National Academies Press: OpenBook

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

Chapter: Chapter 5 - Recommendations for Future Research

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Recommendations for Future Research." 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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Page 22
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Recommendations for Future Research." 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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Page 23

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22 This project provided a survey of the challenges facing effective citation and adjudication tracking within states as of 2021–2022. While comprehensive, the scope was necessarily limited, and these suggestions are offered for the development of meaningful follow-on research that will provide further benefit, context, and detail to support the deployment of improved citation tracking across the United States. Longitudinal Analyses As the results of the current project represent data collected at a snapshot in time, future research should consider following a subset of evolving legal, institutional, and technological systems to determine how these changes play out over time. For example, during interviews for this project several states reported ongoing system transitions, including major database system overhauls supporting judicial and law enforcement agencies. It would be valuable to follow these transitions as they occur and identify ongoing examples of strategies and techniques that are most successful given changing conditions and technology. Implications of Technological Advances Technology changes quickly, particularly when advancements in mobile computing and net- work access are considered. The contradiction between this rapid shift and the gradual pace of institutional change is likely to result in substantial new challenges and opportunities over the coming years. Research should continue to investigate advancements in and novel methods of citation and adjudication tracking, system design, and technological implementation, and identify ways to take advantage of innovation while working within the bounds of regulatory and institutional processes. Interstate Benefits of Standardization The present project focused on the benefits and challenges of improved citation tracking within states. However, several state representatives suggested that cross-state data standardization efforts such as the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM; https://www.niem.gov/) can pave the way for more effective tracking of violations across state lines. This would be particu- larly beneficial for tracking of violations involving commercial vehicle drivers who regularly travel among states and for cities near or straddling state lines (e.g., Kansas City). C H A P T E R   5 Recommendations for Future Research

Recommendations for Future Research 23   Further Collaborative Opportunities As discussed in project outputs, a number of state-level stakeholders identified strong benefits of collaboration with individuals and agencies within other states and with federal partners such as NHTSA Go Teams. Specific research building upon these collaborations, including identify- ing further opportunities for collaboration, tools to support collaboration, and mechanisms that prepare the groundwork for technical collaboration, would be of substantial benefit at all levels. In particular, these efforts may dovetail with those aimed at improving cross-state standardization. Standardized Methods to Align Data One challenge that many stakeholders reported when shifting to centralized datasets was the need to align data types and formats across many jurisdictions. This often occurred when jurisdictions independently shifted to digital systems, often resulting in a patchwork of contrac- tor systems that were difficult to align due to incompatible and sometimes proprietary data standards. Currently, states are responsible for working with vendors to align these standards independently; if a flexible set of tools was developed to facilitate this process, this would provide substantial savings in time and resource investments at state and local levels. Ways to Engage the Public Many of the systems and technologies discussed in this project are relatively unknown to the public, which may limit taxpayer support for the resources necessary to implement technical and regulatory system overhauls. By improving transparency and public engagement and dem- onstrating the benefits to society of improved citation tracking, both in terms of the tracking of repeat offenders and improvements of safety and efficiency to law enforcement and court personnel, it may be possible to engage public enthusiasm and improve prioritization and avail- able funding.

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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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