Tulsa's E-Ticket Program Easier On Police, Harder On Courts

Tuesday, August 31st 2010, 6:19 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6 

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- There's ticket trouble at Tulsa's City Hall, where prosecutors and the courts are buried under what's supposed to be paperless traffic tickets.

The little gadget has helped the police department issue more traffic tickets, but it's creating a paperwork problem for the courts.

The Tulsa Police Department has 25 E-ticket machines and for officers - it's a big help.

"For the police department this has been a big improvement for us because it increases the efficiency and accuracy of the ticket writing process," said Captain Jonathon Brooks, Tulsa Police Department.

It was the Tulsa City Council that helped push E-tickets as a way to increase revenue for the city. And the police department has welcomed the new technology.

3/31/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Police Begin Issuing E-Tickets Wednesday

E-tickets are easier and faster for the police, and safer for drivers, because they're stopped on the road a shorter time.

And more people pay E-tickets: 56% versus only 34% of paper tickets.

The disadvantages are that they're more difficult for prosecutors to handle and actually create more paperwork for the courts. That's because the E-tickets for now are incompatible with the paper based court records."Because we don't have a system to electronically transmit those, they are getting printed off, they are getting hand cut down to size, scanned, just like the paper tickets and going through the same process and that too has created a bottleneck," said Jim Twombly, Director of Administration.

The council wants that bottleneck opened up but was told it would take more people and more technology.

The prosecutor's office is down two employees and the courts are working on new gadgets to make e-tickets work on their end.

The city hopes to have some of the technology gap bridged within 30 days. They're waiting to buy more of the E-ticket machines until they're sure they can make it all work.