Winnipeg's police chief confirmed to CBC News that officers are being asked to write one ticket, per car, per shift.

It's the first time Keith McCaskill has admitted to the ticket goal, but he stops short of calling it a quota.

He calls it simply an "ask" that officers do that on top of their duties. But he says if they can't get around to it, that's OK, too.

Traffic safety is a priority for officers and it's not uncommon for officers to be asked to perform other duties, he said.

"We expect them to do traffic enforcement and check vehicles throughout and we've asked for one ticket a day for one unit," he said.

"Now, that doesn't mean to say they have to, that's an ask. And if in fact they're tied up on other things, they don't have to do it."

The increased enforcement is for safety, not for budgetary reasons, McCaskill added.

The police have been under fire lately for handing out frivilous tickets.

Len Eastoe, a former police officer who now fights traffic tickets, said he's seen a number of petty come across his desk, including one for not having enough washer fluid or for improperly-attached battery cables.

On March 2, Laszlo Piszker and his wife, Margaret, were pulled over by two city police officers in the 2500 block of Portage Avenue.

Piszker, 74, was handed a $199.80 ticket for talking on a cellphone while driving, even though he doesn't own a cellphone.

Immediately after getting the ticket, the couple went to a nearby police station to complain. Piszker said the officer there laughed and suggested the ticket was likely issued to fill a quota.

The Winnipeg Police Service disputed Piszker's version of events in a news release issued late Tuesday.