Traffic tickets get new look on Jan. 1
Motorists will have more time to respond to the citations
IF YOU'RE A driver receiving a traffic ticket on or after Jan. 1, the experience won't be any more pleasant, but it could be better for police and court personnel.
TICKETS: OLD AND NEW
» Court dates assigned, even when not used;
» 15 days to respond
» Long and skinny
» Boxes checked off
» Driver must request court date
» 21 days
» Like a regular sheet of paper
Three new ticket forms will go into effect statewide on that date, the state Judiciary announced yesterday. The forms are for parking, civil traffic violations and certain traffic crimes, they said.
The main difference from the old traffic tickets is that the new ones have a long list of pre-printed offenses on them. A traffic cop will only have to look down the list until he or she sees the right one, then make a check mark.
"This feature will also help eliminate case-processing problems that can occur when handwritten information -- such as the statue violated, the description of the offense or monetary assessment -- is illegible on inaccurate," the Judiciary statement said.
Another change is that police officers will no longer write court dates on tickets. If someone getting a ticket does not contest it, there is no need for a court date anyway. Just send in the amount of the fine printed on the ticket.
For contested tickets the recipient will have to check a box on the ticket
to request a court date and mail the citation to the state judiciary. The
judiciary will then assign a court date and inform the recipient by mail.*
The time to respond has been liberalized slightly. People with a ticket now have 15 days to respond. Starting in January, they will have 21 days.
The most visible difference is in the shape of the tickets. Old tickets have been long and narrow. The new ones will be wide, the size of a normal 8 1/2-by-11-inch piece of paper.
Honolulu police Capt. Frank Fujii noted that the tickets are court documents designed by the Judiciary. "It's just a new tool," he said.
Big Island police Maj. Paul Ferreira said the new tickets should speed paperwork since a driver committing three offenses will find all three checked off on one new ticket. The old system requires a separate ticket for each offense.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
» Beginning Jan. 1, drivers who receive citations and want to contest the ticket will have to check a box on the ticket requesting a court date and mail the citation to the judiciary. The judiciary will then assign a court date and inform the recipient by mail. A Page A1 story in yesterday's early edition incorrectly said that citation recipients who want to challenge the ticket should call the court for a court date.