Miami-Dade police issued 123,731 traffic citations in 2015. So far this year, they’ve given out 76,563. Part of the reason for that massive dip, according to The Miami Herald? Police are running out of paper tickets.
The department, which patrols unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County, including swaths of Interstate 95, is supposed to be transitioning to an electronic ticketing system by mid-January, which allows officers to file tickets on laptops in their patrol cars. That also meant, though, that they stopped ordering replacement ticket books, and told officers to save tickets for only the most egregious driving.
From the Herald:
One Miami-Dade police officer who frequently goes after traffic offenders told the Miami Herald that “the majority of officers don’t have ticket books.”
“I’m literally down to my last book of tickets,” he said. “The only tickets I’m writing now are egregious violations and criminal violations.”
It was not until January that Miami-Dade — the largest police department in the county — contracted with Georgia-based LexisNexis to implement its system. The cost: $248,980 for the software, with a yearly cost of $37,980 for upkeep of the programs.
A small number of officers have begun using the electronic ticket system as part of a “testing phase.” The department had hoped to get the system up and running for all patrol officers by this past summer. But getting the software to run smoothly has been challenging.
The Herald also notes that Miami drivers are already among the worst in the country, according to surveys, which is reassuring. So, look out if you’re driving in Miami-Dade County. The next month could be interesting and highly dangerous.