Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Photo-radar claim in neutral

Case adjourns after magistrate denies WiseUp requests

  • Print

WiseUp Winnipeg pulled the pin on its legal challenge to photo radar Friday in a sudden move that stunned courtroom observers, but opened the door for their case to end up in a higher court.

It was planned to be a day of duelling expert testimony on whether a camera unit at Grant Avenue and Nathaniel Street inaccurately records speeds due to interference from metal sign poles, but that didn't happen.

Instead, WiseUp folded its cards after magistrate Lori Nelson laid down the ground rules on how things should proceed, in the process denying two requests by WiseUp's lawyer, Kerry Unruh. Unruh acts for Michael Ruiz, whose vehicle was snapped by a photo- radar camera at Grant and Nathaniel on Oct. 12, 2011 going 67 kilometres per hour in the 50 km/h zone.

Unruh wanted to adjourn the ticket trial to give WiseUp's expert witness Ken Sontag more time to review material supplied by the Crown about the camera setup at the corner outside Grant Park High School.

Unruh said WiseUp only got the information about nine days before the trial when it should have had it 30 days before the trial started.

Unruh also asked for police to hand over the manual police use in setting up and deploying photo radar. Previous requests by WiseUp for the manual have been denied.

In denying the requests, Nelson sided with Crown attorney John Barr that under the law, it was not the court or the Crown's job to help prepare Sontag if he claims to be an expert witness.

With those two decisions, WiseUp's Todd Dube, an outspoken critic of the city's photo-enforcement program, said the group decided to end the challenge in order to appeal Nelson's decision in Court of Queen's Bench.

It meant Ruiz was found guilty and was given 90 days to pay a $266.75 fine.

Ruiz said the abrupt end to his case -- which started in March -- was not a bitter pill because he plans to appeal to get another day in court.

"There are two simple errors that will easily be overturned on an appeal," Dube added, saying the group has two other cases lined up to challenge the Grant and Nathaniel camera. "We're going to be right back in here and take a proper run at it."

Controversy over the camera was raised a year ago just after police placed the camera near the Grant Park intersection. Dozens of drivers complained the tickets they received were incorrect because the distance from the intersection to the camera unit was too short for them to reach such speeds.

Manitoba's Justice Department has recruited Dutch scientist Ted Janssen, a senior adviser at Gatsometer BV (the company that manufactures the photo-radar equipment used by city police), and University of Manitoba Prof. Lotfollah Shafai, an expert in electromagnetic modelling, to give evidence the Grant and Nathaniel camera setup produces accurate speed readings.

Both were in court on Friday. WiseUp's decision meant neither testified.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 15, 2012 B1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


I Dream of Diesel at Rachel Brown Theatre scene preview

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005

View More Gallery Photos


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google