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raffic
         Traffic caseloads include non-criminal
         traffic violations (infractions), juvenile
         traffic violations, parking violations,
         ordinance violations, and other related
                                                        State Court Guide
         cases. These cases represent 55 percent              to Statistical
                                                                Reporting
         of all incoming cases in state trial courts.
         Along with jury service, experience in
         traffic court is an important way that                  SJI
                                                                       State
                                                                       Justice
                                                                       Institute

         public perceptions of state court
         systems are shaped.
                                                             For more information and
                                                             downloads of the Guide,
         Due to the implementation of the State              see the National Center
         Court Guide to Statistical Reporting, cases         for State Court’s Web site:
         that result from arrests for Driving                www.ncsconline.org/d_
                                                             research/statistical_reporting
         While Intoxicated (DWI, also referred
         to as Driving Under the Influence
         (DUI)) are now properly categorized as
         criminal cases and reported in that
         section. Beyond this change, the Guide
         does not have a major impact on case-
         load reporting for traffic cases.




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                                        • 59
                Incoming Traffic, Parking, & Ordinance Violation Caseloads and Rates in 19 States, 2003

                                                                                                                                               Per 100,000
                                                                                     State                           Total                     Population
Traffic cases   • Traffic cases are typically
                  heard in the limited                                               New Jersey                   5,640,755                      65,299
constitute a      jurisdiction courts in                                             Texas                        8,955,580                      40,489
                  states with two-tiered                                             Nevada                         663,056                      29,585
 significant      trial court systems.                                               Arizona                      1,503,322                      26,937
                                                                                     Washington                   1,619,095                      26,406
   caseload     • The sheer number of                                                Arkansas                       656,300                      24,078
                  these cases, as well as the                                        Illinois*                    2,935,056                      23,196
                  large number of courts                                             Michigan                     2,276,463                      22,584
                  and other entities that                                            Utah                           526,111                      22,374
                  handle them, make                                                  Vermont                        123,689                      19,979
                  accurate and comprehen-                                            South Dakota*                  140,527                      18,386
                  sive case counts difficult.                                        Ohio                         1,865,358                      16,312
                                                                                     California*                  4,924,075                      13,877
                • In some states, non-
                                                                                     Indiana                        837,406                      13,516
                  criminal traffic cases                                             Wisconsin*                     617,102                      11,277
                  are handled as an
                                                                                     North Carolina                 722,550                       8,594
                  administrative matter,
                                                                                     Florida                      1,330,945                       7,820
                  in some instances by                                               New Hampshire                   74,054                       5,751
                  a non-court entity.
                                                                                     Puerto Rico*                    11,661                          301


                                                                                    * These states have unified court systems
                                                                                    California’s data includes parking appeals, but not parking violations.




                Traffic, Parking, & Ordinance Violation Clearance Rates in 19 States, 2003

                    Puerto Rico *                                                                                 • Clearance rates are cal-
                    Washington                                                                                      culated by dividing the
                        Indiana                                                                                     number of outgoing
                          Illinois *
                                                                                                                    cases by the number of
                           Utah
                                                                                                                    incoming cases. The
                           Ohio
                    New Jersey
                                                                                                                    result is then expressed
                  North Carolina                                                                                    as a percentage.
                  South Dakota *
                       Michigan                                                                                   • Due to the high volume
                        Arizona                                                                                     and low complexity of
                       Vermont                                                                                      most of these cases, courts
                       Missouri                                                                                     are constantly seeking
                New Hampshire
                                                                                                                    more efficient ways to
                          Texas
                                                                                                                    handle them, including
                         Florida
                      California *
                                                                                                                    solutions like online
                        Nevada                                                                                      payment processing,
                      Arkansas                                                                                      Web-based traffic school,
                                       0%    20%      40%       60%      80%      100%       120%
                                                                                                                    and other customer-
                                                                                                                    driven options.
                      * These states have unified court systems
                      California’s data includes parking appeals, but not parking violations.



                                                                 • 60
                Incoming Traffic, Parking, & Ordinance Violation Caseload Composition in 49 States, 2003


                • Non-criminal traffic
Non-criminal      cases, which include
                                                                          Non-Criminal Traffic
                  moving violations such
traffic cases
                  as speeding or failure
   are often      to signal or stop, make
                  up the vast majority of
   disputed       the caseload.

    in court    • Typically, non-criminal
                  traffic cases are re-
                  solved through fines,
                  which may explain
                  why offenders often
                  take the time to go
                  to court to dispute
                  these violations.                                                     Parking
                                                                                             Ordinance
                                                                                                       Other

                                                                                  80%     12%     6%     2%




                Incoming Traffic, Parking, & Ordinance Violation Caseload Composition in Limited vs.
                General Jurisdiction Courts in 49 States, 2003


                     Non-Criminal Traffic                                                    • Parking violations
                                                                                               are primarily handled
                                                                                               in the limited jurisdic-
                                                                                               tion courts.




                                      Parking

                                                Ordinance
                                                            Other
                                                                    s General Jurisdiction
                                                                    s Limited Jurisdiction
                           84%          5%        7%         4%
                           79%         14%        6%          1%



                                                            • 61
                Incoming Parking Violation Caseloads in 10 States, 2003


      Parking   • Parking represents                                               Incoming                    Percent
                  a large but highly                                                Traffic        Parking     Parking
                                                         State                       Cases        Violations   Violations
   violations     variable share of
                  traffic cases.
                                                         New Jersey                5,640,755      2,980,106       53%
    vary with
                • Not surprisingly,                      Minnesota*                1,490,130        682,965       46
       urban      states with highly
                  concentrated urban                     Hawaii                      426,717        180,146       42
concentration     areas generate more                    Washington                1,619,095        575,844       36
                  parking violations,
                  compared to more                       Michigan                  2,276,463        371,146       16

                  rural and less densely                 Arizona                   1,503,322        142,639        9
                  populated states.
                                                         New Hampshire                74,054          2,821        4

                                                         Nevada                      663,056         15,809        2

                                                         Louisiana                 1,108,840         25,642        2

                                                         New Mexico                  184,249          1,715        1



                                                         *Minnesota has a unified court system.




                                              • 62

				
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