LA Superior Unveils|Traffic-Ticket Kiosks

     LOS ANGELES (CN) — Los Angeles County Superior Court has opened outdoor kiosks that will allow visitors to take care of traffic tickets outside five courthouses.
     In an April 25 announcement, the court said that it was offering the service at the Beverly Hills, Chatsworth, Van Nuys West, Metropolitan, and West Covina courthouses. The kiosks are available seven days a week, the court said in a news release.
     Court spokeswoman Mary Eckhardt Hearn said in a phone interview that along with online and automated phone services and walk-up windows, the kiosks mark another expansion of court services that will cut into wait times and lines.
     Sherri Carter addressed those issues after she was appointed as executive officer and clerk in 2013, Hearn said, touring courthouses and talking personally with people waiting in line.
     “Independent of the kiosk installation, wait times and lines have been reduced significantly at the courthouses,” Hearn said Friday. “A couple of years ago, we were saying that people should expect perhaps as long as a two-hour wait in line. In the most extreme cases at the Metropolitan courthouse, there were days when the lines were wrapped around the building. That’s essentially gone away.”
     People can pay tickets by cash, check or money order at the kiosks, Hearn said, and they are open 21 1/2 hours a day. Between 12:30 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. the kiosks are closed for servicing by vendor General Payment Systems.
     General Payment Systems charges customers a $3 transaction fee and there was no out-of-pocket expense to the court in setting up the kiosks, Hearn said.
     The kiosks can be used to check the status of a ticket, pay and close a ticket, request an extension, make a traffic payment, ask for traffic school and reserve a court date.
     The court already offers online services in English, Armenian, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.
     “That’s a huge benefit to local communities and those alternative language translations are also available through the kiosk,” Hearn noted.
     Though there are no immediate plans to expand the service, Hearn said that in the future the court may open kiosks at all 28 courthouses servicing traffic tickets.
     The court may add other services that could include small claims matters, Hearn said.
     Traffic-ticket kiosk service opened in March at the courthouses as part of a pilot program, Hearn said, adding that the court wanted to assess operations before making the announcement.

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