deterrent, not a financial hardship. The ticketed amounts are determined to indicate the seriousness of the offence and balanced for an average income. The system outlined here helps adjust the penalty to suit other than average circumstances.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca