Traffic warrants get automated
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The state Judiciary is hoping its new traffic warrant system will help reduce the backlog of more than 50,000 traffic warrants.
The new system will give police much quicker access to computerized information about whether an individual has an outstanding traffic warrant and allow officers to print copies of warrants to serve the individuals.
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When a police officer makes a traffic stop and wants to know whether the motorist has outstanding traffic warrants, he calls a police dispatcher, according to a state court official.
The dispatcher calls state sheriff deputies who maintain the traffic warrants, said Calvin Ching, court administrator for legal documents. If the motorist has an outstanding warrant, that information is relayed to the officer, who retrieves a copy from the sheriff deputies to serve the motorist.
This process will be shorter and more convenient for police under the state Judiciary's eBenchWarrant pilot project, Ching said yesterday at a presentation about the new system. The state hopes to get it operational in December or January.
Outstanding traffic warrants as of yesterday:
Source: Hawaii Judiciary
The new system puts the traffic warrant information online for officers to access any time of day. They will also be able to see a copy of the warrant and print it at police headquarters or any police substation, said Dana Nakasato, a specialist for the Judiciary's information management system.
The system will also eliminate the need for court staff to print and deliver warrants to the state sheriff, Nakasato said, and the information can be put online as soon as a judge issues a warrant.
The Judiciary is hoping the new system will help reduce the backlog of outstanding traffic warrants, she said.
As of yesterday there were 52,628 outstanding traffic warrants statewide.
From January through April the Judiciary and its partner Hawaii Information Consortium demonstrated the system to users, and are implementing suggested improvements. They plan to demonstrate two more improved versions of the system before implementing it.