Police in Central Texas Will Start Texting Tickets and Fines

If you live in Windcrest, the days of being pulled over by the cops for breaking traffic laws are over. Police will text you a warning or ticket. If you are a good driver, they may give you a thumbs up.

The Trusted Driver Program will be launched on Saturday and will aim to reduce the interaction between police and the public for minor traffic violations. The first of its kind in the U.S., the web-based program allows officers to send drivers a message with information on their traffic violation instead of pulling them over.

The Trusted Driver Program is not a 100% solution, but it is a step forward in the right direction, according to Val Garcia, a former San Antonio Police Department officer and CEO of the program.

The police have more time to devote to serious crime like drunk drivers and reckless drivers if they are less interactions for minor traffic violations.

Windcrest is the first city to pilot the program.

Signing up for the free program is easy. Drivers in Windcrest have to go to the Trusted Driver Program website to create a profile and provide their name, address, vehicle, insurance information, and email address. They can provide any voluntary disclosures, such as disabilities or medical conditions.

If officers have no choice but to pull someone over, this information, which can include, for example, deafness, or other physical disabilities, can be key.

It gives an officer information faster in the field to handle a traffic stop if it does occur and be able to deescalate the situation.

The Trusted Driver Program will never sell, share, or provide the information that users include in their profiles to any vendor or company.

Police using the Trusted Driver Program that witness a minor traffic violation will run your car's license plate and confirm you are the driver. Users will probably have to take a picture to enable the latter, but we weren't able to verify this when we tried to sign up on Friday.

The officer will send you a warning or ticket via text after pulling up your Trusted Driver Program information. Police can send drivers text messages if they do a good job following traffic laws. It is not clear if those messages will cause joy or anxiety before they are read.

The Trusted Driver Program allows users to pay and manage tickets online. Users can pay their fines the same day, contest tickets in a virtual courtroom, or take an online defensive driving course, according to the program.

Even though police can communicate with you through the program, they don't have the ability to track your location. People who sign up for the Trusted Driver Program aren't more likely to get traffic tickets. They maintain that the program's goal is not to make money.

Being a member means you are improving transport safety through digital dialogue. According to the program's website, electronic citations are only issued by officers who witness a minor violation. Trusted Driver is not connected to any digital traffic monitoring systems that could increase the likelihood of being fined.