BC Government News Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Modern, electronic ticketing to improve road safety

VICTORIA - British Columbians will benefit from safer roads, and be able to pay their traffic fines more easily, once the Province moves to electronic ticketing (eTicketing) under new legislation introduced today.

If passed, amendments to the Offence Act will authorize new processes that will more quickly flag dangerous drivers for additional, safety-related sanctions, up to and including license suspension. In turn, these changes are expected to help prevent crashes and save lives.

Key to these safety gains is a shift from paper to electronic tickets printed at the roadside, which will eliminate data entry errors and improve the speed of ticket processing. Currently, the data from tickets written by police at the roadside is entered up to four times by police, ICBC and court staff, and others. This magnifies the potential for error, increases the likelihood that a ticket may be challenged and overturned, and delays government's ability to identify dangerous drivers and take action.

Convenience will also be increased by enabling fine payment online with eTicketing, along with the existing options of by phone, mail, or in person. As in the past, drivers will be able to reduce their fine amount by paying promptly.

Next spring, a number of police agencies throughout B.C. will test electronic ticketing devices and processes on a pilot basis. This pilot will inform a province-wide roll-out of eTicketing.

A further proposed amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act serves to simply clarify language related to immediate roadside prohibitions for alcohol-affected drivers. These changes will not affect police enforcement or penalties imposed under this law.