A bill has stalled in the Utah Legislature that was intended
to prevent law enforcement officers from going on ticket-writing sprees.
The Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
Committee failed to approve the measure on a 2-2 vote. Three members of the
committee were absent for the vote on the House-approved bill that would have
prohibited all law enforcement agencies in the state from setting traffic
One lawmaker who did show up for the vote was the panel's
chairman, Sen. Jon Greiner. Greiner, R-Ogden, also is the chief of police for
Rep. Neil Hansen, D-Ogden, previously told lawmakers he had
firsthand knowledge that officers in Ogden are required to write a certain
number of tickets.
"I was with (my) daughter and we got pulled over. I asked
the officer if he's under a quota system. He said they really don't call it a
quota system, it's more of a performance-based evaluation system," Hansen said
at a recent hearing on the bill in the House.
As part of that system, the officer told him, he's required
to write eight tickets a day.
Police chiefs, including Greiner, opposed the bill - HB255 -
saying it would strip them of their ability to require reluctant officers to
write tickets when necessary.
Supporters of the measure said there's a difference between
telling officers to write a certain number of tickets and telling them to write
all the infractions they see.
Hansen said that if chiefs have officers who refuse to write
tickets, the problem is with the officers who refuse to enforce the laws - not
the lack of a ticket quota.