Virginia State Police push for electronic ticketing system to save time and lives

Virginia State Police push for electronic ticketing system to save time and lives

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia State Police are pushing for an electronic ticketing system that they say will help save both time and lives.

The idea is now moving forward with help from state lawmakers.

An electronic ticketing system would cut down the time it takes to complete a traffic stop by about 60 percent - meaning less time on the side of a busy highway.

“When we pull over on the shoulder of the road, whether we are stopping a violator, helping a disabled motorist or investigating a crash, whatever the purpose is that’s the single most dangerous thing that we do,” said Wayne Huggins, Former VSP Superintendent and Executive Director of The Virginia State Police Association.

House bill 172 gives state police the authority to use an electronic summons system. On average, a Northern Virginia pilot study, which wrapped up in October, indicates the time for a trooper to write a ticket on the side of the road would be cut by 16 minutes. That’s the equivalent of adding 11-full time troopers.

E-ticketing is already being used by sheriff’s offices, as well as local police departments.

”All we’re asking for is the exact same authority the locals have,” said Huggins.

The program would cut out the paperwork for the trooper by allowing them to scan a driver’s license and registration for information. There is a $5 court fee associated with those tickets to pay for hardware and software costs.

“I have always pledged to not raise taxes, not raise fees. It’s so important to have that due process, which I’m all about," said State Senator Amanda Chase.

The 11th District Republican supported the legislation last week when it passed in her chamber. But after reading the fine print is now against that fee.

"It also shows the human element of legislators and the short period of time that we’re reviewing all of these bills. If I had my time to do it again, I would vote against this bill,” stated Chase

If signed by Governor Ralph Northam, statewide implementation could be done over eight years for the agency's 1,121 vehicles.

That would cost between $15 million and $20 million.

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