The riding posse jostles out of a parking lot or a fuel stop and spills out onto the freeway. The front of the pack has merged onto the freeway as everyone behind must speed up so, we twist open the throttle and try and catch the front of the pack. Everyone is doing the same thing. Some cars are smart enough to let us have our way and some are not. Then you glance down at the speed-o-meter just long enough to see it somewhere north of 70 mph and as the eyes return up to the front you glimpse a red/blue flashing light in the mirror.
Speaking of traffic enforcement… in the state of Oregon, twenty-four hours a day, the Oregon State Police (OSP) issue traffic citations. In fact, OSP issues a citation approximately every 2.6 minutes as they hand write more than 200,000 citations annually. And after a copy is given to the person stopped by the trooper, copies are hand-delivered to the local court and another copy to the respective OSP field office. It doesn’t stop there as transcriptions of a single citation will occur at the field office into the OSP Records Management System and again at the circuit or justice court.
Clearly all this “processing” leads to a considerable number of resources being dedicated to capturing information on the citations for the respective court system along with a certain percentage of transcription errors.
Enter the OSP Mobility + E-Ticketing Program. A program which developed an electronic citation process to more efficiently move a citation from the law enforcement officer’s hand to circuit and justice courts all across the state.
Aren’t we lucky to have such visionaries cheerfully remove our wait burdens during the ticket processing?
The program started back in January 2011 when the OSP began exploring alternatives as part of a series of technology-based projects to transform how OSP troopers work and how the Department conducts daily business. The Mobility + E-Ticketing Program was successfully rolled out earlier this year as 39 circuit courts began moving from the delivery of handwritten citations to electronically receiving citations in “twitter speed” from the scene of the traffic stop.
It’s all about improving efficiency and automating the tedious act of an officer issuing a traffic citation. OSP consulted with the Oregon Justice Department (OJD) and the Chief Justice of Oregon to ensure legal compatibility with all state statutes. And, multiple agencies and vendors worked collaboratively to deliver a fully integrated solution that automated OSP systems and helped the courts. By developing an electronic citation process that could be used by all law enforcement agencies across Oregon just think of the utilization metrics and nifty cost saving stats. With a “we look forward to seeing you frequently” mind-set, E-Ticketing also helped implement the OJD Courts ePay process, allowing offenders to pay citations on-line within 24 hours instead of being involved in a process that could take more than 3 weeks to resolve.
The OSP Mobility +E-Ticketing Program cost approximately $2.5 million including hardware, software, equipment, installations, and other related costs. The state used a federal grant to upgrade technology and installation of in-patrol-car computer systems. The mobile computers give troopers immediate data sharing capabilities with other law enforcement agencies while they are involved in a stop.
So, the next time you twist the throttle, know that the nice folks at the OSP, OJD and Trial Court collaborated to deliver you a citation efficiently with the intent of helping you move along to your destination as quickly as possible – of course within the legal posted speed limits!
Photo courtesy of OSP.