The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award
The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety during the prior calendar year by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, government agencies, universities or programs. About Peter K. O'Rourke
2009 Winner: Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Administration Judicial Technology & Automation Committee
As a member of Indiana’s Traffic Records Coordinating Committee, the Judicial Technology & Automation Committee (JTAC) was tasked with developing an electronic traffic ticketing system that would accomplish three primary goals: 1) develop a “uniform traffic ticket” that contained all the necessary data fields; 2) develop a system that could be utilized by all law enforcement agencies in Indiana at no cost; and 3) electronically file tickets into the automated court case management system. The first version of the software, called the electronic Citation and Warning System, or eCWS, has been used by the Indiana State Police since January of 2008. As part of the development effort, an eCWS Central Repository (CR) was also created. The CR can store and print pictures taken by officers at the scene as well as create reports for officers and supervisors. The JTAC also created an interface between the eCWS CR and the JTAC’s statewide case management system, allowing the citations to be sent to and stored at the appropriate courts.
The development of a uniform, electronic ticketing system was needed to enhance the efficiency and consistency of the traffic ticketing process in Indiana. The paper ticket format varied from court to court and county to county. With 92 counties, there was no standardization or uniformity in the traffic ticket format. Frequently, important information was not collected or shared.
To address these challenges, the JTAC, with its partners in the Indiana state highway safety office, worked with officers from multiple state and local law enforcement agencies to design, develop and test the new application. The JTAC also worked closely with key legislators to enact all necessary statutes for the implementation of electronic tickets.
The successful implementation of the electronic ticketing system has remedied many problems associated with traditional paper tickets. Legibility is no longer an issue. Now that all tickets are legible, they are correctly filed with the courts and do not risk getting misfiled or lost. Time is saved, as court staff no longer have to enter this data into their case management system. The time it takes to write a ticket has also been greatly reduced, thereby cutting down the time an officer and motorist must spend at the side of road in a potentially dangerous position. In 2008, 676,540 tickets or warnings were issued with eCWS. This equates to officers saving 6,088,850 minutes, or more than 101,000 hours. Currently, 1,300 Indiana state police officers and 100 local police agencies are using the e-ticket software.
Despite the critical need for data, too often traffic records programs are not given an appropriate level of focus or funding. The Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Administration Judicial Technology and Automation Committee’s implementation of an electronic ticket system is a model for other states considering such an upgrade.
For more information about the JTAC
or for free copies of the eCWS source code,
contact Mary DePrez, Director and Counsel
for Trial Court Technology, at 317-233-9926