VICTORIA — The B.C. government is changing the way drivers dispute their traffic tickets.

Attorney General Geoff Plant says the changes will make it easier for the public and the police, and reduce court backlogs.

To cut down on the number of court appearances, people will now be able to make written applications to fight their fine amounts or ask for more time to pay.

Those pleading not guilty will still have to appear in court in person.

Police will find it easier to attend by using phone or video conferencing.

Over 91,000 traffic tickets were challenged at a cost of $8 million for 2002-2003.

It cost police about $4.3 million annually to attend court and give evidence.

The system starts July 1 and will save the justice system about $1.9 million.

Jun 30, 2003