A new N.C. Courts system allows for citizens to request online reductions of speeding tickets, following the implementation last year of a similar web-based application that allowed certain traffic citations to be dismissed.
Citizens may now request online reductions of speeding offenses in Sampson and every other county in the state with the launch of the service, which provides 24/7 convenience for motorists who receive a speeding ticket and meet eligibility criteria to potentially reduce and process their citation
“Following the ECAD system that allowed people to request a dismissal of certain offenses, the court system has now added an online feature whereby folks can request a reduction of their speeding ticket,” said Assistant District Attorney Robbie Thigpen.
Electronic Compliance and Dismissal (ECAD) started last year as a way for citizens to request online a dismissal of certain traffic citations, including those regarding license, registration and inspection compliance, launched in July 2016a move court officials said would be more convenience for offenders and mean less cases flooding courtrooms.
Allowing online requests to reduce speeding citations is yet another way people can avoid having to appear at the courthouse. According to state officials, speeding offenses made up nearly 50 percent of all traffic citations statewide in 2015, and account for approximately 400,000 tickets annually.
“Online reductions of speeding tickets are more efficient and convenient to process the most commonly cited traffic offenses,” said Judge Marion Warren, director of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, in a prepared statement. “Court technology and online services are modernizing the way the public does business with our courts.”
The new request for reduction service is part of a multi-phase initiative to provide the public a convenient, user-friendly means of resolving most waivable offenses online, and enable the courts to efficiently process citations outside of the courtroom.
For clerks and district attorneys, it means less paperwork, less data entry, and shorter lines in traffic court and courthouses across the state. For citizens, it means timely resolutions of court matters without the hassle of taking off work and standing in line at the courthouse.
Citizens may make requests for reduction of speeding citations (at least seven business days prior to the court date) or check the status of pending requests anytime from any location with internet access.
The online request for reduction in speeding tickets began as a pilot program in five N.C. counties this summer. During that time, 323 reductions were requested and 273 reductions offered.
Things to know:
• No costs are associated with requesting a reduction online.
• The arraigned/charged speed must be between 10 and 19 miles over the posted limit, and must not exceed 80 mph.
• Email confirmation of submitted requests and the outcome of the request will be received after review by the district attorney’s office with an offer or denial of reduction.
• If the district attorney offers an online reduction, the reduced charge will be nine miles over the posted limit or improper equipment. Other reductions require a court appearance. Citizens will receive an email including the reduced offense and associated cost.
• If accepted, online reduction offers must be paid via onlineservices.NCcourts.org by 5 p.m. the day before the assigned court date or the offer will be vacated.
• If a citizen does not accept an offer of reduction, or if the district attorney denies the request for reduction, they must appear in court on their assigned court date.
New language has been added to traffic citations to raise public awareness that citizens may be able to handle their ticket and avoid a trip to court through onlineservices.NCcourts.org.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.