District Court Certifies First Police
Agency to Issue "eCitations" in Maryland
(Annapolis, MD - December 04, 2007) The District Court of Maryland has officially certified the New Carrollton Police Department as the first police agency in Maryland to issue electronic traffic citations.
With the completion of the electronic traffic citations certification by Sgt. Richard Hartnett, all of the officers within the New Carrollton Police Department can now issue “eCitations” to motorists for various traffic violations, said Chief Judge Ben C. Clyburn of the District Court of Maryland.
“We are very excited about Sgt. Richard Hartnett's efforts to complete certification for the New Carrollton Police Department to issue eCitations. This falls right in line with all of our technology goals for District Court,” he said. “The benefits we expect to realize from eCitations will serve both motorists and police officers.”
“Most of all, eCitations will save officers' lives.”
The eCitations system is designed to improve officer safety by reducing the amount of time police officers and motorists spend on the side of the road. Traffic citations are completed electronically through a software system housed in police vehicles, and officers do not need to have motorists sign their citations, which reduces potential confrontations, Judge Clyburn said.
“With eCitations, officers will have more time to spend on the streets, which will help improve safety for everyone,” Sgt. Hartnett said.
With the eCitations system, a police officer can fill out the citizen and vehicle information on the electronic traffic citation in seconds. The data is automatically transmitted from the officer's cruiser to the police agency and then uploaded to the District Court. Motorists receive a printed copy of the eCitation during the traffic stop.
Drivers who receive eCitations can pay their fines online through the Judiciary's “ePayment ” system at mdcourts.gov. “We were hearing from the public who were coming to District Court to pay their fines that it would be nice to be able to pay their citations from the comfort of their own home,” Judge Clyburn said. “We listened and have added this new convenience for the public.”
Traffic citations that can be paid online include:
- Speeding tickets
- Seat belt violations
- Failure to display license on demand
- Driving without current tags
- Failure to stop at stop sign
- Unsafe lane changing
However, some violations still require court appearances, including:
- Driving on suspended license and privileges
- Driving while under the influences of alcohol
- Driving uninsured vehicle
- Driving while impaired by controlled dangerous substance
Sgt. Hartnett created the original eCitations system, which he began work on in 2003. “It feels really good to be the first agency certified,” he said. “This is historic for Maryland.”
The eCitations certification included the law enforcement agency designing or acquiring the software to submit electronic citation data, testing the eCitations system and successfully completing the certification program.
Maryland State Police, which has been issuing eWarnings since the summer, is working to finalize its eCitations system now. “We're looking forward to the state police, which has successfully initiated eWarnings, to come on board very soon,” Judge Clyburn said.
For more information on eCitations and the ePayment system, log onto mdcourts.gov.