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Partnering to Improve Metro Nashville’s Overloaded Traffic Court National Association for Court Management Annual Conference, Anaheim, California July.

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Presentation on theme: "Partnering to Improve Metro Nashville’s Overloaded Traffic Court National Association for Court Management Annual Conference, Anaheim, California July."— Presentation transcript:

1 Partnering to Improve Metro Nashville’s Overloaded Traffic Court National Association for Court Management Annual Conference, Anaheim, California July 15, 2008 Presented by Warner Hassell, Court Administrator, General Sessions Court, Nashville-Davidson County, Tennessee John Slate, Traffic School Director, General Sessions Court, Nashville-Davidson County, Tennessee John Kennedy, Executive Director, Defensive Driving Programs, National Safety Council

2 History and Background The City of Nashville and Davidson County operated as separate government entities until Metro government was established by Charter Amendment April 1, The City Court and General Sessions (limited jurisdiction state court) continued to operate separately after Metro govt. was established. The City Courts handled exclusively all local ordinance violations that included traffic violations.

3 Court Reform By the mid 70’s, the General Sessions Court recognized Traffic School as an alternative disposition for low risk traffic offenders. Traffic school referrals were sent to an outside agency. In 1982, The General Sessions Court received approval from the Mayor and Council to operate a Traffic School with court personnel.

4 Formative Years Formative Years Late 1980s to Early 2000 The National Safety Council was chosen as the provider for the curriculum. They were approved by the Tennessee Department of Safety and used extensively throughout the Department of Defense. 2 Judges’ Administrative Assistants handled the enrollment referrals from the Traffic Dockets which was the principal means of referral until a new ticket and docketing system was implemented later in Enrollment grew from an estimated 5,000+ annually in the early 1980s to 24,000 in Revenue grew from an estimated $250,000 to over $1 million annually.

5 NSC Is First in the Nation National Safety Council developed the first driver improvement program in the nation in 1964 in Columbus, Ohio. That program, the Defensive Driving Course (“DDC”) has been taught to over 60 million drivers in the U.S., Canada, and abroad.

6 NSC Courses are Universally Accepted National Safety Council’s programs are accepted in more courts and states than any other driver improvement or driver education program for court diversion, ticket dismissal, point reduction, insurance discount, corporate training, and driver re-training. National Safety Council’s programs are accepted in more courts and states than any other driver improvement or driver education program for court diversion, ticket dismissal, point reduction, insurance discount, corporate training, and driver re-training. These courses are offered in all fifty states and These courses are offered in all fifty states and many foreign countries around the world.

7 Since its introduction in 2000, DDC Online has trained more than 1.2 million drivers in the National Safety Council’s time-tested defensive driving techniques. Newly updated information and technology make it the most up-to-date Internet defensive driving curriculum with consistent quality and content nationwide. NSC Curricula are the most up to date in the Nation

8 Traffic School Growth Due to traffic school growth, the Court requested 2 full time dedicated staff for the Traffic School operation in early 90s. It was administratively attached to the Court’s Safety Center which operated the DUI School already for the Court. The fee grew from $25 for First Offender Training (FOT) and $40 for DDC and A25 classes in the 1980s to FOT $35 and the remaining classes were $50 in the 90s.

9 “Spike” in Traffic Cases “Spike” in Traffic Cases Traffic School, Traffic Violations Bureau, Metro IT Department and National Safety Council Partner In 2003, the newly appointed Police Chief in Nashville immediately made traffic enforcement a high priority. The traffic dockets grew 40% in almost a 2 year period. The courtrooms were quite small and on some days the Traffic Courtroom capacity was in violation of the local fire codes. To address this issue, the Court partnered with the Clerk’s Office, to develop a mail-in program.

10 “Traffic Jam” “Traffic Jam” August 18, 2004 It was the largest single traffic docket in the county’s history. 2 courtrooms accommodated the offenders who actually appeared in each courtroom. Ticketed motorists fill the hallway as they wait to enter Traffic Court on August 18, 2004.

11 The Book Keeping was a Traffic Stopper The mail-in program helped ease caseloads. The book keeping and scheduling process continued to remain a manual function. The school personnel were paper-laden with an outdated accounting process and no cash receipt system. More had to be done.

12 The First Step ● A New Traffic Ticket was designed. ● The Offender could now elect to send in a mail-back form to enroll in Traffic School without going to court. The traffic citation was adapted to include a mail-in registration form for traffic school enrollment.

13 The Administrative Process Needed Further Change The National Safety Council developed an online traffic school for first and second traffic offenders. The General Sessions Court Presiding Judge, Court Management and the Circuit Clerk’s management from Nashville visited a relatively new on-line site in Lake County Illinois. While the mail-in program was successful, It was apparent the online school would further reduce the court room cases and alleviate some of the workload in the Traffic School office. Registration software was needed.

14 How Do You Design an Interface? Just offering the on-line school was not enough. The antiquated book-keeping system needed an overhaul. The beginning of the design was dictated by the data needed for revenue and enrollment reporting.

