Ticket quotas increase in cities, states as revenue drop

| 11/25/2008

As many state and local governments struggle to recover from massive budget shortfalls, many are turning to ticket quotas as a “revenue enhancement” source – a fact that long-haul truckers know all too well.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer told Land Line Magazine recently that he has noticed a significant increase in the number of state and local police departments who have stepped up their enforcement efforts as a way to “boost their revenue sources” because of dwindling income.

In Michigan, which has a state law banning ticket quotas, the Detroit News is reporting that the city of Detroit has had a 94 percent increase in the number of traffic tickets issued over a five-year period, from 2002 to 2007. In Plymouth, MI, the number of tickets issued there skyrocketed more than 487 percent during the same time frame.

However, during the same five years that traffic enforcement efforts were stepped up in Detroit, the News reported that the number of serious crimes also “increased significantly” – up 56 percent – in the number of murders, rapes, robberies, assaults and burglaries.

Ticket quotas exist in West Virginia
The auditor for the West Virginia state legislature confirmed in mid-November that ticket quotas exist in the “Mountain State.”

Spencer was quick to point out that even though West Virginia reported increased enforcement efforts, the rate of fatal accidents did not change significantly.

“This report also states the WVSP is ‘more focused on road law, as opposed to criminal investigation,’ ” he said.

Ohio officer reprimanded
In October, Ken Braden, a Madison Township, OH, police officer said he was reprimanded for not writing enough traffic tickets, even though he and another officer in the department were tied for posting the most criminal arrests.

Madison Township Police Chief Greg Ryan told the Columbus Dispatch in October he defends his decision to reprimand Braden.

“He gets paid as much as the other officers,” Ryan told the Dispatch. “He should do as much work as the other officers.”

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer