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Photo radar ticket case dropped

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A prosecutor suddenly dropped a speeding ticket today in a case that challenged the accuracy of photo radar tickets issued by a controversial mobile camera positioned near Grant and Nathaniel.

With the Crown’s staying of the case it means that WiseUp Winnipeg’s court fight against the camera died a sudden, but not unexpected death.

It also means the evidence of an expert witness, who told court metal sign posts interfere with the accuracy of the camera’s radar beam, was left unchallenged by the Crown.

Philip Johst, whose ticket is at the centre of the case, said afterwards he was disappointed by the abrupt end of the case even though he won’t have to pay a $200 ticket. The camera caught him going 63 km/h in the 50 km/h zone on Nov. 5, 2011.

WiseUp’s Winnipeg’s Todd Dube said he was also disappointed in that the Crown opted not to defend how police have deployed the camera.

If a ruling had gone in WiseUp’s favour, they say it could have affected about 20,000 photo-enforcement tickets issued by the camera unit at Grant and Nathaniel.

Crown attorney John Barr dropped Johst’s ticket after he was denied an adjournment by Magistrate Guilaume Dragon, so he could call his own expert witness on use of the camera.

Dragon said the Crown should have been better prepared and that he didn’t want to delay the case any further. It had been adjourned once already to allow the Crown to consult with its own experts on the photo radar camera.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

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