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Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes (2023)

Chapter: Appendix E - Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26875.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26875.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26875.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26875.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26875.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26875.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26875.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26875.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

E-1   Introduction This appendix presents the script for the voiceover supporting the Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Interactive Challenges, Strategies & Solutions, illustrated in Appendix D. Citation and Adjudication Tracking Overview One of the core traffic safety challenges faced by state highway safety offices and jurisdic- tions is how to effectively track citations and adjudications from issuance through disposition. While the tracking of citation data has unique considerations across all states depending on their regulations, court organization, unification status, and other structural and legal differences, this toolkit will help identify universal areas of focus that state officials suggest may improve this tracking. The suggestions that follow are based on interviews with representatives of sixteen states from across the regulatory and unification spectrum. To begin with, we will consider the benefits of citation and adjudication tracking, challenges that are often faced when attempting to conduct tracking, and the challenges and benefits associated with digitization. Click each button below to learn more about that topic. Benefits As you may already know, there are a number of benefits associated with properly imple- mented citation and adjudication tracking. Such tracking is valuable for a number of reasons, including facilitating the identification of problem drivers such as repeat offenders, improving the speed of citation processing, reducing errors, and supporting meaningful data analysis. Challenges The challenges that are faced when developing and implementing a citation tracking system vary by state and jurisdiction, but are particularly salient when considering dealing with paper records. Many states are moving toward digitized systems because of the challenges inherent with paper-based systems, including lost or damaged records, inefficiencies associated with things like handwriting transcription, and typographical errors. Whether using paper-based or digital systems, there is potential for clerical or typographical errors. While these are more prevalent in paper systems they may also occur in digital systems when data are entered. Suggestions for addressing these include the implementation of bar- codes for scanning paper citations, driver’s license readers in patrol cars to reduce entry errors, A P P E N D I X E Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script

E-2 Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes in-depth data validation, improvements in process efficiency, and a move toward electronic systems where possible even if this is not end-to-end. On a more structural level, lack of unification can lead to inconsistent citation definitions and codes, data access issues, and other structural issues when court systems and agencies operate under different rules and with different processes. These and other challenges will be discussed more in following pages. Digitization One of the most common suggestions among safety officials is that states and local jurisdic- tions should consider transitioning away from paper-based citation and adjudication systems and toward end-to-end digitization, from e-citations issued at the roadside to digital records databases and analysis warehouses. Full digitization presents a number of advantages, from error reduction—including handwriting interpretation and spelling mistakes—to data integrity if paper records are lost or damaged, to speed of processing. As we discuss in subsequent pages of this toolkit, however, a digital shift introduces new challenges that should be given due con- sideration before and during any transition process. Resource-Related Challenges Introduction One commonly cited challenge faced by states working to improve citation tracking, par- ticularly when trying to implement digital systems such as e-citations, centralized databases, and electronic record transfer, is a lack of funding to support hardware and software purchases, training, and support. This can pose a particular challenge at local-level agencies such as town police departments where scarce resources must be allocated to existing priorities. The buttons below present high-level strategies that have been recommended by states going through such digital transitions. By clicking on each one you will see specific suggestions, includ- ing hyperlinks, to learn more about these. Grant & Assistance Programs One strategy to directly address funding concerns is to identify external grant and assistance programs. These may be at federal, state, or local levels, and they may be offered by transportation- related agencies such as federal and state DOTs as well as by agencies such as the Department of Justice. This window provides some examples of grant programs that have been recommended by state agencies, but grant opportunities change rapidly. Up-to-date suggestions may be found on agency webpages, and—as we will discuss later—open dialogue with TRCC members and agen- cies in other states can help everyone keep apprised of funding opportunities. Internal Partnership/Funding Opportunities In addition to external funding, there are ways that cooperation and partnership within states can help identify and distribute funding. This may include the reallocation of excess equipment to smaller or less well funded jurisdictions, such as computers or in-vehicle printers, or the implementation of new fees associated with e-citations that can be used to support technology

Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script E-3   funds. This can also include state-level funding for agencies; in some cases states have purchased driver’s license readers for law enforcement, and in others state-level funding has supported an updated court record management system. In cases like this, state-level support for local depart- ments has resulted in smoother record tracking across the entire state thanks to standardized integrated systems. An important technique when trying to get support from individual jurisdictions that may have limited budgets is the formation of partnerships across agencies and jurisdictions, as opposed to the imposition of top-down mandates. This will be a common theme in this toolkit; fostering dialogue with mutual learning and respect has been found to be effective in creating change by increasing understanding of benefits and finding ways to address challenges together. NHTSA Go Teams Beyond just providing funding the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers “Go Teams” that provide technical assistance to states to improve their traffic record systems. State representatives have reported finding these to be highly valuable in their quest to improve data recording and transfer. More information on Go Teams may be found in the link in this window. Personnel-Related Challenges Introduction A core challenge to the successful implementation of improved citation tracking systems and procedures is getting support at all levels, from law enforcement to clerks to judges and admin- istrators. In particular, people who have spent their careers using existing procedures such as paper citations may resist change to the way they’ve always done things, especially when they don’t see the benefits outweighing the costs of learning new systems. In this section we discuss several approaches that have worked for states going through such transitions. Clicking each button below will pop up more information about related strategies. Demonstrate Benefits to All Users One of the most effective ways to get buy-in from users across agencies and life experiences is to demonstrate how upgraded technology and systems can improve their workflow and even safety. For example, electronic citation systems may decrease the amount of time a law enforce- ment officer must be exposed on the side of the road, as well as the amount of time that must be spent logging and revising citations back at the station. Or, improved citation tracking systems can help administrative personnel by reducing the number of errors that must be corrected and the time required to fix those that do occur. In some cases, states have had success loaning equip- ment to local agencies to demonstrate hands-on benefits over time. Develop and Provide Appropriate Training Hand in hand with explicit demonstrations of benefits is the development of role-specific training that allows users to make full and correct use of upgraded systems and procedures. Training should be well developed and usable by the intended audience, taking into account that different job roles will require different training content and type. Some state agencies reported having good experiences with interactive online training led by system experts that allows for both group learning and individual tutoring and feedback.

E-4 Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes Identify Stakeholders and Liaisons Related to the previous suggestion of demonstrating benefits to all users, it is important to engage stakeholders and liaisons early in the process of implementing new systems and pro- cedures. Getting buy-in from across the range of involved agencies and personnel will help ease transitions, and liaisons to particular departments can help communicate benefits, provide feedback from those departments on ways to improve procedures, and facilitate training devel- opment by focusing on specific needs and opportunities. Liaisons can also work with agencies in other states to learn best practices, what has worked and proved challenging, and share lessons learned. Multi-Way Communication is Key Supporting the other suggestions in this section, a key to success is engaging in regular multi- way communication with stakeholders, liaisons, and end users. Open communication is critical to understanding user needs, increasing understanding and acceptance of new systems, and learning about barriers and concerns that can be addressed in system design and/or training. This can be accomplished both by regular meetings and by open lines of communication. Technology Challenges As many of the solutions to improved citation tracking rely on changing and updating tech- nology such as e-citations, digital databases, and data tracking systems, a number of technology- related challenges may arise. These may occur during a transition to updated systems or reflect ongoing challenges that must be dealt with in order to ensure successful implementation. In this section, we will discuss ways to address these challenges using technical, procedural, and personnel-related strategies. By clicking each strategy button below you will find more detailed information. Digital Errors While digitization reduces the chances of illegible or damaged physical citation records, it introduces the potential for errors via typos, mis-keys, and other digital errors (and, of course, these also exist in cases where physical citations are entered into digital databases manually). The good news is that in some ways strategies for addressing these type of errors are more straight- forward than those addressing physical errors. For instance, data can be validated on entry. This can be automated and/or manual, for example by ensuring that driver’s license numbers match a database or by requiring the entering party to double check values before data transmis- sion. Related to this, systems may align front-end/roadside data entry with back-end data type and formatting requirements to minimize data translation and typos. Finally, the inclusion of multiple layers of validation at different stages of the process may further reduce the chances of digital errors being populated throughout the system. Aligning Data Formats and Record Management Systems One of the core challenges faced by states as they shift to centralized digital data systems is the integration of previously discrete data systems. In many states, digitization was initially con- ducted on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, resulting in a patchwork of different data formats and standards; this is particularly challenging in non-unified states, when citation codes may also vary across jurisdictions.

Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script E-5   While there’s no simple answer to this challenge, some states reported success in developing a central database in which the back end is designed to support as many interfaces as possible, and working with jurisdictions to connect their data systems via this interface. This will require considerable planning and development work, as well as communication and team-building with local jurisdictions. Another possibility is to incentivize localities to shift data systems when feasible. In some cases, it may be worth the financial and logistical short-term challenge for jurisdictions to gain the benefits of being part of a standardized system. Unreliable Network Access Some locations, particularly in rural areas, may lack the mobile internet access necessary to support e-citations and other network-based digital functions. In case of intermittent dropouts, it is important to ensure data redundancy, for example by making sure citations are automatically backed up to a second drive or remote server. If there are known areas where e-citations cannot be supported due to necessity of network reliance, physical citations should be used, and system designers should ensure that there are methods in place to support quick and reliable digitiza- tion of these into the common format. Equipment Malfunctions As with all technology, equipment malfunctions and failures should be expected and planned for. Beyond the network connectivity issues discussed previously, there may be physical or elec- tronic failures of equipment in the field, which would pose particular challenge for law enforce- ment who may not be in a position to have these fixed or replaced immediately. For this reason, as well as for potential network dropouts discussed elsewhere, it is recommended that all users of job-critical mobile technology have analog backups such as logbooks and paper citations, and that there is a system in place to have these digitized as efficiently as possible. Compliance with Current Rules and Regulations In some states and/or jurisdictions there are existing regulations that preclude full digital recording and transfer; for example, some locations require a physical signature on citations. Consideration must be taken of these cases when developing citation tracking systems, and in cases such as a signature requirement it may be necessary to retain existing methods to meet these requirements. Structural Challenges Structural challenges include those that arise from the ways that legal and regulatory systems are structured in states. In particular, these issues may arise when states are non-unified, or have unique court systems and/or citation codes across jurisdictions. Many of these challenges are not easily addressed at the policy implementation level, as unification is controlled a higher level, but there are some strategies that have been identified that can help moderate them. Varied Citation Codes and Reporting Formats In non-unified states, different jurisdictions and agencies may have different citation codes and/or reporting styles that require translation into a common format. This is a particularly dif- ficult challenge to citation tracking, as being able to identify equivalent violations across juris- dictions is critical to being able to track when individuals are habitual violators across the state.

