A group of concerned trucking fleets and representatives from the legal community gathered at OTA offices today to discuss the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General’s recent (MAG) discussion paper that raises the potential introduction of an online administrative monetary penalty system (AMPS). The paper suggests the replacement of certain aspects of the existing court system that deals with traffic related Provincial Offences and Municipal infractions.
The goal of the meeting was to solicit opinion from commercial vehicle operators as to whether the movement to an online system would be beneficial or instead hinder their ability to dispute Municipal or Highway Traffic Act offences.
Highlights of the meeting includes:
- Based on how an AMPs system functions, the legal and carrier community would not support any penalties, outside of municipal parking tickets moving to an AMPS system. Even in regards to municipal parking tickets, carriers had a number of conditions that would need to be met before they would accept an AMPs municipal parking system.
- Carriers and legal community reps in attendance believed that the movement to an AMPS system is an affront to the fundamental principles of natural justice and the right to be presumed innocent before proven guilty.
- The movement to an AMPS system could potentially lead to reduced accountability of the enforcement community.
- An AMPS system will eliminate discretionary powers and personal interaction between carriers and the enforcement community. This interaction is essential to the improvement of highway safety through education.
OTA will be submitting its initial comments, based on today’s meeting, to MAG next week as well as online comments the association has already received. OTA expects this initial comment period to be followed by more detailed consultation on the part of MAG with industry groups and the legal community over a longer time period.
OTA will be working with its membership and government officials to ensure industry concerns are reflected in any potential changes to the legal system.