TRANSPORT QUEBEC PARTNERS WITH PHOTO RADAR SYSTEM MANUFACTURES

4 Apr 2009

Montreal, April 19, 2009. gtechna has partnered with Transport Quebec and CGI for the realization of this highly anticipated traffic and road safety endeavor. As a leader among manufacturers of Mobile Computing Solutions in the Traffic Enforcement Industry for over 15 years, gtechna’s technological expertise has been utilized to produce an impressive software solution to enhance Photo Radar technology. gtechna’s solution allows officers to capture images using state-of-the-art cameras, which can then be used immediately to generate infraction reports. Both vehicle and owner information is readily available from the police database network which can then be processed in courts.

Photo radar devices will be deployed in 15 locations across Quebec as of May 19 in a pilot project that could lead to the installation of hundreds of the cameras across the province. These cameras will be used to ticket speeders and those who run red lights. Traffic accidents killed 608 Quebecers in 2007. If Quebec had the same traffic-fatality rate as countries with photo radar like Sweden, Holland or Britain, that number could drop to as low as 331 a year, transport officials said. Speeding is a factor in 38 per cent of road fatalities in the province.

France estimates 9,800 lives were saved over the five-year period between 2002 and 2007 thanks to its road safety campaign. It attributed 75 per cent of that improvement to photo radar. In Montreal, three systems to monitor red lights and three to monitor speeding will be set up at intersections and roadways notorious for high accident rates. They include stretches of highway that have become dangerous due to high speed and dense traffic leading to elevated incidents of collision. Additionally, other areas will be targeted where motorists have tended to run red lights causing accidents. Street signs will clearly indicate their locations.

gtechna’s expertise in law enforcement, ability to meet strict guidelines and time constraints coupled with close collaboration has allowed it to meet the specific requirements of Traffic and Parking Enforcement unique to the Montreal Police (SPVM). Since its implementation eticketing has reduced errors in ticket issuance by 75 per cent and we can expect similarly impressive numbers for Photo Radar. Rough estimates by Transport Quebec suggest each device will produce 400 tickets a month.

The Photo Radar project is a first for the province of Quebec and therefore sets a major precedent in Traffic and Road Safety in the province and in the country. gtechna has already made a name for itself in the Traffic and Parking Enforcement industry with its highly successful electronic ticketing solution for the Montreal Police and Parking Enforcement agencies. With gtechna’s proven track record, it only made sense that it be selected to be a part of this groundbreaking project with these manufacturers.

Officer™ Photo Radar implements a hybridized version of the existing eticketing application Officer™, with new Photo Radar technology. The same ease-of-use and efficiency that has made the SPVM eticketing project such a success is now applied to Photo Radar, making it a tough act to follow for competitors.

How it works

The camera system detects and records the infraction, whether it is a speeding or red light violation. Four pictures are immediately taken, two in the front and two in the back of the vehicle in infraction. Using a batch process, the camera then uploads the information to a file server.

Twice a day, the pictures are uploaded to the server where it is processed by Officer™ Command Center, gtechna’s back-end ticket management system. Using Officer™ Photo Radar, Officer™ Command Center retrieves the photo radar infraction list and processes the infraction one by one.

At a central command post, officers review the photo to either except, reject or verify the ticket and make modifications as needed to protect the privacy of motorists not in violation. The officer records the license plate number of the vehicle in infraction in order to retrieve vehicle information. Using a police network database, information on the vehicle owner can then be obtained in order to auto-populate the remaining fields. The software is able to manage multi-level clearance of the ticket, track and update its status from the moment it was issued until it is ready to be sent to court.

In order to ensure the highest level of security officers have to digitally sign every Photo Radar infraction in PDF format. In the final step, Officer™ Command Center processes and exports all completed PDFs from that shift to the Justice Department which produces the ticket and sends it to the owner.

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