DATA - Traffic Tickets Issued 2013 to 2017

Ticket WriterOver the past three years I've added data on traffic tickets issued by police: 2016 - MVA & MVAR, 2015 - MVA & MVAR and 2014 - MVA Only. My aim was to cite something accurate when I responded to suggestions that "the police never write tickets for..."

This year when I made my request, ICBC responded with a more comprehensive document that listed charges made by police over the years 2013 to 2017. They are neatly categorized for easy reference.

What might be the most interesting trend in the entire document is the steady decline in charges issued from a high of 540,000 in 2013 to a low of 470,000 in 2017. This is a decline of about 13%.

Should we be concerned about this decline? My suspicion is that drivers have not improved their observance of the traffic laws over these years and that some other factors are responsible. I've asked the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General for a comment on this and will share the response that they provide.

ICBC included the following caveats with the information:

Disclaimer: This report is intended to provide general information only and should not be viewed as an “audited, or otherwise formally validated” report. In addition, this report and all of the information it contains is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied. Any reliance on this report or on any information it contains, is solely at the user's own risk. ICBC disclaims all responsibility for all consequences of any person acting on, or refraining from acting on, this report or any of the information contained in this report. The provision of this report does not indicate or in any way imply ICBC's support, authorization or endorsement of any use which the user may make of it or of any information contained in it.

Data Settling: Numbers will continue to change, especially for the most recent time periods, because of late reporting, and corrections and adjustments. Counts over 100 have been rounded; subtotal/total may not match offences types/yearly totals due to rounding. Counts less than five have been rounded up to five ("<5"). This may differ from other reports.

Comments

Government Response

Here is what my inquiry with the provincial government produced by way of an explanation:

The provincial government provides overall direction respecting police services in the province and ensures there are adequate and effective levels of policing. However, it is the responsibility of the RCMP and municipal police boards to ensure their public safety areas are adequately resourced.

Questions around traffic enforcement in a given municipality should be directed to the police department and/or Police Board.

A decline in traffic tickets may be affected by a number of factors other than, or in addition to enforcement levels – i.e. targeted enforcement and/or shifts in enforcement focus can also contribute to lower Violation Ticket numbers.

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