California Highway Patrol is well-known throughout the state for responding to crashes and aiding victims of vehicular accidents. However, many Californians are familiar with CHP for an entirely different reason- they recently received a traffic ticket for violating one of many state driving laws. CHP not only works to assist citizens after tragedy strikes, but it strives to take preventative measures to alleviate and reduce accidents and injury. By enforcing speed limits and arresting drunk drivers, CHP is doing its part to keep California’s roadways as safe as possible.
For those familiar with the process involved in receiving a speeding citation, motorists are typically left with a paper leaflet describing the nature of the offense, the time and general location of the traffic stop. Offenders are required to mail the ticket to the proper authorities along with a large payment amount if they do not wish to contest the charge. CHP is in the midst of changing the current process to include e-ticketing- a new technology that eliminates the paper trail and streamlines the citation process.
E-ticketing is slated for implementation across the state over the next few years. The concept is being tried on the small scale and will be introduced in three court jurisdictions beginning September 30. One will be in Santa Clara county, another in San Bernadino and a third in Orange County. CHP is hopeful that citation information will make it to the courthouse within a two-day window as opposed to the weeks-long process currently in place.
The new technology, which is already in place in many jurisdictions across the U.S., would use thumb-print technology, electronic signatures and a magnetic stripe reader. The technology is provided with the help of a $2.4 million grant awarded by California’s Office of Traffic Safety. The current ticketing system has not been updated in 25 years. If the state decides to implement the program in all 58 counties, the total cost could top $22 million.