Appearances for traffic and ordinance violations are not normally required. Some types of citations have dispositions which may offer alternatives if the person appears.
To contest a traffic or ordinance violation, a party must either appear on the date of the citation or must have a not guilty plea filed in writing before that date. If a party fails to do one or the other, the case is defaulted.
If a "Not Guilty" plea is filed, the matter is referred to the scheduling clerk for setting the trial date.