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Posted: 9/3/2001 8:26:44 PM EDT
This may have been posted before. It's a good read though. [url]http://www.motorists.org/issues/tickets/traffic_ticket_system.html[/url] "Traffic tickets virtually fund many court systems. Traffic tickets justify the existence of entire police agencies (state highway patrols). Traffic tickets are the measurement criteria for enforcement budget requests and personnel performance ratings. Traffic tickets are used as an excuse to raise the insurance rates for otherwise safe drivers to the cumulative total of billions of dollars each year. And, in someinstances, traffic tickets virtually fund local units of government."
Link Posted: 9/3/2001 9:13:12 PM EDT
It's got to be topped by parking tickets. Here in LA they paint curbs red for seemingly no other reason than to get more violations. I would guess the average parking ticket is $30. Lets say a traffic control officer runs $60 an hour for the officer, car and administrative costs. It's most likely less but let's error on the high side. So that's only 2 tickets per hour til "profit time." As fast as they can write one seems about 3 or 4 minutes or less. I'm sure they write one every 10 to 15 minutes. So they are making $60 to $120 an hour "profit" each. Put 1,000 traffic control officers out and that's $60 to $120 THOUSAND DOLLARS AN HOUR! The city has to be raking in over $1 million dollars a day on parking tickets!
Link Posted: 9/3/2001 9:33:02 PM EDT
What are you saying? Its a racket? Do police have quotas? Has someone ever been given a ticket because a cop needed to make his bonus? Wow! That would be corruption! What can you do about it? I'll write my GIVES A FUCK senator right now! (John McCain)I'm sure he'll stop the check lanes and traffic light cameras.
Link Posted: 9/3/2001 10:34:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/3/2001 11:02:36 PM EDT
That isn't all. Did you know that the corporations that put in those red light cameras get a cut of every ticket THEY (not law enforcement) issue? There have been cases were it was found that these companies actually shortened the amount of time that the yellow light was on to increase the number of red light violators.
Link Posted: 9/3/2001 11:23:05 PM EDT
A local LEO came by my bar the other night and told me that they were, Quote, "Gunning for DUI's that night", end quote. I asked him if they had a quota for DUI's and he stated that they legally cannot have a quota because that would lead them to make unneccesary stops just to make the quota. I then asked why they were gunning for DUI's that night and he said that his supervisor was all pissed because they had not had one in a couple of months and wondered what the hell they were doing with their time. Sure enough officer friendly got 2 DUI's coming out of my bar that night. So suffice to say that they cannot have a legal quota they usually have an unsaid amount of tickets to be had. Alex BTW I do not endorse the practice of drinking and driving.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 6:30:07 AM EDT
The cited article amounts to nothing more than the writers personal opinion. We don't get to directly keep any of the ticket money , nor does the Court of Jurisdiction, except for a small court costs surcharge.. It all goes to the state. The state sends money back to the municipality in the form of grants. Tickets are used by insurance companies to raise rates because they consider a chronic speeder to be someone more likely to be involved in accidents. They have most likely done studies to prove a link there, although I cannot produce that study here. Ask your insurance guy next time you stop in to their office. Admin guys use ticket numbers to rate the performance of officers; I don't particularly like that, but the admin guys can't ride with every officer every shift and see what they are doing. They try to take into account that certain shifts handle proportionatly more calls, but my agency expects a certain level of performance OVER TIME. If an officer is only writing 6 tickets a year...and we've had those types..they are NOT doing their jobs. I could, especially in the winter, meet the targeted goal simply by issuing tickets at accidents, where someone is at fault about 98% of the time and should get a ticket. I disagree that the argument that tickets don't slow people down. If that were true, why do people slow down or suddenly become attentive to every nuance of the traffic law when they see a marked unit? They are afraid of getting a ticket. Officers do not make "bonuses" based on tickets. This is government service...there is no "bonus". As for "gunning for DUI's". There is nothing wrong with targeting a particular problem on specific nights or times or locations. It's called selective enforcement. For instance, Friday night into Saturday morning, you can expect officers to be more vigilant for DUI's because they know that statistically more drivers have been out tipping back the bottle and are now driving home.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 6:51:37 AM EDT
Hooey. Traffic enforcement is a business. A corrupt business. Every JP and municipal judge has their own way of keeping the traffic fines in their system. From "administrative fee" to "court costs" to whatever, the judge/cops bend the law to keep the money local. Just like every other corrupt government system, "it's all about money". Whether the charged infraction is sent to "traffic school", reduced or changed, the effect is the same, the locals get around sending the money to the state whenever possible to enrich themselves. BTW, I haven't had a traffic ticket in more years than I can remember (maybe fifteen or more), but I see the system work every day and there aren't many honest people in it.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 7:21:23 AM EDT
Sorry you feel that waay. The "court cost" surcharge is a legitimate way to recoup the expenses of the court involved with the case. The main portion of the money, as I mentioned, goes to the state. A $100 ticket may have $25 court costs. Thats not a lot of money they are "hiding", and most likely barely covers the costs they've incurred. The Court has to track every ticket it receives. How do you propose that the JP's and Judges hide the cash?
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 7:44:39 AM EDT
speaking of which, I just received a ticket 2 nights ago. 66 in a 45 zone. It was passing through the outskirts of one town from a state highway marked at 65. It was 0300 and there was no other car in sight. They made me post bail/payment onsite. I was speeding. But somehow, I don't feel that it's right that cops just sit there and target speeders all the time, especially in zones that change speed limits suddenly. I have about a month where I have all the time in the world before I go off the training, should I fight this?
