Montreal’s widely loathed quota system for traffic tickets is over, says Mayor Valerie Plante, as are lucrative performance bonuses for bosses that were tied to lower-level cops reaching the targets.
Drivers aren’t getting off easy, however, because the city’s new budget estimates Montreal will collect roughly $12 million more in revenues from traffic and parking violations this year than in 2017.
The union representing police officers, known as the Brotherhood, had been calling for an end to the quotas for years.
But past mayors had officially denied any system existed, and it remained the subject of rumour among frustrated motorists who suspected police were trapping drivers primarily to collect revenue for City Hall.
After winning office last November, Montreal’s new government confirmed the system was very real indeed.
Nathalie Goulet, the city councillor responsible for public security,in a recent interview said, “The police directors, in order to get bonuses, the cops under them had to reach a certain number of tickets.The bonuses used to be as high as eight per cent of a director’s annual salary.”
Goulet said her party was able to quickly abolish the quota system because it had strong support from the new, interim police chief, Martin Prud’homme, who is on a one-year leave from the provincial police to help clean up Montreal’s force.
The provincial government suspended former chief Philippe Pichet in December after a series of scandals shook the public’s confidence in the city police.
Montreal lawyer Avi Levy, who runs Ticket 911, a company dedicated to representing people charged with driving violations, said the end of the quota system will likely mean police officers have more discretion regarding whether to give a ticket.