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Traffic ticket trouble

Dez Loreen
Northern News Services
Friday, March 30, 2007

INUVIK - Rory Gordon is seeking a court summons because he refuses to pay a traffic ticket that was filled out incorrectly.

Gordon was served a traffic ticket for driving across a complete lane of traffic on March 21.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Rory Gordon with the traffic ticket he was given on March 21. He made an illegal left turn on Mackenzie Road and was issued the ticket, but it was not filled in correctly and Gordon refuses to sign it. The Town office says the by-law officer has the authority to re-issue incorrect tickets. - Dez Loreen/NNSL photo

Gordon said he was driving to pick up a co-worker when he turned left across traffic to stop at the Eskimo Inn.

Gordon said he then left the Eskimo Inn and went to his co-worker's house on Semmler place.

That was when he was stopped by municipal by-law officer Duane DeBastien.

"He told me I wasn't allowed to drive across the lane and that I was being fined for it," said Gordon.

The fine was $50, to be paid by April 5.

Gordon said he examined the ticket after the officer left him on the street.

"The date was wrong, it was dated 2006, not 2007, which I noticed first," said Gordon.

Gordon, who spent the past few years living in Saskatoon, said he has had an encounter like this before in the south.

"If the ticket is dated incorrectly, it should be voided. I don't have any intent to pay this fine," said Gordon.

Gordon went to the Town Hall to clear up the situation a few hours later and talked to DeBastien on the phone.

"He asked me when I would pay the fine," said Gordon.

"I told him I wasn't going to because it was incorrectly filled out."

Gordon said it was during the phone call that DeBastien told him he had the authority to change the ticket and re-sign it with a correct date.

"I asked him if he was allowed to alter the ticket and he said yes," said Gordon.

Town of Inuvik Senior Administrative Officer Tom Lie said that the by-law officer has the authority to update a ticket if it is incorrectly written.

"The ticket should have been signed to prove authenticity," said Lie.

"Duane has the authority to change the ticket with the right date."

Lie said that it is common to have the year wrong in the first few months of a new year.

"A lot of small things like the wrong date don't make the ticket invalid," said Lie.

Lie said that Gordon has two choices now: either pay the fine or be summoned to court over the matter.

"It's up to the individual," said Lie.

"He can choose to do whatever he wants to do."

DeBastien said he made a mistake with the ticket and declined to comment further.

"I made a mistake, that's all it was," said DeBastien.

Gordon said he hopes other people are aware that their tickets could be re-issued if they are incorrectly filled out.

"I don't think this will hold up in court," he said.