MERIDIAN, Idaho -- Faster, easier, and safer: Idaho State Police say writing tickets will be all of those things starting this week when they begin issueing electronic citations or tickets. "E-ticketing" systems will be in all state police cars starting July 1st.
Drivers will notice a few differences: To start with, your ticket will look different, more like a receipt, but the biggest difference for drivers and troopers alike is the time saved on the side of the road.
When Idaho State Trooper Shane Langton makes a routine stop, he says he and the driver are on the side of the road for five to ten minutes. A lot of that time is spent just calling into dispatch for information, looking up records, and handwriting a ticket.
Now that's about to change with the new electronic ticketing systems in every State Police car.
"Right now, the paper and pen citation takes about five minutes to fill out. This electronic citation takes around a minute, maybe a little less, maybe a little more, but around a minute to fill out," Captain Eric Dayley said.
The new system allows troopers to quickly scan a driver's license and registration and get the car and driver's information read outloud. Then, if the trooper chooses to give the driver a ticket, it's a simple, printed copy.
Dayley says that printed copy itself is a benefit as it's easier to read and cheaper.
"The citations we issue right now cost about 21 cents a ticket. There are five copies to NCR paper. This one, it costs about six cents per printed copy of the citation. So if we're printing two copies, one for the citizen, one for the court, that's 12 cents, so it's about half what we do now," Dayley said.
Eventually, the courts will get an electronic copy, so it will be even cheaper still. Perhaps the biggest advantage: Dayley says troopers and drivers will be stopped on the side of the road for less time.
"I think every officer's probably had a close call where they've had to move out of the way or even dive out of the way, and we've had plenty of cars that've been hit," Langton said. With less time spent on a stop, Langton says it's less likely someone will get hit.
ISP says other benefits will be more accuracy in filing tickets, less time spent entering ticket information, and with that, perhaps better trooper response time on the highways.
KTVB asked Dayley if ISP would be issuing more tickets since they can write them faster. He said that is a possibility, but that is not the goal of the new system.
This isn't a brand new system. Some Idaho counties have been using e-Ticketing for a while. The ISP program is the very same system Ada County already uses.
The new system cost Idaho State Police $900,000, but that cost was covered by a Federal Recovery Act grant. Dayley says they are on track to start issuing the electronic citations July 1st.