AMHERST – Writing traffic tickets has become safer for RCMP and offenders.
RCMP in Nova Scotia have equipped its police vehicles with an electronic summary offence ticketing that should reduce the amount of time police spend at the side of the highway writing tickets.
“It’s a much better system. It’s a lot safer for the officer and the violator and it’s much more efficient in that it saves a lot of time,” Cpl. Darren Galley of Northern Traffic Services said. “Before, it would take on average up to 15 to 20 minutes to write a ticket and explain it to the violator. Now it take about five to seven minutes. Even when there are multiple tickets to write it doesn’t take that much longer, only a couple of minutes.”
The new system was unveiled two weeks ago and is being rolled out across the province. The project should be completed by December. A similar project has been underway in Halifax since March.
Less time parked at the side of the highway is less time officers are exposed to the risk of being struck from behind by another vehicle.
“There’s no question it reduces our exposure to risk, but it’s not only our safety, it’s the safety of the person we have stopped,” he said.
The increased efficiency at traffic stops also means a higher number of vehicles can be processed in less time, making more time available for other crime prevention details.
The electronic tickets also reduce the likelihood of human error at traffic stops.
The previous system required officers to manually write information on the traffic ticket. Now, an officer can enter information electronically into a mobile workstation by simply swiping the driver’s licence through an electronic card reader. The officer enters the offence information and a ticket is printed from a printer inside the police vehicle.
The ticketing system has a direct interface with the provincial court system eliminating delays in processing and reducing errors.