Prince George RCMP officers will soon be putting down their pens when issuing a roadside tickets.
Instead, they will be issuing roadside electronic traffic violation tickets (eTickets) as part of a pilot program in the province.
Beginning March 5, 2018, the Delta Police Department will be the first of five police agencies to scan drivers’ licence information into a new online ticket template that auto-populates offence details, ensuring accuracy while saving time. In turn, the vehicle-mounted equipment will rapidly share this information with justice-sector partners like ICBC, eliminating the need to mail tickets to these partners and for them to re-enter the details.
Prince George and North District RCMP will begin handing out the Etickets April 16.
“If we can make it harder for bad drivers to avoid the consequences of their decisions, and we can identify more quickly those drivers who perhaps shouldn’t be on the road, that will help us to prevent crashes, save lives and keep auto insurance affordable,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Based on the program’s design and success in other jurisdictions, we’re optimistic that we’ll see these results during the pilot.”
“ETicketing will allow police officers to leverage technology,” said Neil Dubord, Delta Police chief constable and chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety committee. “The process is simply more efficient and quicker, and police officers will be freed up to do more enforcement. While not everyone will welcome the idea of police officers handing out more tickets, we believe this will improve road safety in the long term.”
The pilot program will wrap in mid-May and report to the ministry in the summer, informing the consideration of a provincial rollout.
“The less time you, as an officer, have to spend outside your vehicle at the roadside, particularly when weather and road conditions are poor, the safer you are, so that’s one top reason that we’re eager to participate in this pilot,” said Insp. Jayson Lucash, officer in charge, RCMP North District Traffic Services.
The contents, penalties and validity of eTickets will match that of traditional, written tickets. However, eTicket recipients will have the option to pay their eTickets through a new online payment service, PayBC, or continue to use existing payment methods, such as in-person at ServiceBC or ICBC locations, by phone or by mail.