News / Canada

Photo radars to stay on Quebec roads despite court ruling tossing evidence

Lt. Bill Ross uses a radar gun in Youngstown, Ohio, in a July 24, 2015 file photo. The Quebec government is saying photo radars will remain on the roads despite a recent court ruling rejecting evidence obtained from one. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Robert K. Yosay/The Vindicator via AP

Lt. Bill Ross uses a radar gun in Youngstown, Ohio, in a July 24, 2015 file photo. The Quebec government is saying photo radars will remain on the roads despite a recent court ruling rejecting evidence obtained from one. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Robert K. Yosay/The Vindicator via AP

QUEBEC — Photo radar machines are to remain on Quebec roads despite a recent court ruling that rejected evidence obtained from one, the provincial government said Wednesday.

Quebec court Judge Serge Cimon, in a decision released Monday, cleared a woman from having to pay a traffic ticket she received after a radar machine clocked her speeding.

The judge said the photo radar evidence was hearsay and inadmissible in court because provincial police didn't personally witness the woman allegedly breaking the law or check to see if the machine was functioning properly.

"The prosecutor can consider this as formal notice that the evidence used in the prosecution of fixed photo radar cases is based on insufficient evidence," he wrote.

It is unclear how this decision could affect future cases involving people contesting speeding tickets obtained in connection to photo radar machines.

The woman in the case got out of a $1,160 ticket for allegedly going 140 km/h in a 70 km/h zone.

Transport Minister Laurent Lessard told reporters at the legislature Wednesday that photo radars are useful in assuring security on the province's roads and highways.

Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee wasn't prepared to say whether the court decision would be appealed.

She reminded reporters that the law allowing the permanent installation of photo radar and red light camera technology was endorsed by the provincial legislature in 2012.

Plans to expand the program were announced in 2015.