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 7:46:41 AM EDT
The specific rackets the judges/police run is of little interest to me except as it effects my community. We have several towns near where I live that derive the majority of their municipal revenue from traffic tickets. From ticketing people for factory tinted windows to bogus radar tickets to "failure to maintain a line" that's not an infraction. When the State of Texas passed legislation to abolish these corrupt local systems, the towns' police systems either dried up or moved to the next small town and setup their crooked schemes again. Most of the money DOES NOT go to the state. Only the money involved in the tickets that are handled in the "normal" fashion. Most tickets are plead down, changed or sent to traffic school so the money becomes accountable only locally. And don't try that line about the legitimacy of the "court costs". When an interstate and three state highways that go through my small county as well as three towns, the JP's and municipal judges courts' income is massive. It's also a significant revenue stream for the local governments.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 7:56:29 AM EDT
I've seen the books of a small town in my area and OVER 75% of their budget was funded by tickets! A decent lawyer should be able to get hold of that and break it up based on RICO.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 8:03:21 AM EDT
"A $100 ticket may have $25 court costs." huh? the last $70 ticket i paid (not issued for speeding) had a $40 "court cost" charge on it. for what???? less than 15 seconds in front of a "judge" and the time to type a line item on a monthly report to the state? oops. i forgot...the lights were on in the courtroom...add $1 to cover the electricity i used up in my 15 seconds. i'll bet they ran 40-50 people thru that "court" in the hour it took them get to me.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 10:11:46 AM EDT
Not to get lost in the details, my biggest concern on issues like this is when legitimate police functions become subrogated to revenue enhancement, all vestige of moral authority is lost.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 10:16:42 AM EDT
More tax collectors with guns.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 1:37:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Arock: The specific rackets the judges/police run is of little interest to me except as it effects my community. We have several towns near where I live that derive the majority of their municipal revenue from traffic tickets. From ticketing people for factory tinted windows to bogus radar tickets to "failure to maintain a line" that's not an infraction. When the State of Texas passed legislation to abolish these corrupt local systems, the towns' police systems either dried up or moved to the next small town and setup their crooked schemes again. Most of the money DOES NOT go to the state. Only the money involved in the tickets that are handled in the "normal" fashion. Most tickets are plead down, changed or sent to traffic school so the money becomes accountable only locally. And don't try that line about the legitimacy of the "court costs". When an interstate and three state highways that go through my small county as well as three towns, the JP's and municipal judges courts' income is massive. It's also a significant revenue stream for the local governments.
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This is directed at all of you from other states who comment that the money isn't sent to the state, although I'm quoting this particular poster: Obviously, I don't know what the systems in your state is for tickets. I am describing the system here, and thats what I am familiar with. Work to change the system in your state if you feel its not being run properly. As for the Court costs surcharge: Figure the time and expense of a guy who wants to fight a ticket, vs a ticket that gets settled immediately by a plea of guilty. Theres postage, Court time, officer time, secretarial time and effort.... postage, letters, appaer..even the utilities mentioned before. Figure that before the case even goes to trial, s/he's made 2-3 court appearances, vs simply pleaing through the mail. Thats time intensive to the Court. Thats where the surchrage comes into play.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 1:48:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2001 1:48:59 PM EDT by tcsd1236]
Originally Posted By Zumo: speaking of which, I just received a ticket 2 nights ago. 66 in a 45 zone. It was passing through the outskirts of one town from a state highway marked at 65. It was 0300 and there was no other car in sight. They made me post bail/payment onsite. I was speeding. But somehow, I don't feel that it's right that cops just sit there and target speeders all the time, especially in zones that change speed limits suddenly. I have about a month where I have all the time in the world before I go off the training, should I fight this?
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OK, to get into this a bit further. First, you admit to speeding. In the Courts eyes, it isn't going to matter HOW much you were speeding, simply that you were exceeding the posted speed limit. The amount over is used here to determine what the fine will be, so it comes down to "was I speeding or not?". You've already said yes to that. Secondly, you say its a state highway. I don't know what your state has, but you might want to check to see what your state uses as guidelines for signage on a state highway. It might be called something else, but thats what it boils down to. It dictates how, when and where signs, and what kind of signs, can be posted on a state highway. That includes speed limit signs and how speed zones are marked. If the area you were passing through was not signed in accordance with the state regulations, that would be an affirmative defense on your part, and the ticket would most likely be thrown out. Quite often I get speeding complaints from citizens who complain about speeding through particular areas around their homes, and I have to tell them that I cannot enforce speeding through those areas because the areas are not signed properly. The exception to that would be if your state has a section in the traffic laws that any roadway not posted is automatically 55 MPH. You were in excess of that speed, so even without posted signage, you are expected to limit your speed to 55 or under. As to the guidelines about signage, contact the nearest office for your State Dept of Transportation , or whatever its called in your area. They should be able to refer you to the guidelines they use for posting State roads, and what those guidelines are called.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 1:52:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 1:57:34 PM EDT
I would be interested in what some of the tax collec.....eerrrr I mean LEO's have to say about this ???
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 2:00:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 2:03:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Sweep: I'll say it before anyone else can---in best whinny voice: [i]"If you're caught speeding you should just go pay your fine!"[/i] Man I hate that argument! [img]http://www.ncsg.org/topohat-small.jpg[/img]
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Agreed as far as speeding goes. My beef is that, at least here in the DC/No.VA/Md area, when the red-light cameras were installed they SHORTENED THE YELLOW LIGHT! Now why, besides increasing revenue, would the yellow be shortened? If the yellow was OK before then it should have been OK after?
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 2:06:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 2:09:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 2:10:04 PM EDT
"If you're caught speeding you should just go pay your fine!"
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Been doing that for the past 30 years. Just another cost of driving. I consider it a toll. Eddie
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 2:15:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 2:20:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2001 2:21:07 PM EDT by Sweep]
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 2:26:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2001 2:26:38 PM EDT by Sweep]
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