DTOP: Digital ticketing system will end traffic ticketing errors
By John McPhaul
The Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP by its Spanish acronym) announced Sunday that it is launching the Transparent (Electronic) Ticket System (STRAB) in order to end the incorrect issuing of traffic tickets.
The DTOP gave assurances that the cases of citizens going to renew their driver’s license or vehicle registration only to be charged for tickets that they did not incur will be a thing of the past.
Meanwhile, delays in entering tickets into the system did not allow citizens to benefit from a discount payment, as stipulated by the law, when tickets are paid in the first 15 or 30 days after the fine is received.
The STRAB not only benefits the thousands of drivers who are active in Puerto Rico, but also the agents of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau and the environment, the DTOP said in a written statement.
DTOP Secretary Carlos M. Contreras Aponte said “with the STRAB a portable terminal is being delivered to the Traffic officers of the Police Bureau, which immediately replaces the triple-page notebooks that they have been printing for decades, dramatically reducing the use of paper.”
“With this device the officer scans the driver’s license, either the physical or the virtual one, in the CESCO [Driver Services Center] Digital application, as well as the vehicle license plate,” said. “This minimizes physical contact and practically eliminates errors when entering citizen and vehicle information on the ticket.”
“Once the official issues the ticket on the device, the information goes directly to the CESCO Digital system,” the DTOP chief added. “Therefore, from that moment, the driver receives the ticket by way of the application in his cell phone, which allows him to review it and/or pay it without having to physically go to a CESCO or a Treasury Department collection office. In this way, you will have the option of benefiting from the 30 percent discount that applies when tickets are paid in the first 15 days after issuance, or 15 percent discount if you do it between the 16th and the 30th.”
Contreras Aponte also noted that “[t]he citizen will have in his Digital CESCO the evidence that he paid for that ticket, so he will not go through the bad experience of being charged again because he has lost the physical payment receipt.”
Puerto Rico Police Bureau Commissioner Henry Escalera said meanwhile that “with this new system and in the historical moment that we find ourselves, there are many benefits for our agents.”
“First, it will considerably reduce the time it takes for each intervention, since they will not have to handle paper notebooks or write by hand,” he said. “Likewise, the entire intervention can be carried out while maintaining physical distancing, since the information from both the vehicle’s license plate and the driver’s license can be scanned from the device. In addition, it will guarantee greater precision in the data, also minimizing disputes due to human errors when issuing a transit ticket.”
Escalera stressed that “with the STRAB, less time will be spent on interventions and ticket processing at the end of each day, so that our agents will be able to spend more time on the street in the service of our people.”
Glorimar Ripoll Balet, executive director of the Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Service (PRITS), said “once again, through the use of technology, the government has modernized and digitized a historically inefficient process.”
“With the use of mobile devices that are part of the new Transparent Ticket System, our police officers will now have immediate access to citizen information, which results in a safer and more effective intervention in which to carry out their duties,” Ripoll Balet said. “At PRITS, the headquarters of innovation and technology of the Government of Puerto Rico, we have begun to receive our police officers for training in the use of the new system.”
“According to established public policy, at PRITS we have coordinated the execution of this interagency project to achieve the integration of technology in government management,” she said. “By integrating the various government information systems, we can provide transparency to citizens regarding their tickets, which will be reflected in the CESCO Digital mobile application.”
Contreras Aponte said traffic officers of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau have already begun to receive their training for the management of STRAB units. They are training in groups of 30 per day at PRITS facilities, he said, and it is expected that 100 percent of the more than 400 agents of that division will be trained in the coming weeks.