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October 1, 1998


By JEFF HARDER - Queen's Park Bureau

TORONTO - Some high-speed drivers are ducking fines and demerit points by taking police-sponsored traffic classes. And Solicitor General Bob Runciman and Transportation Minister Tony Clement are not pleased.

"There are very serious issues," Runciman told the Sun yesterday.

"This has become a revenue stream. My concern is that they are doing this because of budgetary pressures. I don't think the justice system should be utilized for that purpose."

Runciman and Clement may ban the practice. "That is a possibility," Runciman said.

Up to August, Niagara Regional Police, for instance, had grossed $700,000 from the "Option 4" penalty. Under the Highway Traffic Act, police have four options after pulling over a speeding motorist, one of which is offering an offender program in exchange for absolution.

The refresher classes are administered by police forces, which gain from the registration fees.

From this news article, we can make the following observation:

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