The Idaho State Police (ISP) boasted Thursday in an e-mail message to the media that thanks stimulus funds, officers could cut the time it takes to ticket an offending driver by 80 percent. ISP announced that on July 1 it is switching to a new e-ticketing program, which agency officials believe will save time for officers and court clerks.
ISP Capt. Eric Dayley explained how the system will work for drivers and officers. "If a trooper decides to issue a citation to a driver, the driver's license information and the vehicle's registration information will be scanned into the e-ticketing software using handheld barcode scanners. The trooper will then be able to select from dropdown lists, violation codes and location identifiers. The citation will then be printed out on a four-inch printer similar to printers used in department stores," said Dayley. Drivers who receive tickets from ISP officers will no longer need to sign the citations.
Last year, ISP received $900,000 from President Barack Obama's stimulus, which the department used to purchase the new system for patrol cars. Dayley said that e-ticket will allow officers to spend less time pulled over on the sides of Idaho's highways, which can sometimes be dangerous due to inattentive drivers. "The entire process of completing citations will go from a five minute process to one that takes less than a minute. This will result in reduced time on the side of the highway for our troopers and the public, which is safer for both," Dayley said. He also touted the new system as a way to ensure accuracy in recording tickets for county clerks. "The court clerks will no longer have to decipher officers' handwriting or citations where the copy did not come through clearly," Dayley added. ISP says that the accuracy of the data on tickets is expected to rise by at least 10 percent.
ISP Lt. Ismael Gonzales told IdahoReporter.com that the various components of the e-ticketing system - computers, scanners, software, mounting brackets, and more - came from different vendors to maximize purchasing power for the department. He said that the stimulus money covered all the costs associated with the implementation of the new program, including installation of electronic technology in troopers' cars. The new system has also received some light testing, Gonzales said, and will be tested live by a few ISP officers before all troopers begin using it in July.