In 2010, Fresno Traffic Bureau oversaw the issuing and processing of over 58,000 tickets, all of which were handwritten. A significant number of those tickets were thrown away due to illegible handwriting or incorrect or incomplete data. These handwritten tickets would need to be deciphered and entered into the database by civilian employees. The whole process was very time consuming, costly, and too many errors occurred, costing the city revenue.
After trying a different e citation program using consumer grade PDAs, to no avail, Fresno Traffic Bureau switched to the durable Motorola MC75A. The trial began in July of 2010, when Motorola lent two devices to Fresno, who then gave it to two of their senior officers, both over the age of 50. Fresno wanted to get the opinion of senior officers who were not as technically inclined as the younger officers. After just one day in the field, the officers did not want to give back the trial handhelds.
After a successful trial, Fresno ordered 70 handhelds and held a training seminar to introduce them to their officers. It took less than four hours for an officer who had never seen the device to be fluent and ready to use in the field.
As a result, Fresno has seen an error rate reduction of over 50 percent. The courts are now able to read the tickets and there are fewer incomplete forms and fewer rejected tickets. The e citation system also allows for capture and tracking of demographics. Using a Google map, the Fresno department is able to see where the highest number of collisions and tickets are being issued to enable a more targeted enforcement.
Click to read the full Fresno e-citation case study.