Don't be surprised if the next time you are stopped for a traffic violation in Lubbock you get your picture taken. A new piece of technology has been in the hands of officers for about a week now and it brings ticket writing into the digital age.
But officers say this device does much more than just issue you a citation. "It's changed everything as far as tickets are handled, but it's changed nothing as well," Cpl. Jason Lewis said.
Lews says, when it comes to issuing a citation, his job is pretty much the same. It takes about the same amount of time and he still writes about the same number of tickets, but instead of a pen he now uses a stylus. "I can take a drivers license and scan a drivers license, and what that does is pulls up all on the computer so that I don't have to hand write everything. I can plug this in. I just dock it, and what it wirelessly does is it downloads all this information to Municipal Court straight into the Municipal Court computers. The big difference is that there is no more paper with Municipal Court," Lewis said.
But there are other changes - like a scanner, "I can read the registration on the vehicle and that pulls all the information on this computer for me," Lewis said.
The new technology also has a built in camera. "If there's an identity situation where someone says, that wasn't me that was my sister or whatever the case may be, and what we can do is pull a copy of the citation and say it looks like you or it doesn't look like you and that will clear all that up for us." Lewis adds.
Once the officer gets all the needed information and you sign the screen, your copy is printed from inside the officer's saddle bag. "The citation is going to be about this size, and it's going to print all their information on here and it's going to have their signature. And at the very top it's going to explain Municipals Courts' address and phone number just like the paper tickets did. It is no different from a citation. Just by signing your name it's not saying that you are guilty. It's saying that you are going to call or by within 12, it's just saying you will contact Municipal Court," Lewis said.
Each hand-held device cost about $5,000, and it also tracks statistics such as race and gender. Municipal Court Judge Robert Doty researched the technology. He says it is more efficient because the ticket information no longer has to be to manually input into the system which will save time and decrease the potential for human error.
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