North Carolina first to issue e-tickets
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Mar 20, 2000
Motorists stopped for traffic violations in Cumberland County, N.C., are
the first in the nation to have their citations issued on a system that
lets officers print out a ticket on-site, while simultaneously sending a
copy via radio waves to the court's computer system.
The electronic citation project, a public/private partnership involving
six law enforcement agencies and three vendors, went live on March 8. It
is the first system in the country that uses wireless technology to send
copies of tickets to the court computer system, eliminating the need for
labor-intensive, redundant data entry, said First Sgt. Jeff Winstead of
the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
The e-Citation process begins when officers issue a citation on their
laptop and print out a hard copy on a small printer in their patrol car.
A soft copy of the ticket is then sent to the state's Criminal Justice Information
Network, where judges and court clerks can access it.
"There are multiple handwritten copies that are [traditionally] handled
by the trooper, the court clerk, the DMV and for auditing purposes, so there's
a constant handling of that data," Winstead said. "The mobile data terminals
are already in use and so is the Criminal Justice Information Network. We're
enhancing that particular system, which frees up the officers from the mundane
filing types of tasks and puts them in the field longer."
The project cost $500,000 and was funded by the Governor's Highway Safety
Program. A total of 32 officers from the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department,
the Fayetteville Police Department and the State Highway Patrol will participate
in a 90-day pilot. Then the state's Administrative Office of the Courts
will evaluate the data and begin plans to expand the program on a county-by-county
basis, Winstead said. "We'll find the gremlins in the pilot and work them
out," he said.