Police officers who write the fewest traffic tickets in Nassau County will be retrained in traffic safety by supervisors, according to an article in Newsday. The lowest 10 percent of traffic ticket writers, or about 60 to 70 police officers, will begin going out on directed patrols with supervisors in order to increase the amount of tickets they issue. There are concerns that this new policy is meant to enforce a traffic ticket quota, but union lawyers have advised PBA President James Carver that this does not appear to be an illegal quota, though Carver will be monitoring the situation closely.
The traffic ticket retraining comes as a response to many local Nassau County mayors and residents who have been complaining that there are too few traffic violations being enforced, such as speeding and stop sign violations. Nassau County penalties for speeding and running a stop sign are heavy because of safety concerns. In addition to steep fines, speeding tickets can have anywhere from 3-11 points attached to them, while stop sign tickets carry 3 points.
Nassau County is suffering from lost revenue due to the cancellation of the school-zone speed camera program, which has cost the county millions of dollars. Police officials contend that call for increased traffic tickets in Nassau County is not about revenue, and instead has more to do with certain officers who “feel they can come to work and do nothing.” Nassau County traffic citations have actually increased 43% from the period of January 1 to March 2 compared to the same time last year.
While traffic ticket quotas were made illegal in 2010 by the State Legislature, some experts say that police departments have a non-numerical “standard and range” that they go by allows them to operate within the anti-quota law. Nassau County police commanders must evaluate their officers, and they contend the best way to do that is by looking at the arrests they make and the traffic tickets they write.
Please be aware of the new policy in Nassau County and know that there will be an increase in the amount of traffic tickets issued. A Nassau County traffic attorney may be able to help you avoid heavy fines and penalties, as well as represent you in court so you do not have to make an appearance. If you receive a traffic ticket in Nassau County and want to know how a traffic ticket attorney can help, please contact our office at (212) 227-9008 for assistance.