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2010-10-21 digital edition

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2010-10-21 / General Stories

Texas Courts Now Receiving DPS Traffic Citations Electronically

The Texas Department of Public Safety is now making available all of its traffic citation information to Texas courts and precincts electronically, as well as on paper. In the past, the courts received ticket information from Texas Highway Patrol citations either by mail or they were delivered by the trooper who wrote the tickets, and then they had to manually enter that information into their computer system.

“We are pleased to be able use the capabilities of our in-car computer systems to provide a valuable service to our court partners,” said Mark Doggett, DPS Assistant Director for Information Technology. “We know that this will enable the courts and DPS to save money and time, and help us all to be more efficient.”

Receiving the citations electronically will allow participating courts to have next-day access to tickets written the day before, and the courts will have access to ticket and vehicle inspection citations for the previous seven days. Courts will be able to search for citations issued in specific counties or precincts and by trooper.

Making the citation information available electronically will eliminate the need for administrative court personnel to manually enter the citation information. Courts also will be able to archive citations for research purposes.

The two Hopkins County Justice of the Peace courts began using the system in mid-July, and the four JP courts in Midland County started using the system in early September 2010.

Charles Hall of the Midland County court system estimates that, by using the new system, each of the courts in his county has saved about 20 hours per week in personnel time. “The upside is that the information is transferred straight from the ticket, cutting down on clerical errors and data entry time,” he said.

Texas courts currently using the electronic downloads include justices of the peace in Chambers County, Dickens County and Matagorda County. Orange County and Red River County courts are scheduled to begin installation of the software this week, and Navarro County courts are currently in beta testing for the system and should be operational by the end of the year.

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