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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Coming soon to a traffic stop near you
E-tickets would cut officers' writing time in half
December 26, 2007
By Paige Winfield Staff writer
Ten minutes seems like an eternity when you clench the steering wheel, squint against the flashing red lights in the rear-view mirror and try to forget that a costly ticket is being written in the squad car behind you.
When the officer finishes filling out by hand the dreaded yellow form and hands it through your window, you try to make a mental note to mail in your payment or fit in a visit to the courthouse.
But a new E-ticket is on the way that will expedite and streamline this process.
Public safety agencies in DuPage County and its municipalities are working to make DuPage the first county in Illinois where officers print out tickets from their cars and accept fine payments at the window of drivers' vehicles.
Already in testing
Seven squad cars in the cities of Wheaton and West Chicago are being used to test equipment that responds to officers' voice commands, fills out and prints tickets and immediately transmits ticket information to the county clerk.
Wheaton police officer Eric Paul had only to enter license plate and driver's license numbers into a laptop to kick off the E-ticket writing process, as he demonstrated the technology in a patrol car. By automatically filling out driver information and offering a list of code violations from which officers can choose, the software reduces the time it takes to write a traffic ticket to 4 to 5 minutes.
"It'll cut your time in about half," said Paul, who averages 9 to 10 minutes when he is issuing hand-written tickets.
As the ticket is printing in the squad car, a copy will be transmitted directly to the clerk of the circuit court, where processing can begin immediately. Under the current system, tickets written by municipal officers are taken to the municipality and then must be driven to the county - a process that can take several days.
Because his office is faced with processing 186,000 county, local and state tickets each year, Chris Kachiroubas, clerk of the circuit court, said receiving tickets as they are written will increase efficiency dramatically.
"(Tickets) can be handled by a different person six to eight times through the administration process, and we want to eliminate that," Kachiroubas said. "In the long run it will save money because of time and better re-allocation of resources."
Sharing costs
The county is purchasing the software licensing for almost $2.7 million from Advanced Public Safety - a company that provides applications for public safety agencies. But municipal agencies that choose to participate will be responsible for outfitting their own patrol cars, at a cost of $1,000 to $2,500 per vehicle.
Naperville participated in discussions about the new technology when county and municipal public safety officials began meeting last August. Police Cmdr. Mike Anders said once the department finishes the necessary research, a proposal will be brought before the city's technology committee.
Anders said he wants to make sure the equipment also could be used to send traffic crash reports directly to the state for statistical analysis - a standard IDOT is promoting to improve the accuracy and reliability of crash reports. But he is excited about adding the applications to the four squad cars and possibly the four motorcycles that comprise Naperville's traffic unit.
"It would streamline the data right from the officer's computer right to an in-house computer system, as opposed to a manual entering system," Anders said. "It would probably free up staff for other things."
Benefits for everyone
An enthusiastic proponent of E-tickets, Kachiroubas said they will not only be quicker to process, but also will put breaks on the amount of tickets that must be thrown out because of illegible hand-writing.
And there are safety benefits for officers, who will spend less time parked on the side of the road while issuing tickets.
"There is a safety factor, a time factor, a clarity factor," he said.
DuPage would be the first in Illinois to issue E-tickets countywide. After Florida and Texas, Illinois agencies have the largest deployments of APS technologies.
After E-tickets are implemented, Kachiroubas' second hope is to allow drivers to pay for tickets with a credit card from their car window. But law enforcement agencies still have to gain court and legislative approval before they can start accepting credit card payments in lieu of seizing a driver's license for bond.
"I've wanted to do this ever since I got here, being able to pay for tickets right in the window," Kachiroubas said. "This is the wave of the future."

I guess less time spent in shame as other drivers pass you saying, "you schmuck, you should have paid attention"
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 01:19 PM
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With as many tickets as I get I wonder if thet can keep your credit card on file like e-bay. Better yet why even stop. Link a credit card and cell # to your plate and they can text you "slow down we just took $100 of your money"

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by wingit View Post
Link a credit card and cell # to your plate and they can text you "slow down we just took $100 of your money"

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-27-2007, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by wingit View Post
With as many tickets as I get I wonder if thet can keep your credit card on file like e-bay. Better yet why even stop. Link a credit card and cell # to your plate and they can text you "slow down we just took $100 of your money"
2nd message comes in:

We just took another $75 because you just used a cell phone while driving to read the previous message and this one... so, make it another $150.

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