Every year, thousands of traffic citations are dismissed in court due to the fact that officers’ penmanship in the field isn’t perfect and the tickets cannot be deciphered by judges. What’s more, many tickets are never filed in time due to the massive amounts of paperwork which sometime stack up on officers’ desks. To help alleviate these problems and streamline the whole process of issuing traffic tickets, one of the cities with the worst drivers in the nation is switching to new e-Citations which will automatically generate and print tickets straight from officers’ patrol cars.
The e-Citation system is going live in Miami-Dade county starting immediately. The system generates e-Citations using police databases of drivers’ information, beginning as soon as officers run a driver’s plates. Miami-Dade police Sgt. George Wilhelm says the system will save officers time and ensure that the majority of tickets will be enforced:
We’re reducing the amount of errors, rejections, or tickets going to court, and they’re being dismissed because there was an error on it by the officer. It also makes it easier for the violator to read their citation, because now it’s printed. It’s clear. It’s legible. I can get the stop done, get back on the road and go fight crime.
The Miami-Dade police department has been preparing for the switch to e-citations for sometime. Officers were instructed last year to cut back on the number of tickets issued in order to save pages in their standard issue Florida Uniform Citation books until the new system is up and running sometime in January 2018.
Miami’s shift to e-Citations brings up some interesting possibilities. Given how rapidly autonomous vehicles are appearing on public roads, will we ever see a day when autonomous traffic police robots could pull over vehicles and issue citations on their own? Of course, it’s probable that autonomous vehicles will eventually make traffic citations obsolete. Just like long-distance truck drivers, traffic cops might someday soon be a thing of the past.