Washington State police are testing an electronic ticketing system that allows troopers to file citations and collision reports without picking up a pen, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Advocates say the system will cut paperwork costs and operate faster. “Different departments will look at the results and see whether this is a system they’d want to adopt,” State Patrol Sgt. Monica Hunter said. “It could be wonderful for us.”
To file a traffic citation, an officer uses a barcode reader to scan an errant driver’s license and vehicle registration. The officer types in the violation information, prints a statement for the driver and files the ticket wirelessly to the appropriate court. Collision reports can be filed in a similar manner, except that an officer can create a diagram of a crash using a cruiser-mounted computer. The system could eliminate the need to duplicate paperwork for the 160,000 collision reports and more than 1 million traffic tickets issued annually in the state. The system is a small piece of a $7.9 million state initiative to streamline the traffic court system.