Ohio Highway Patrol Thinks Electronic System is Just the Ticket

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Feb 19, 2015

Ohio state troopers are now giving printouts, instead of hand-scribbled citations, to misbehaving drivers.

The change comes as the State Highway Patrol expands its electronic ticketing system to cut down on errors, make related paperwork easier to read, and reduce the time that officers spend outside during traffic stops.

In the past, troopers wrote drivers’ offense information and license numbers on carbon-copy forms, which were examined and compiled at patrol posts before being hand-delivered to local courts.

Today, they’re equipped with mobile computers that help them import the license data and fill out their citations. Lt. Craig Cvetan, patrol spokesman, told the Associated Press that the technology autocompletes some of the data and generates prompts to help avoid mistakes, such as scheduling a court appearance for a date when offices are closed. Troopers print the letter-size citations in their cars with thermal printers that don’t use ink cartridges, but keep ticket books on hand just in case of any technical glitches.

The system, which piloted in the spring of 2013, is currently used by most Ohio posts, and they want to take it even further by arranging to electronically transmit the citation data to the courts.

The Highway Patrol paid about $736,000 to purchase printers for 1,350 vehicles. According to Cvetan, it incorporated the switch to e-citations while it revamped its crash-and-case program during the past few years. He said his agency constantly evaluates whether technology used elsewhere could help it to improve efficiency.

E-citations are already used by a dozen or more state police and patrol agencies around the nation.


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