The Oregon Department of Transportation's Governor's Office of Highway Safety (ODOT) was established in 1969 to provide a safe, efficient transportation system that supports economic opportunity and livable communities for Oregonians. As part of its mission, ODOT is constantly researching innovative technology and the latest trends in transportation to help the organisation continue to keep the roads safe for all citizens.
That's how ODOT discovered the APS PocketCitation™ software, an innovative electronic citation system from Advanced Public Safety (APS), designed to automate and streamline the process of issuing traffic tickets.
Based in Deerfield Beach, Fla., APS develops innovative technology solutions specifically designed to address the challenges of today's public safety agencies. It focuses on creating software that operates in conjunction with the mobile computers and handheld devices utilized by law enforcement, corrections, fire and EMS personnel. APS products work with an agency's existing technology infrastructure to significantly increase officer safety and productivity.
Previously, traffic citations were manually issued by the officer, who was required to write out a multi-part form. There were four coloured copies of each citation, with a copy given to each party involved—the officer, violator, court and department of motor vehicles. Although each entity had the same information, the police department, court and motor vehicle bureau had to re-enter the data into their own computer systems before it went on the driver's record.
"This process was redundant and time consuming," said Steve Vitolo, programme manager of Statewide Law Enforcement and Judicial Programmes, Oregon Governor's Office of Highway Safety.
Problems also occur when the driver can't read the officer's handwriting on the ticket. If the defendant cannot read the court date because the print is faded or not easily read, the defendant will fail to attend on the proper court date. The need to write slowly and press hard also increased the time it took for the officer to write each citation.
In addition, there were issues related to officers recording the wrong court date. Police officers—who work from their vehicles—didn't always have a calendar at their disposal and sometimes wrote court dates on holidays when the court was closed. This would automatically result in a dismissal due to officer error.