With millions of vehicles moving alongside one another, the nation’s roadways are a place of constant risk. This week of National Safety Month, the National Safety Council is bringing awareness to making good choices while driving – The roads belong to us all: Let’s make safe choices.

According to the Council, in an average year, speeding is involved in 27 traffic deaths every day during the months of June, July and August alone, warranting the need to remind drivers to be defensive, patient and focused while on the road.

It’s often forgotten that the officers in which motorist share the roads with are also at constant risk. According to Below 100, an organization devoted to eliminating preventable line of duty deaths and injuries, 166 fatal law enforcement automobile crashes took place between 2011-2015, with Sherriff’s Offices accounting for 42% of single vehicle crashes.*

Just as more vehicles are coming equipped with advanced safety technologies, law enforcement agencies can leverage technology to increase the safety of their officers.

Specifically, more agencies are embracing electronic citation. Thanks to mobile technology the citation is neater, the process faster. But what else does it have going for it? The primary factor is officer safety. This is where you may find an eCitation system makes sense beyond what your agency is already doing. In terms of impacting the day-to-day work environment of highway and traffic patrol teams, the results of eCitation systems have been overwhelmingly positive when it comes to increasing the safety of patrol officers and the driving public they serve.

Think about it: The very act of pulling motorists over on public roads poses risks to the officers, and increases danger to the unlucky motorist and also passing drivers. How often has a motorist in the back been unaware of a traffic stop or obstacles up ahead and proceeded to cause an accident resulting in injury and often death? Shorter, more efficient traffic stops by law enforcement mean safer streets and highways for everyone.

How mobile technology can help

Unlike the discrete, siloed systems of yesteryear, next-generation eCitation systems are fully Internet-enabled. This means they are offering broader scope, expanded functionality, ease of use and reliability. Additionally, using advanced electronic and printing solutions, an officer is able to complete the task and get back on the job quickly to minimize the risk to themselves, motorists and the public at large.

These improvements are largely due to technology advances in wireless networking and connectivity, as well as product innovations pioneered by industry-leading application developers and manufacturers of electronic devices such as smartphones, ruggedized tablet computers and smart mobile wireless printers.

Choosing a mobile printer

In addition to the mobile device running the application, the other key piece of hardware for every officer on the road is a smart mobile wireless printer. These lightweight, battery-powered thermal printers are used to generate clear, legible citations for traffic violators, with all relevant fields populated. These output devices make the job infinitely easier and more efficient by replacing time-consuming handwritten processes with simple menu-driven keystrokes.

Most mobile wireless printers in today’s marketplace are available in both large and small format. Large format printers can print full-page documents, including citations, accident reports, Amber Alerts, and more. Some departments prefer smaller format versions that print out 3- and 4-inch wide citations, parking tickets and warnings. To ensure high performance, flexibility and long service life, here’s what you should look for:

  • Direct thermal printing technology
  • Compact and lightweight for easy handling
  • High-speed, high-resolution printing (e.g., 6 ppm, 300 dpi resolution)
  • Intuitive navigation, easy to learn and use even for non-technical patrol officers
  • Platform interoperability plus flexible networking and connectivity options
  • Finally, look for a solid manufacturer’s warranty against defects, as well as manufacturer technical support

Are you ready to ditch the paper? By addressing areas that are within an agency’s control, we can dramatically cut officer line-of-duty deaths. See for yourself – I encourage you to request a demo of Brother’s full-page mobile thermal printing solution, the PocketJet 7 here.

Ready to take a deeper dive into eCitation?

Beyond improving safety, eCitation technology can reduce cost and drive efficiency. Brother Mobile Solutions is a proud member of the eCitationCoalition, who represents companies involved in providing innovative electronic citation systems to state and local law enforcement and court systems. Together we strive to educate policymakers, law enforcement and judicial officials and the public on the benefits of eCitation technology. Check out the benefits of electronic citation and how to bring eCitation legislation to your state.

By David Crist
President at Brother Mobile Solutions

This post originally appeared here.

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