4 Reasons Agencies are Taking Traffic Tickets Digital
With the help of smart eCitation solutions, agencies are making traffic stops faster and safer for both LEOs and the public.
Electronic citation or ticketing, commonly known as e Citation, is an automated way of creating and issuing citations to offenders. Officers electronically capture driver’s license (DL) information by scanning the DL barcode and capture vehicle information by scanning the VIN or running the license plate from a handheld ticket writer or mobile device. That citation then can be printed for the motorist and sent digitally to the prosecutor or court.
e-Ticket solutions automate the entire process for issuing electronic tickets for traffic, parking, permit or other types of infractions, eliminating costly errors and cumbersome paperwork.
Here are 4 reasons agencies have retired their paper ticket books:
- eCitations save time for patrol officers and records staff: Citations allow officers to spend less time on paperwork and more time protecting the community. Paper tickets take an officer 10 to 15 minutes on average to manually issue a citation. E-Tickets, on the other hand, can be issued in as little as 20 seconds with zero data entry required by officers.
Ticket processing time is also significantly reduced with eCitations. With paper tickets, the same information has to be manually entered by the PD or Sheriff’s office, the prosecutor, and the courts. It could take two weeks for the information from a handwritten ticket to get to the courts and be officially entered into the system.
With eCitation, the ticket information is digitally sent to the prosecutor and/or court automatically when the ticket is issued. For agencies with online ticket payment, offenders can easily look up and pay their tickets online within minutes, not weeks.
- eCitation improves Officer and public safety: During traffic stops officers are in constant danger of being struck by vehicles, as are any occupants of the stopped vehicle. (Traffic-related fatalities accounted for nearly 20% of officer deaths in 2020.) On average, officers can cut the time spent on the side of the road in ½ by using e-citation. This is safer for officers and motorists.
With eCitation solutions like GISMO, features like built-in NCIC lookup take officer safety a step further by providing proactive alerts for stolen vehicles or active warrants.
- eCitation reduces ticket errors: E-citation helps to eliminate errors that often occur in handwritten paper tickets like illegible writing, incomplete information, and violation codes and descriptions not being written down correctly. Errors like these cause 10% to 15% of all handwritten tickets to be dismissed.
Data captured digitally for eCitations is of uniform type and is easy to read. The data is captured once – at the time the ticket is being issued – and automatically synced with prosecutors and courts. This eliminates the data input errors that can happen during data entry across multiple systems, which can lead to tickets being dismissed.
Scanning driver’s licenses to issue the e-Ticket also reduces the possibility of the driver’s name or license being improperly recorded, which can result in the citation being thrown out.
- eCitation saves agencies money: Multiple studies have shown that due to increased revenue and fewer administrative costs, eCitation solutions are a rapid return on investment. For example, an e-citation system can save $560,000 in revenue for a city that issues 60,000 citations per year. Assuming that 20 patrol officers issue five traffic citations per day, e-citation can save over 3000 hours of patrol time per year, potentially reducing overtime expenditures and allowing officers to spend more time engaging with the community.
For agencies looking to offset the initial cost of moving to an eCitation solution, many collaborate with their city or county prosecutor to share the upfront cost. Highway safety commission grants and similar grants are often available for agencies to pursue, as well.
Looking for eCitation solutions for your patrol division?
Visit 365™ Traffic Solutions to learn more about 365Labs & GISMO e-Citation.