WINNIPEG — A class-action lawsuit has been launched against the Manitoba government, alleging hundreds of thousands of drivers were wrongfully targeted by photo radar.
The plaintiffs are seeking $36 million on behalf of 470,000 drivers between November 20, 2017 to November 12, 2021.
The lawsuit alleges provincial regulations ignored a so-called 10 km/h “buffer zone,” which permitted the province to only issue photo radar speeding fines based on each kilometre per hour in excess of 10 km/h over the maximum permitted speed.
The lawsuit says the government was charging drivers for every one kilometre over the limit, ignoring its own regulations and not refunding drivers when the error was caught. In each instance, lawyers argue drivers were overcharegd at least $77 each time.
“This issue is not about the merits of photo radar or road safety,” said Bava Dhillon, of Dhillon Automotive Group, in a statement. “This is about the government making a mistake that cost Manitoba drivers over $36 million in illegal fines.”
The statement of claim was recently served on the government and contains allegations that have not been proven in court.
The province has not filed a statement of defence and there is no court date set for a hearing.
“As the matter is before the courts it would not be appropriate for the province to comment at this time,” the provincial Justice department said in a written statement Thursday.
— With files from The Canadian Press