Alabama’s Electronic Citation System (eCite)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has honored Alabama by requesting a presentation on the successes of our eCite project at the International Traffic Records Forum in August 2011. The draft of the PPT presentation briefly summarizes the history and the benefits realized to the state. A conservative estimate of the savings from data entry alone is over $500,000 per year. In addition, the increased productivity of law enforcement in writing citations has resulted in at least 600,000 additional citations per year. The effect of this on traffic safety is obvious, e.g., in lowering impact speeds and increasing seatbelt use, both proven life-savers. A conservative estimate of the increased revenue to the State is $6 million for every ten dollars per ticket received.
The eCite system was initially developed by the University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) with the support and direct guidance of the Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts (AOC). Financial support has been provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).
As of April 1, 2011, there were over 3000 individual officers in about 315 agencies within Alabama using eCite. It has been used to issue approximately 2.75 million citations (about 3.25 million if warnings are included). Currently about 90% of the citations issued use eCite as opposed to paper citations.
CAPS developed eCite as a comprehensive electronic citation issuance and processing system. It generates traffic citations:
Quickly, in a matter of a few minutes per citation;
Accurately, satisfying internal completeness and consistency checks;
Securely, maintaining total electronic logging and accountability; and
Legibly, enabling court personnel to greatly increase their efficiency.
Using a conventional laptop, notebook or tablet PC, an officer can issue tickets electronically, print a copy for the violator, and periodically transmit the tickets to an on-line central server repository. At that point the data are in the court system and no additional hand-entering by the district court clerks is required. For a review of all of the benefits of eCite, Click Here.
CAPS has also developed administrative web portals for both officers and clerks to complement the eCite system. These portals enable:
Officers to swear to the citations at court and clerks to accept;
Previously administered tickets to be searched by various parameters, viewed and printed; and
The current status of a given citation to be ascertained, and its case number and file pulled up and evaluated.
For more information on eCite, please see the eCite page of the CAPS website.