Oklahoma Lawmaker Wants Cops To Issue Traffic Citations Via Email For Safety’s Sake

It’s dangerous out there on the highways and byways of America for a police officer issuing a traffic ticket. Handing out those tickets means leaving the relative safety of the car and walking over to talk to drivers, a risk one Oklahoma lawmaker thinks could be avoided with electronic citations.

And no, the drivers wouldn’t suddenly get a beep on their phones with a notification that they’ve been driving over the speed limit. According to the state senator’s proposal, those citations for traffic, misdemeanor and municipal ordinance violations would be sent directly to the district court clerk, reports the Insurance Journal.

It’s unclear but it seems then that drivers would receive a ticket in the mail alerting them after the fact to their violation.

“Allowing officers to issue electronic citations will help better protect them. If they don’t have to approach vehicles during traffic stops to give people tickets but can simply email traffic violation citations directly to the district court clerk then they’re less likely to get into a dangerous altercation,” said former police officer, Sen. Al McAffrey.

And of course there’s a fee for the convenience of not being pulled over — $5 would be added to the amount paid by defendants convicted of speeding, certain misdemeanor traffic violations, or driving under the influence misdemeanor or felony.

As for how officers would decide someone is under the influence without approaching the car to do sobriety tests, that’s unclear. And what if someone who’s speeding would slow down if they knew they’d just gotten a ticket, but instead kept speeding? Or maybe a routine traffic stop would’ve unearthed something far more villainous than just a simple ticket but there’s no cop to sniff out say, a hostage tied up in the trunk.

So many questions, but McAffrey thinks this will work and improve officer safety.

“Routine traffic stops are one of the most dangerous times for officers to become injured because they don’t know what kind of situation or individual they’re approaching. They’re walking up blind,” he explained. “We need to provide better protection for them by not putting them in harm’s way unnecessarily. By allowing them to submit electronic citations, they’d no longer have to leave the safety of their car.”

One thing’s for sure — the show Cops would be a lot more boring it if was filmed in a state with emailed traffic tickets.

Oklahoma Bill Would Allow Electronic Citations for Traffic Violations [Insurance Journal]

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  1. CommonC3nts says:

    LOL, this is just a money making scam.
    They want to remove the officer’s discretion of giving warnings and save time which also them to write many more money manking tickets.

    Allowing the local government to keep the ticket money is a huge conflict of interest. They abuse their power by setting speed limits too low vs what the road is engineered for and then just cash in on the tickets. They make millions each year doing this.

    The second there is a law that says the local government cannnot keep ticket money is when magically all the speeding ticket abuse will stop. They wont write them if then cant keep the money.

  2. Psylent1 says:

    But who are you issuing the ticket to?

    If you don’t check out the driver’s license, you don’t know who is driving the vehicle. If you issue the ticket to the owner of the car, can they dispute it because they were not driving? What if it is a stolen vehicle? Not only are you issuing the ticket to the wrong person, you just let a criminal escape with a stolen vehicle.

    And by not stopping the car, they may have allowed a drunk driver to continue driving, an uninsured driver or an unlicensed driver to continue driving. What if the driver is having a medical emergency? There have been several instances where someone going into insulin shock was saved by being pulled over by a cop.

    What about traffic stops that catch a wanted felon or turn into a huge drug bust? Seems to me the Police stand to lose money and prestige there.

  3. furiousd says:

    I agree with both [CommonC3nts] and [Psylent1]. The legislation by and large is not based on research for how to make the roads safer, it’s for how to make more money. Red light cameras are the same way. And the legal nightmare about disputed tickets, whether or not the correct person was cited, plus all of the things that could be caught by a regular traffic stop and the issue of driving slower after a ticket’s issued versus driving the same speed and getting more than one ticket per commute. It’s 55 on the Interstate where I drive to work, and the common flow of traffic drives safely at 70, if this were implemented here we could have traffic cameras set up to email people every time they passed one and collect millions in one day. Depending on how much lead time they had to ‘verify’ the citations, a single vehicle could have dozens of citations before ever knowing about the first one. As a last remark, I appreciate the work that good law enforcement officers do to keep us generally safe, but that danger is part of the job that they knew before going in their first day and is a risk they accepted.