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Suggested Citation:"Summary." 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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1   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. Because of these benefits, state agencies have a vested interest in improving and maintaining the citation tracking processes and standards; however, there are a number of challenges and barriers to doing so. These challenges are particularly varied given the broad range of legal and regulatory structures in place across states, especially in cases where states are not unified across court structures or citation definitions. This research project was undertaken to identify challenges and barriers to effective cita- tion 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. To provide the breadth and depth of information necessary to support such an effort, the methodology involved analyses of both publicly available information and novel data collected via interviews with state highway safety representatives from states across the unification spectrum. These analyses supported a comprehensive investigation into ways to improve citation and adjudication tracking by identifying both large-scale shifts in practices and technology along with specific strategies that agencies and individuals can use to improve tracking regardless of the current uni- fication status of the state. The research had three primary project tasks: examination of existing state citation tracking efforts; identification of methods for improving data tracking, sharing, communication, and accessibility; and development of a set of practical deliverables. Results found that most state representatives advocated for digitization of the citation and record-keeping processes as this provided substantial process and product benefits over paper-based systems including improved efficiency and accuracy. However, numerous challenges were associated with the process of shifting to digitization, including obtaining financial and personnel support, integrating with existing regulatory and data systems, and dealing with other challenges that come with new technology. Strategies to address each of these challenges were identified, along with strategies to help state agencies who may not be able to shift to digital data systems. Project outputs include an interactive toolkit, a project overview presentation, and a series of fact sheets, all of which are included as appendices to this report. S U M M A R Y Strategies to Improve State Traffic Citation and Adjudication Outcomes

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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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