Yorkton RCMP officers are at the forefront of a pilot program testing new electronic ticketing equipment for the Ministry of Justice.
Two patrol cars in Yorkton went live last week following Pilot Butte the week before.
Cpl. Tim Schwartz, of the Yorkton rural detachment, said officers at traffic services immediately embraced the new method.
“It’s going very well,” he said. “It’s extremely time saving.”
He said it cuts the time involved in issuing tickets by about two-thirds, from approximately 10 minutes to three.
Considering the total number of tickets processed in Saskatchewan annually is in the range of 150,000, the program has the potential to save a lot of time and costs.
“This significantly reduces the amount of time and taxpayer money spent on issuing, printing and processing minor traffic offences,” said Gordon Wyant, Saskatchewan justice minister and attorney general. “In the long run, this type of technology allows police forces to spend less time on traffic fines and focus more on serious criminal offences.”
The new consoles allow officers to quickly scan a driver’s licence, process the fine digitally, print the ticket on the spot and upload the information directly to the Ministry daily.
Formerly, officers had to enter licence information manually, write out the ticket by hand, manually record them when they returned to the detachment and mail them to the courts.
The pilot program will run until the end of January when 90 RCMP cruisers will have been outfitted with the devices at a cost of $250,000 to the ministry.
Schwartz said that while offenders never like getting citations, it is good for them as well.
“They might not see the benefits, but at least we can get them moving along a lot quicker,” he said.
Once the pilot ends, the ministry will make the program available to all law enforcement agencies in the province.