Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois recently signed a law that will abolish the use of traffic ticket quotas. According to the governor, police in Illinois should have the ability to decide when they issue a traffic ticket rather than face the pressure of issuing a specific number of citations within a certain period of time. The Governor feels that the new legislation will increase the safety of police, while diminishing the anxiety that many drivers feel when they are pulled over by an officer of the law.
All Illinois Enforcement Agencies Prohibited from Using Quotas
The legislation applies to other areas of the law, as well, in addition to traffic tickets. All state, county and local government enforcement agencies in Illinois will be prohibited from creating citation quotas -- including hunting and fishing violations. Enforcement agencies are also prohibited from using the amount of citations issued by officers to evaluate their level of job performance.
One state representative who supports the law said that lawmakers approved the legislation overwhelmingly. He said that ticket quota systems serve to destroy public trust and confidence in police officers. Police unions agree that the legislation is a positive for the public and law enforcement officials alike. However, various police department managers and government officials have shown mixed views on the law. Opponents of the legislation claim that officers could be lazier about performing their job duties and local governments will lose revenue without traffic ticket quotas.
When Police Issue Traffic Tickets Inappropriately
Reckless driving, drunk driving, speeding and other types of traffic violations are safety problems that drivers in the United States must work to diminish. Police play a vital role in this process; however, police officers who are overzealous about issuing a particular type of traffic ticket because of ticket quotas present another type of problem. For example, it is not uncommon for police to make mistakes and inappropriately arrest or ticket drivers for violations they did not commit. In such cases, though, improperly ticketed drivers may be able to successfully navigate their criminal defense against the citation and/or traffic crimes to obtain a verdict of not guilty in a court of law.
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