Traffic court shuffle helps to ease pressure

The Advocate’s article Traffic court move hits bumps, dated July 23 — in which I am quoted — did not convey the full extent of my comments about Red Deer traffic court.

The Advocate’s article Traffic court move hits bumps, dated July 23 — in which I am quoted — did not convey the full extent of my comments about Red Deer traffic court.

Moving traffic court from the Red Deer Courthouse to the Red Deer Lodge has had positive results that were not mentioned in the story. Readers of the Red Deer Advocate deserve to know that hearing traffic matters at the Red Deer Lodge is working well, and we are upholding the level of service Albertans expect of their justice system.

Considerable court time and resources are required to address provincial ticket disputes. In Red Deer, for example, there were 36,637 traffic tickets commenced in 2013-14.

The primary reason for moving provincial offence matters from the Red Deer Courthouse was to free up court space and ensure that more serious criminal cases were dealt with in a timely manner.

Like other provincial courthouses across the province, the Red Deer Courthouse is facing increasing demands. We currently serve a population of 211,727.

The decision to move traffic matters out of the courthouse was one that expedites the process and makes better use of existing court infrastructure to serve the people of Red Deer.

The upside of holding traffic court matters at the Red Deer Lodge is that it is a citizen-friendly location. The public does not have to go through airport-style security to attend to their provincial ticket and bylaw matters.

Like any change to a system that has been in place for many years, we have faced an adjustment period, and have been quick to address the minor bumps along the way.

Holding traffic court at the Red Deer Lodge is an interim solution that is working for citizens in Red Deer. Traffic trials are running just as they did in the courthouse, and the public can be assured their matters will be heard in a timely manner, and in an easily accessible location.

Rob Gregory

Provincial Prosecutor

Alberta Justice

and Solicitor General

Edmonton

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