How Washington, DC Lost $4 Million in Ticket Revenue

E-citation systems can reduce errors by minimizing the need for data entry.

Because of ticketing errors, illegible writing and other processing snafus, Washington, DC, voided some 31,602 parking tickets and traffic citations in 2010, resulting in more than $4.1 million in lost revenue.

As the Examiner reports,

“City investigators blamed the deficiencies on improper training programs and poor communication between the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, which collects fines from tickets and handles appeals, and the agencies that issue the citations.

It's part of their job not to just paper cars all over the city, but to do it correctly," said [Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary] Cheh, who added that she wants to explore whether District agencies consider individual employees' ticket dismissal rates as a part of their regular evaluations. "I don't want to be back here in a year and see another $4 million down the drain."

Perhaps the district should consider an e-citation system, which typically includes software, a rugged mobile device, a barcode reader and a mobile printer for issuing tickets. Such technology eliminates the need for data entry, reduces errors and gets law enforcement back on the streets sooner. The state of Oregon and the city of San Jose, Calif., have long been using the technology with good results.

And on the roads, many community agencies, such as the Sarasota Police Department in Florida and the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee, have deployed automatic license plate recognition systems to boost ticketing revenue and aid investigations. Learn more at Automatic License Plate Recognition Helps Police Nab Wanted Vehicles and Drivers.

Dec 03 2012