A razzberry to Roseville

While Roseville, CA, may have been named by Money Magazine as one of the top 100 best small cities to live in America in 2008, most truckers would disagree.

That’s because Roseville city officials have decided to change how police officers write traffic tickets in an effort to keep all of the fine revenue themselves. Their logic? Why share their profits with Placer County and the state if they “do all the work”?

The police department even conducted a three-month pilot program this past summer using truck drivers as their test subjects for violations such as restricted routes, load and license issues in order to gauge whether their new revenue enhancement strategy would be profitable.

The overwhelming response to their initial experiment was positive. And now Roseville has the cash in hand as proof.

Roseville – award-winning small city that it is – can’t pass along any more tax increases, it seems, to its own residents. So, instead, they are looking to prey on nonvoters and nonresidents, such as long-haul truckers.

Roseville Police Capt. Stan Lumsden even threw a little flattery truckers’ way in a Sacramento Bee article. He stated that drivers tend to pay their fines sooner and are less likely to contest the municipal code tickets than state code citations, which is another “benefit” to using the city code instead.

I’m sure that Capt. Lumsden’s shout-out to truckers will not give them a warm and fuzzy feeling, knowing they hit the “Roseville Favorite Violators” list because they are good payers.

Lumsden even bragged that those ticketed shouldn’t complain because of what a good deal it is. The municipal tickets will be offered at bargain prices because they will be cheaper than state-issued tickets. That’s because Roseville doesn’t have to divvy up the profits with county and state. Instead of having a $146 ticket and the city getting a measly $31 of it, Roseville can offer a discounted fine of $100. It’s cheaper for the perp and Roseville gets to keep it all.

However, Lumsden did want to make it clear that

the police department’s main objective is, of course, safety – not generating revenue. LL