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Paying traffic tickets just became a little easier in Lancaster County.
A new online payment system became available in June for motorists who have been issued traffic tickets within the 6th Judicial Circuit, which includes Lancaster County. The system, which can be accessed at http://publicindex.sccourts.org/lancaster/onlinepayments/, allows motorists to type in their last name and case number to access their information and pay their fine.
State troopers and other law enforcement officials have been given special cards to hand out to those who have been ticketed. The cards inform motorists if they do not wish to appear in court, they can visit the Web site and pay their citation amount with a credit card. The cards also state that online payment does not forfeit their right to request a trial in writing or to appear for the scheduled court date.
Jackie Pope, chief magistrate in Lancaster County, said the online system was mandated by the office of the state’s chief justice. Pope said many other counties have already complied with the requirement. In preparation for the new system, Pope said her staff attended special training.
“It’s part of our new case-management system that’s going to be statewide with judicial departments,” Pope said.
Pope said the system is a convenient way for out-of-state motorists to pay their fines, though she doesn’t think it will change how her office operates.
“It’s not going to free up time for us because we still need to make sure everything is checked and see if any payments have been made,” she said. “It won’t save us time; it’s just something convenient for the people.”
Only a few payments have been made so far, but with summer traffic increasing, Pope expects to see an increase in usage on the site once more people know it’s available.
“We’ll see where it goes. Maybe by the end of July or August we’ll know more about how effective it is,” Pope said.
County Administrator Steve Willis said the new system is beneficial for both county staff and residents. He sees the system as yet another step toward making Lancaster County more accessible by using the Internet.
“This puts us ahead of some counties, such as York County, in making court services available online,” Willis said.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (803) 416-8416