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Coalition expects more states to introduce electronic citation bills in legislative sessions this year
CHICAGO Jan. 10, 2017 State legislatures across the country are increasingly interested in supporting the use of electronic citation technology to enhance public and officer safety, reduce government costs, and improve public convenience.
Electronic citations (or "e-citations") are printed, rather than hand written, and are estimated to reduce the average time of a traffic stop by as much as 50 percent.
"Being struck by a vehicle during a traffic stop is a leading cause of death for law enforcement officers across the nation," noted Maggi Duncan, executive director of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. "Electronic citation not only reduces an officer's risk, it improves his or her control of the stop. It enables officers to spend less time on the side of the road and more time on patrol."
In addition to improving officer safety, electronic citation technology allows law enforcement and courts to reduce data entry errors and processing costs, as the citations can be sent electronically by officers into court document management systems. This allows personnel to be redeployed into assignments of higher value to public.
Understanding both the many benefits of electronic citation and the challenges associated with funding its acquisition, the Illinois Legislature passed a law in 2010 that assists local courts and law enforcement agencies with funding e-citation procurement and maintenance. This law set the precedent for other states to take similar action in recent years, including, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming.
"Safety isn't a partisan issue," noted eCitation Coalition Executive Director Steve Rauschenberger. "We have seen red, blue and purple states all pass laws to advance e-citation deployment."
Rauschenberger added that the eCitation Coalition has been in contact with organizations in nearly every state, and expects to see more legislation introduced in 2017.
"I think the biggest benefit is for the public and the officers who serve them," said Rauschenberger. "No one wants to be pulled over for any longer than they have to, and families share the same dangers as officers when they're stopped next to moving traffic. Electronic citation technology reduces the time on the side of the road for both officers and the public and, therefore, works to increase the safety of both."
For more information on the eCitation Coalition, including state legislation and model policies, visit www.ecitationcoalition.com.
About the eCitation Coalition
The eCitation Coalition represents the full spectrum of companies involved in providing innovative electronic citation systems to state and local law enforcement and court systems. Members include value-added resellers and independent software vendors, as well as hardware manufacturers and distributors. The mission of the eCitation Coalition is to educate policymakers, law enforcement, judicial officials, the public and the media on the multiple benefits of this exciting technology. For more information, visit www.ecitationcoalition.com.