15 Design Analysis Metro ITS was asked to perform the core function analysis to document the work flow. Apparent on the front end, was the need to not allow the actual traffic citations to flow through the Traffic School for class attendance marking. The payment process was disorganized and gave people an option, not to show up. Absentees created a bottleneck in the enrollment process.

16 The New Software opened up a new relationship with NSC. Work flow approval signaled the build process to begin. Testing and completion followed.

17 Today Over 40 years of experience 1.7 million drivers trained annually Worldwide network of Training Centers More than 30 different programs customized for specific drivers and/or industries including:  Traffic Violators  Young Drivers  Mature Drivers  Corporate Fleets  Trucking  Emergency Vehicles NSC Is Now a World-wide Network

18 DDC-4 (4 hrs) DDC-8/6 (6 - 8 hrs) DDC Professional Truck Driver(4, 6, or 8 hrs) Alive At 25(4 hrs) DDC-Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving(6 – 8 hrs) DDC Online Courses(approx hrs) DDC Online Motorcycle Professional Truck Driver Defensive Driving Course (DDC) Core Programs

19 Proof of Effectiveness University of Nebraska at Omaha The study examined the driving records of nearly 1,000 drivers eligible to take DDC in Douglas County (Omaha, Nebraska) in 2003 and 2004 and found that the 3 year recidivism rate was 41% less among DDC participants, at 55.8% to 32.9%. Individuals who do not take DDC class are 1.7 times more likely to get a subsequent violation in a 3 year period, proof that this program works. Massachusetts Registry of Vehicle - DDC-Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving Percentage reductions in surchargeable incidents after DDC-ADD ranged from a 56% decrease in major and minor traffic violations for males, to a 71% decreases in surchargeable violations by females. Of all participants, 3,285 (77%) had at least one minor violation in the six months prior to DDC-ADD training. Of this number, 2,392 (73%) did not record a minor violation in the following six months. College of Lake County (Illinois) Drivers who participated in the College of Lake County’s Driver Safety Program had 13% fewer negligent driving arrests than non-program drivers. Drivers who participated in the College of Lake County ’ s Driver Safety Program had 19% fewer collisions than non-program drivers. NSC Offers Statistical Proof

20 State of Colorado The state of Colorado adopts DDC-4 and Alive at 25: "Colorado's focus on motor vehicle safety takes another step forward with legislation I signed this month. We welcome the National Safety Council's role in our efforts to implement a classroom driver awareness program for minors." Colorado Governor Bill Owens, July 2004 According to the Colorado State Patrol, the under 20-year-old fatality rate in Colorado has dropped 20% since their adoption of our DDC-Alive at 25 program in They feel DDC-Alive at 25 played a major role in this effort. Colorado Sets Example

21 Program Development & Modification Designed by curriculum specialists Researched and reviewed by top authorities in the field Tested by focus groups prior to delivery to determine effectiveness Curriculum and instructors updated with the latest information to ensure consistent quality Bi-monthly publications Webcasts/conferences Alternative delivery methods Online Video-based NSC Curricula is Tested and Updated Regularly

22 Since its introduction in 2000, DDC Online has trained more than 1.2 million drivers in the National Safety Council’s time-tested defensive driving techniques. Newly updated information and technology make it the most up-to-date Internet defensive driving curriculum with consistent quality and content nationwide. The Most Up-to-date Program Nationwide

23 Defensive Driving Course Online: Greater interactivity and more real-life driving simulations Redesigned with streaming video for photo montage for lower speed connections Updated statistics and driving tips How drugs, alcohol, physical conditions and emotions affect your driving Dealing with driver distractions and fatigue Dealing with stress and road rage Learning the physical forces of a collision Understanding the importance of occupant safety devices and how to use them correctly NSC On-Line is Comprehensive

24 DDC Motorcycle Safety Program Online: ● Developed in partnership with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, this interactive, online program is intended for motorcyclists who participate in traffic violator schools. This program is now being offered to traffic courts and traffic schools to educate riders who receive moving violations. ● Riders can learn techniques and decision-making strategies for minimizing risk, as well as attitudinal information and crash avoidance measures that they may not be exposed to otherwise. Motorcycle Safety

25 Defensive Driving Course Professional Truck Driver Topics include: The most common causes of truck-related collisions and how to avoid them The DDC Collision Prevention Formula Setting safety standards and protecting motorists The unique challenges of driving large vehicles Managing lanes safely Dealing with uncontrollable driving conditions and hazards Professional Truck Drivers

26 Instructor Assignments In Person Schedules Tracks enrollments Builds class roster Enrollment Reports Attendance Reports Archival of Data Database user permission Class type / Fee type Traffic School Business Process Is Automated

27 On-line Traffic School (OTS) Interface Becomes the Database for All Operations The OTS interface allows individuals to schedule their own classes, whether by internet or in-person classes.

28 Partnerships Work Define Common Goals. Be willing to listen to needs. Agree on procedures. Thoroughly explain processes and share information. Ask questions. Don’t demand answers. Have Alternative ideas. Be flexible.

29 Partnerships create relationships.


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