The City of Charlottetown is getting ready to change the way parking tickets are issued in the downtown.
City council gave first reading to a bylaw at its December monthly meeting this week to introduce electronic parking tickets.
It is expected to receive second and final reading at next month’s council meeting. Commissionaires will then be using ITAP Mobile (Integrated Ticketing and Permitting) devices to issue parking tickets.
“You’re still going to get a ticket on your windshield but instead of that ticket being generated by an officer handwriting it, it’s going to be generated by a computer and a thermal printer,’’ said Deputy Police Chief Brad MacConnell.
“We’re happy to say we’re the first agency to use electronic ticketing on the Island and we hope to lead that conversation into other ticketing such as our bylaws and our provincial ticketing.’’
It boils down to increasing efficiency, reducing errors and changing behaviours.
“If we can be more efficient in our ticketing and more strategic in allocating our resources, we have a better chance of changing the behaviours that are causing these violations in the first place.’’
The new ITAP devices will also make the police force’s job easier in other areas. As soon as a vehicle’s licence plate is input, it will flag whether that vehicle is associated with a more serious crime.
“It gives us the ability to tag certain vehicles and plates with indicators such as a tag for being a stolen vehicle or a tag maybe associated to a missing person. “(It will be easier) for the front-line officer and parking ticket individual to be alerted to these vehicles that may be associated to crime or to people in crisis.’’
- Deputy Police Chief Brad MacConnell
“It gives us the ability to tag certain vehicles and plates with indicators such as a tag for being a stolen vehicle or a tag maybe associated to a missing person,’’ the deputy chief said. “(It will be easier) for the front-line officer and parking ticket individual to be alerted to these vehicles that may be associated to crime or to people in crisis.’’
The new devices will also save the force money. The cost of each ticket will drop to eight cents from the current 14 cents.
In addition, it will provide the force will analytics it can use in education and make it easier for police to see where the infractions are occurring and what types of infractions are occurring.
While it gives police another eye on the public, MacConnell said the public should not have any privacy concerns.
“There’s no personal information, other than the vehicle identifiers, made evident to parking officials. There are other layers for the police officials who use it, but we have access to that information anyway. I don’t want the public to be concerned about that. We have policies and procedures in place . . . we’re able to control it and regulate it and it will be used responsibly.’’