What’s Behind Buffalo’s Dramatic Rise in Traffic Tickets?
Ever wondered why so many cops are writing tickets even more now? The flood began in July – after City Hall created its new “traffic violations agency” to grab more money than ever from traffic fines.
The traffic agency flung open its doors July 1. From that day through December, police issued 30,000 tickets, nearly 10,000 more than the latter half of 2014.
These days, officers don’t hand just one citation to a driver, according to figures from Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda. With new software making it easier, they average three.
The torrent of tickets written from July to December, documented by state data and obtained by The Buffalo News, will eventually rain millions of dollars onto City Hall. But the deluge of tickets was so huge it initially swamped the young traffic agency and left it struggling to collect the windfall.
Buffalo is hardly the first city, town or village to squeeze drivers for more government cash.
“This raises a bigger issue,” the Rev. James Giles said of the spike in ticket-writing.Giles is a leading figure in the local “restorative justice” movement that advocates better responses to wrongdoing than punishment alone.