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Behind-the-Wheel

How many traffic tickets did police write in B.C.?

Tracking traffic tickets

In the past, if you were curious to find out about the traffic tickets issued by B.C. law enforcement officers, you could either read a PDF document published by ICBC or make a request for specific information from their stored data.

The trouble was, sometimes those information requests took a significant period of time to fill and you had to know how to manipulate the information once you had received it.

ICBC now publishes a data set for traffic tickets written by police and other law enforcement agencies in B.C. using Tableau Public. This free platform allows you to create visualizations of the data yourself or use a collection of parameters and filters to sort and narrow the search in order to find only what you need or are curious about.

Your visit to the data starts on the Contraventions Into Page. A collection of choices, in the form of links in grey rectangles, appears across the top of the page along with the terms of the open data licence.

The logical place to start is at the far right with the explanation of how to use the interface.

If you want to jump right in instead, click on the Contraventions Data Set. You will be presented with complete data for the full year preceding the current one. Data for the current year appears to end about six months prior to the time of your visit.

There are 14 segments available:

1 Commercial Vehicles

2 Cyclists

3 Driving Without Due Care

4 Electronic Device Use

5 Flight From Police

6 Graduated Licensing Program (GLP)

7 Impaired Driving

8 Intersections

9 Motorcyclists

10 Occupant Restraints

11 Other Criminal Code

12 Other Motor Vehicle Act

13 Other Motor Vehicle Act Regulations

14 Speeding

Clicking on one of these segment links will show the total of related contraventions for that year.

In the blue rectangles for each year, there is a link that will present all categories along with a dozen filters in a column on the right side of the page. Picking and applying filters to the data removes everything that you do not want to see.

There is the odd error to be found in the data as 2020 saw a contravention by a pedestrian in Kelowna for speed against a highway sign.

Once you have isolated the data, icons in the upper right of the page allow you to download or share it with others. E-mail, Twitter and Facebook options may be chosen.

Traffic camera charges are listed elsewhere. There is a summary page that lists totals for the program and a data catalogue that allows you to download camera statistics by location in a spreadsheet file.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



More Behind the Wheel articles

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

To comment, please email

To learn more, visit DriveSmartBC



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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