Thursday, July 28, 2011

First e-tickets rolling out

On Wednesday, something pretty neat happened in the world of traffic tickets here at KCPD: we issued our first E-ticket. At 7:44 a.m. July 26, a woman was issued an e-ticket for going 65 mph in a 45 mph zone on 71 Highway near Truman Road. While she likely wasn’t very excited about the ticket, it was a big day for us.

We’ve been working toward e-ticketing for some time now. I first told you about it in February. This eliminates triplicate-paper citations and automatically transfers citation information to Municipal Court. The whole system is scheduled to go live Aug. 29. When it does, violators should be able to pay their fines online within 24 hours of getting their citation. This will clear up a lot of paperwork between the Police Department and Municipal Court and really streamline the process.

We’re in a one-week test period of the e-ticketing system now. Four traffic enforcement officers were selected to try out the hand-held devices that print receipt-like tickets for violators. In a 24-hour period from Tuesday to Wednesday, July 26 to 27, they’d issued 68 e-tickets. We’re using this week to identify any bugs with the system and test the officers’ learning curve. When they first started, the test officers took about 12 minutes to issue an e-ticket. But amazingly, within 24 hours they’d already returned to close to their normal traffic-stop time of about 5 minutes.

We’re planning a “soft rollout” of the e-ticketing equipment the week of Aug. 22. All patrol officers should have the devices by then and get hands-on experience using them. We’ll also make sure information is being properly transmitted to the court.

Then on Aug. 29, Kansas City drivers disobeying the law can count on getting a new-fangled e-ticket and a much more convenient process to pay their fines.

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