7 – Traffic Enforcement

Traffic lawyers know: Current traffic enforcement policies focus on revenue from speeding tickets on interstate highways. This does little to improve safety, and reduces our state troopers to toll collectors.

New York State has turned driving into a negative lottery, with some of the highest fines in the country. For example, the maximum fine for going 86 mph in a 55 zone is $1135. These high fines shift attention from safety to revenue. This is a nasty form of regressive taxation – hitting poor drivers much harder than the wealthy. And it is a very inefficient way of generating money. The revenue from tickets is far less than the costs created by increased police overtime, court staff, and administrative expenses.

Traffic enforcement should focus on safety. We should shift attention from empty stretches of highway to busy intersections, areas with high pedestrian/car interaction, and other dangerous places.