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Davidson County joins online speeding ticket payment program

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- At the Davidson County Courthouse, Superior Court Clerk Brian Shipwash has seen people wait to appeal speeding tickets or ask for reductions for hours.

"The lines were out the door, lined up in the hallway," Shipwash said. "People having to miss work, arrange child care."

Shipwash says processing speeding tickets makes up half of the court’s criminal cases.

"To stand in the line, to wait, spending half the day just to end up paying for a reduction and we can do better," he said.

And better is exactly what the county is trying to do, joining the new online program "i-PLEA" on Monday.

“Individuals who happen to have the misfortune of getting a citation do not have to come to court and can handle everything online,” Shipwash said. “It's a much better way.”

Drivers who get a speeding ticket in the county can now go online to onlineservices.NCcourts.org to try to fight it or get it reduced.

"Our goal is to allow you to do that from the comfort of your office or your home," Shipwash said.

Defendants have to be at least 18 years old and have a valid North Carolina driver’s license to qualify.

The speeding charge can't be more than 19 miles over the posted limit.

All online requests are reviewed by the district attorney.

It’s a system Shipwash hopes will not only cut down on waiting time but clear out boxes of paperwork at the courthouse.

So far, several drivers think the online system is a good idea.

"It's just really hard to get off of work to come here," said driver Florence Barringer. "I think that's a great idea, you'll be able to do it online because everything's online now.”

"Most things are done online now so I think it's wonderful," said driver Elizabeth Safewright.

The i-PLEA online system is also available for people who have received speeding tickets in Buncombe, Davie, Johnston and Mecklenburg counties.

A state-wide rollout is expected to go into effect on Sept. 25.