Should traffic cops pay be based on tickets?

From CNN: 

It's a theory many drivers have held since their first speeding ticket, that citations are somehow connected to a special perk for the officer writing it.

Now, a memo among Atlanta police officers has reignited such suspicions.

"The mayor has designated traffic court and ticket revenue for future pay increases," Atlanta Police Union President Ken Allen wrote this month.

Some residents scoffed at the idea.

"I'm probably going to switch from sales and join the police force in that case, if that's the way it's working," one resident, Ken Miller,told CNN affiliate WSB-TV. (more)

While some fear that tying pay to ticket-writing productivity, some believe there are very good reasons for doing so:

Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor requires his officers to make an average of at least one traffic stop a day. He said many important arrests stem from traffic stops.

"That's where we get most of our narcotic arrests. We get a lot of warrants we've been able to serve," Villasenor told CNN affiliate KGUN. "There's benefit from traffic (stops) that have been proven in city after city. I'm just saying we can't forget that's part of our job." (same source as above)

I think most people drive over the speed limit a good deal of the time, so there's probably little need for the police to fabricate false speeding tickets and no doubt it has some effect, however small, on the speed at which people drive. It also leads to other arrests for more serious crimes.

So, why not?

Views: 362

Comment by Unseen on June 28, 2013 at 12:45pm

I agree that basically paying officers a commission for enforcing the law is a very bad idea. However, requiring officers to meet reasonable quotas in the case of certain offenses, speeding being one, is a way to make sure they are spending some of their time not drinking coffee and eating donuts.

Comment by Strega on June 28, 2013 at 12:54pm

@Gregg - true, but I do have an international sense of humour :)

Comment by Dave G on June 28, 2013 at 2:44pm

Making it so the police officer directly profits from issuing tickets is just asking for officers to issue as many tickets as they can, justified or not, in order to enrich themselves. It's no different than the policies that allow police departments to confiscate the property of those involved in drug-related crimes, sell the property, and keep the proceeds. As a result, there are parts of some states where driving through the area with out-of-state means you run a very real risk of being pulled over as a 'suspected drug courier'. Your innocence won't help once they've confiscated and sold your car.

Comment by Gregg R Thomas on June 29, 2013 at 12:27am


All you really need is a good caning. :D

Comment by Strega on June 29, 2013 at 9:45am

Not me, Gregg, I have never violated a traffic law nor broken a speed limit, nor driven in any way in an illegal fashion in my life.

Comment by Gregg R Thomas on June 29, 2013 at 10:53am


Oh come on, one little caning what's the harm?  Even if you haven't broken the law yet, you probable will in the future, so consider this Paying It Forward. :D

Comment by Strega on June 29, 2013 at 11:07am

Not likely to break the law on the driving front Gregg - I've never driven.

Slightly more serious note, however, why did you say that Singapore cannot be compared to the USA or the UK?

Comment by Unseen on June 29, 2013 at 11:46am

So, our friendly witch, when do you plan to start driving?

Comment by Strega on June 29, 2013 at 11:54am

Laughs, I plan it constantly.  I just haven't converted the plan to activity.  I mean, you just wiggle the steering wheel from side to side and press a lever or two with your foot, don't you?  What could possibly go wrong?  Any day now, I'll be parking up my broomstick and giving it a go...  Any day now...

Comment by Strega on June 29, 2013 at 12:10pm

Now you're starting to sound like the Vermonters, who apparently want me to restrict my driving experience to out-of-state routes.  Where's the encouragement?!


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