Instructions to Police Officers on Traffic Tickets
The following information must be printed on the back of the outside cover of each book of Uniform Traffic Tickets:
INSTRUCTIONS TO OFFICERS
1. At all times be COURTEOUS, FAIR and HONEST. Remember that public opinion of traffic enforcement is judged almost entirely by your conduct.
2. When issuing every Uniform Traffic Ticket:
Introduce yourself to the driver by saying,
“I am (give your rank, name and the name of the enforcement agency you represent).”
– Ask for the driver’s license, registration certificate and insurance identification card.
– Advise the driver of the offense committed.
– Advise the driver that you are going to issue a Uniform Traffic Ticket charging that offense.
– Ask for any additional information necessary to fill out the Uniform Traffic Ticket.
– Check the boxes “65 MPH Zone,” “Safe Corridor” or “Construction Zone” when applicable to the offense charged.
– Always check the box “Court Appearance Required” in accordance with R. 7:12-4(d) in addition to checking the “Accident” and Personal Injury” boxes if the offense involves an accident resulting in personal injury.
In addition, the box for “Court Appearance Required” must also be checked if the charge involves: (1) speeding 40 MPH or more above the posted speed limit in any vehicle; (2) speeding 20 MPH or more above the posted speed limit in a “Safe Corridor” or ”Construction Zone”; or (3) the following the operation of a commercial vehicle (see N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.11):
a) Excessive speeding – 15 MPH or more above the speed limit.
b) Reckless driving, including violations of N.J.S.A. 39:4-96.
c) Improper or erratic traffic lane changes.
d) Following a vehicle ahead too closely, including violations of N.J.S.A. 39:4-89.
– Always charge only one offense per ticket.
– Fill out the Uniform Traffic Ticket and hand it to the driver.
DO NOT –
– “Lecture” the driver.
– Quiz drivers on their knowledge of traffic laws.
– Indulge in personal remarks or altercations.
3. In filling out a ticket, preferably use a ball-point pen, applying steady pressure so that all copies will be legible. Print all information so that it is legible.
4. File the Uniform Traffic Ticket with the court without delay.
5. File the police copy in accordance with your departmental regulations.
6. Keep your officer’s copy in the event that your testimony in court is required.
7. Give the defendant the hard copy of the Uniform Traffic Ticket. For parking offenses, the defendant’s copy may also be affixed to the vehicle.
B. OFFICER’S COMMENTS
(See back of Officer’s Copy)
It is very important to fill in the OFFICER’S COMMENTS section provided on the back of the officer’s copy of the Uniform Traffic Ticket. Use this space to describe briefly the circumstances of the offense. There are always one or more relevant comments that you should note. Include every fact which will assist you in testifying, including:
-Facts about speed, distance and course of travel or position of the motor vehicle.
-In careless or reckless driving cases, the details which indicate that such offense was committed.
-Statements by the driver and general attitude.
-Other helpful comments or observations.
-Amendments to tickets are within the sole province of the judge acting, when appropriate, in open court.