Since the last week of June, some Niagara Regional Police Officers traded in their hand-written traffic tickets for an advanced “eTicketing” system.
The new pilot system offers many benefits, including reducing the margin of human error as well as the amount of administrative burden involved in the process for both Niagara Regional Police staff and court staff. This means a savings of time and money for Niagara’s taxpayers.
Currently, all tickets issued at the roadside for traffic violations are completed by police officers by hand. Not only is this time consuming and potentially unsafe for the officer to be standing on the side of the road, it also allows for many opportunities for errors that can result in tickets being rejected or dismissed by the Court.
In the last 10 years, about 4,300 traffic tickets laid by the Niagara Regional Police have either been rejected or dismissed by the Provincial Offences Court due to late filing or errors on a ticket. The dismissal of these tickets impacts road safety efforts and represents a real loss in fine revenue for Niagara’s municipalities of as much as $40,000 a year.
The eTicketing system uses technology now available in police cruisers to scan a driver’s licence for the vital details that are required to lay a charge. The system also allows a police officer to automatically select the correct charge and wording, thereby removing the opportunity for transcription errors. Newly installed printers in the cruisers will generate the Offence Notice in realtime based on the information provided.
There are also significant administrative efficiencies found in the new system by removing the need for hand-coding and the potential for late filing with the Court. Under the current process, all traffic tickets issued by the Niagara Regional Police Service need to be transcribed by hand into their computer system then filed with the Provincial Offences Court where they are transcribed again into the Court’s computer system. The new system automates this process and all tickets are automatically transmitted from the police cruiser to the Court.
The Niagara Regional Police Service along with the Provincial Offences Courts in Niagara will join several other municipalities in the Province of Ontario who have also implemented this new electronic ticketing system.
"Providing Niagara Regional Police officers with a tool that allows them to more efficiently and effectively do their jobs is a win for both the police service and our communities. The administrative, logistic and safety benefits are critical and represent a progressive step forward for both the Niagara Region and Police Service."
~ Niagara Regional Police Chief, Jeffrey McGuire
Daryl Barnhart, APR
Niagara Regional Police
905-688-4111 ext. 8987