Printing Traffic Tickets
You know they are truly automating everything when policemen have portable printers and scanners in their patrol cars. No more of these handwritten tickets with possible spelling errors in a person's name. It will be faster and much more convenient. No doubt the police officers will love the idea because it does save them time from having to handwrite a ticket.
One of the first cities to begin implementing this new practice is Twin Falls, Idaho. They plan to have all their patrol cars equipped within one year. From Twin Falls, the state plans to equip patrol cars in Boise, Coeur d'Alene, and then branch out to the rest of Idaho. They also plan to equip motorcycle officers.
It is estimated that it currently takes a police officer 10-15 minutes to write a ticket (it can seem like much longer than that!) With this new system, it should reduce the wait time for a ticket to only five minutes. This new technology is also expected to alleviate errors in the court system caused by name misspellings and/or misreading of numerical data. With a scanner now available in the patrol car, the officer can scan a person's driver's license or other ID and have the information automatically input into the system. In Idaho, after the events of September 11, 2001, barcodes containing information about the driver are actually in place on the license.
The way the system currently works is that, while the officer is handwriting the ticket, a carbon copy is also being made - for you. The carbon copy is often harder to read than the original. Clerks later take the ticket and enter the information from it into their system, which goes into the court's public information database.
In Twin Falls, it is estimated that their city police officers write about 6,000 tickets per year. It is a fairly costly system to implement, but they feel it is worth it. They will implement the system across the state as they have the funds to do so.
The officers are going to want to ensure this high-tech system never runs out of ink and that the ink they use will be of superior quality to ensure a clean print-out with all the pertinent information intact. Several portable printers are available that would be up to the task. The Idaho State Police are certain to have chosen the best model for their particular needs.
High-tech traffic tickets can do a couple of other things: 1) This new technology should have officers along the dangerous sides of a road for less time, hopefully reducing the possible of any accidents; and 2) The state police can write more tickets because they will be much quicker and more efficient with this new system. The state police believe the best way to change driver behavior is to write more tickets. This new high-tech system should be a solution to that.
This new technology just shows one more advantage to having access to a printer. Society is showing all kinds of ways that a printer can be of benefit. Keeping it maintained and full of ink cartridges is going to be critical to an officer's consistent use of the system.