E-6 Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes Further complicating matters, there may also be different vendors and data systems across jurisdictions, particularly if digitization was initially conducted at a jurisdictional level as opposed to a state level. In some cases translating across data systems currently involves digital-paper- digital translation that can introduce further error. Click on the buttons below to learn more. Develop a Central Repository One strategy recommended by a number of states is to develop a central repository for cita- tion and adjudication data, with an interface for each jurisdiction. For example, in the state of Florida, an agreement was reached with the Clerks Association to interface with the Traffic Cita- tion & Accounting Transmission System, or TCATS. All jurisdictional agencies would submit to this repository, that could then push data to courts. However, development of such a repository requires substantial research and development to ensure that all interfaces are interoperable, and legislation may be necessary/helpful to implement this, depending on the state. Ensure Rapid and Accurate Data Transmission When a central repository is in place, it is important to work with local law enforcement and court systems via liaisons to ensure that citation and adjudication data are submitted quickly and accurately. As discussed previously, this is a good opportunity to implement data quality and validation checks, as speed and precision should be balanced. Standardize Codes and Definitions In some cases, states have reported success working at high levels such as via the state supreme court to standardize definitions across court jurisdictions. This would provide a substantial advantage to data sharing and usability, as codes would no longer have to be translated across jurisdictions. However, this is likely to be a slow and intensive process. MOUs Finally, several state representatives emphasized the benefits that implementing Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) or Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) provide in the facilitation of data exchange. Having one or more of these in place can smooth the way for data exchange by minimizing conflicts about data rights and access and reducing paperwork. These may be developed in conjunction with counsel, to ensure compliance with state law and regulations. Data Aren’t Being Used Appropriately to Support Highway Safety When considering how to best track and organize citation and adjudication data, it is impor- tant to consider how it is, or is not, currently being used to support highway safety. At the end of the day the goal of capturing these data is to use them to improve safety in your state, and considering ways to facilitate appropriate analyses will have direct benefits on roadway safety. DMV Level Solutions There are some things that agencies within the state can do to improve the use of citation data. These include supporting research directly, ensuring that terms and technology are adequately defined and documented via publications such as data dictionaries and user guides, involving a wide range of agencies in program and safety evaluations, and ensuring data-sharing rules and regulations are clear to avoid misunderstandings (again, MOUs and MOAs may be valuable here). Personnel Level Solutions At a personnel level, it is important to involve a range of stakeholders to bring expertise and perspective to traffic safety research using citation and adjudication data. These can include

Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking: Voiceover Script E-7   epidemiologists who can analyze high-level trends, liaisons who can communicate all aspects of data usage clearly, and local agencies who should be involved in data sharing and communica- tion of findings. The more that individual agencies can see clear benefits from the proper collec- tion and analysis of data, the more willing they may be to support it going forward. Relationship-Building Strategies Finally, as touched on in multiple previous tips, building and maintaining relationships across individuals and agencies both within and between states is critical to the successful development and deployment of data sharing programs. Click the buttons below to learn more about some ways to build meaningful relationships. TRCC Members State Traffic Records Coordinating Committees, or TRCCs, are state-level agencies that oper- ate to improve safety systems using traffic record data. Most states have TRCC information available on state DOT or law enforcement websites, and the US DOT provides guidance and contact information for TRCC members across the country. Regular meetings between state agency representatives and members of your state’s TRCC, as well as with regional TRCC mem- bers, enable sharing of training, assistance, funding opportunities, solutions, documentation, and lessons learned. When meeting with TRCCs in other states, it is important to share the information gained from other states within your own state, especially what works and what hasn’t worked for similar challenges faced by those other states. Agencies and Stakeholders Within & Between States At an agency level, it is important to work to build relationships across agencies and entities both within and between states, particularly when not unified. Within states, this communi- cation is important to develop acceptance and support structures to support solutions, and between states it enables collaboration with and learning from people facing similar challenges to what you’re dealing with. Universities and Other Research Organizations Finally, there are meaningful benefits to developing partnerships between state agencies and research organizations such as universities. Partnering with universities provides the oppor- tunity to collaborate with people who have devoted their careers to epidemiology, traffic safety, human factors, behavior, and other related fields. These powerful collaborations support mean- ingful applied and basic research that can have real impact on roadway safety in your state.

Next: Appendix F - Resources for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking »
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The ability of state agencies to track citation, adjudication, and disposition data accurately and effectively is essential for the identification and appropriate adjudication of problem drivers and habitual offenders. Efficient data tracking can provide benefits at all steps of the citation-adjudication process, from providing real-time information and safer roadside stops for law enforcement officers to reducing errors and improving transmission speed during the adjudication stage to facilitating data storage and effective analyses following disposition.

The TRB Behavorial Transportation Safety Cooperative Research Program's BTSCRP Research Report 5: Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes identifies challenges and barriers to effective citation data tracking along with proven strategies and solutions to address these challenges, with the goal of developing a series of practical and meaningful steps that state highway safety officials could use to implement these strategies.

Supplemental to the report is Toolkit for Improving Citation and Adjudication Tracking, which is a PowerPoint presentation with voiceover components. Slides from the toolkit are presented in Appendix D and the script for the voiceover is included in Appendix E.

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