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Traffic e-ticketing, online payments legislation introduced in BC

(File Photo)

New bill introduced to lower number of mistakes made during handwritten tickets

Thousands of tickets are tossed every year

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – BC drivers may soon be able to pay for their traffic tickets online thanks to electronic ticketing, or e-ticket, legislation introduced in Victoria today.

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth introduced the bill to amend the Offence Act which is aimed at curbing mistakes caused by handwritten tickets and increase efficiency of both payment and record keeping. “It’s basically bringing British Columbia, when it comes to traffic enforcement and the issue of ticketing, into the 21st century,” Farnworth said.

Traffic violators will still receive paper tickets, but they will be able to go online to pay the fine, in addition to by phone, mail, or in person, while the information will be automatically sent to all the relevant government agencies including police and ICBC.

Currently, the information written by officers roadside is entered manually as much as four times by police, ICBC, court staff, and others, increasing the risk of errors with each step. This can lead to tickets being challenged and overturned. In addition, the slow, manual entry of data can delay the ability to identify dangerous drivers and trends.

Around 15,000, or three per cent, of all tickets are cancelled annually due to errors, equivalent to $1.8 million, according to Farnworth.

“I think [e-tickets are] a more efficient way for us, it allows us to make fewer mistakes on roadside, it allows the interaction between the officer and the violator to potentially go smoother and it will also allow payment to be right online so it’s very convenient,” said Neil Dubord, Delta Police Chief and chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee.

If approved, the program will be piloted in Vancouver, Delta, Prince George, North District and the Greater Victoria area in the spring of 2018 before being rolled out across the province.