1 Jul 2008

Montreal, Canada – Montreal police and parking officers have been equipped with high tech portable computers and e-ticketing software to issue traffic and parking citations. The new portable computerized system will eliminate paperwork and will reduce the number of disputed tickets by correcting human errors, explained Claude Dauphin, Montreal Executive Committee member responsible for this initiative. More importantly, it will accelerate the citation issuance process for police officers. “If they spend less time writing, inevitably, they will have more time to spend on insuring public safety”, commented Mr. Dauphin who says that the objective is “to enter the modern era” and not to write more tickets.

The City of Montreal executive committee decided to grant the contract to gtechna, a Montreal firm who for the better part of the last decade has been marketing its Officer™ (formerly MES™) eticketing system to municipalities across North America.

$6 million additional revenues for City coffers

Claude Dauphin, estimates that this modernization will not only translate into $2.2 million per year in departmental savings but also to garner additional revenues of $6 million, which the City hopes to recover mainly by reducing the number of disputed tickets. Inspector Réjean Toutant, head of Traffic and Road Safety Division says “The biggest advantage of this system is that the number of errors will be decreased”. “Police officers make many errors when writing tickets”, affirms Robert Poëti, former head of Road Safety for Quebec Provincial Police. “When I was with the QPP, a large percentage of the tickets issued were rejected because of errors, it was rather astonishing”, says the ex-police officer.

Great advantage for the City

Sergio Mastronardi, Founder and CTO estimates that most north American cities experience between 5% and 20% of citations written by hand are rejected or disputed because of human errors. “This system is a great advantage for the City, all these errors which are done manually will be corrected”, he says.

gtechna Officer™ is a software suite entirely dedicated to the operational management of security forces. The platform offers numerous applications to automate law enforcement processes for Public Safety and Parking agencies.

How The New System Works

Step 1:

The police officer or parking agent who notices an infraction enters either the vehicle plate number or driver’s license into the hand held device or vehicle

Step 2:

The officer receives driver and vehicle data back from the police databases and the information is automatically registered on the citation, immediately eliminating human errors that have caused so many tickets to be cancelled due to handwritten errors. Furthermore, police officers automatically have access to the motorist’s file and stolen vehicle records. The City may also choose a hand held device equipped with a digital camera to serve as evidence in case a ticket is contested.

Step 3:

The police or parking officer enters the infraction committed by the motorist, and a hard copy is printed for the motorist. The data appears perfectly readable, which will greatly reduce the risk of disputes.

Step 4:

The ticket is automatically transmitted to the City’s servers, which feeds the municipal court databases. A methodical audit is maintained by the software and statistics that once took weeks to compile are instantaneously available to the City.

Already tested successfully

It was time that the City of Montreal adopts 21st century technology. The City of Rouyn-Noranda was one of the first in Quebec to provide its parking officers with hand held ticket writers. “I would never like to return to hand writing tickets, I like the hand held computers better, because it’s quicker, more accurate and we do not have any more errors”, explains Paquerette Bolduc, parking officer with City of Rouyn-Noranda. According to Mrs. Bolduc, who has done this work for the last 12 years, this technology allows her t cover a larger territory more quickly to catch illegal parkers. “I cover a greater territory and the work is easier”, she said. All is done automatically, whereas before it was necessary to write in detail the make and model of vehicle, its color, the address of offence, the plate, the time, the infraction.”

In New York, NYPD obtained portable ticket writers back in 2003 in hopes of collecting $2.5 million more in the first year alone. “Our hand held ticket writers drastically reduces handwritten errors that were previously made with a pen”, explains Lieutenant John Gerimpel, spokesperson for the NYPD. “All is much more effective, no more handwriting, bottom line, huge reduction of rejected tickets”. Lieutenant Gerimpel does not believe however that the introduction of the hand held ticket devices translates into more tickets. “We issue tickets according to the infractions, it doesn’t matter what method is used”, he says. If we see an infraction, there will be a ticket issued, no matter the way in which it is written. It is especially the management and follow up of outstanding tickets that becomes more efficient”, adds the spokesman.

“Law enforcement is becoming increasingly reliant on mobile computing solutions to make collecting, tracking and managing data faster, safer, more operationally efficient and cost-effective”, commented Michel Guay, gtechna President and CEO. “gtechna Officer™ Suite has been developed with the input of players in the public safety and parking industries to maximize operational effectiveness and ROI”.

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