Decision of the Week

The first “Decision of the Week” concerns an argument that comes up from time to time:

[1]         When is a human being a person?  Shouldn’t a human being be able to escape a photo-radar ticket fine because The Highway Traffic Act C.C.S.M. c. H60 (“HTA”) does not apply to humans, but rather only to persons?

R. v. Penner, 2018 MBQB 200

Mr. Penner, as agent for his wife, challenged a photo-radar speeding ticket. Martin, J. quashed the appeal orally with written reasons to follow.

[3]         I write them not to convey any insightful legal analysis but to provide precedent for the many justices of the peace and provincial court judges who are increasingly facing these specious arguments, gussied up like legal briefs with all the accompanying bafflegab.  Those judicial officers should feel confident that they can dismiss nonsensical submissions summarily.  And those promoting these points of view should know that their arguments will get the time and attention they deserve, little to none.

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench issued a lengthy decision on this issue in 2012, Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571. While nowhere near as lengthy, perhaps Justice Martin’s decision can be as useful.