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Ottawa police handing tickets to ‘Freedom Convoy’ participants in downtown area

According to the Ottawa Police Service, officers are now starting to hand out tickets and lay charges in the city’s downtown area related to the ongoing trucker protests.

The tickets came after several days of criticism that noise bylaws and rules of the road were not being upheld in the wake of the protests. 

The OPS gave out 30 traffic tickets while patrolling several neighborhoods on Wednesday, including Centretown, Sandy Hill, Glebe, and the ByWard Market/Lowertown. All those areas are ones surrounding the convoy’s route on Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill.

The tickets handed out were as follows: eight charges for unnecessary noise (horn honking); six speeding tickets; five document offenses; four charges of disobeying traffic signs; two charges for proceeding the wrong way on a one-way street; one charge for the transport of dangerous goods (insecure fuel cars); one charge for an unsafe lane change; one charge for driving distracted; one charge for running a stop sign; and one charge for an improper muffler.

Ottawa police added that one driver had been charged with driving while criminally prohibited, and the vehicle was impounded for 45 days. But a police spokesperson could not readily say what kind of vehicle was involved when questioned on Thursday morning.

The penalties mark a deviation from the enforcement approach of police to date, which had seen officers avoiding cracking down on traffic violations.

“Police have avoided ticketing and towing vehicles so as to not instigate confrontations with demonstrators,” OPS said in a Sunday statement. That approach received backlash from several residents and city officials who requested more direct action from police. 

Some have reported harassment in confrontations with the protestors involved in the convoy. Ottawa police, as of Thursday, have charged four people criminally in connection with their participation in the demonstration.

Police also released on Wednesday evening a photo of a suspect they’re trying to identify who allegedly is involved with investigations into the desecration of the National War Memorial.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE STAR

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