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Illinois Eliminates Police Ticket Quotas

Posted on in Traffic Offenses

Illinois traffic ticket attorney, police ticket quotas, traffic offenses, ticketing drivers, legal enforcement, inconsistent legal enforcement, traffic ticket, speeding ticketTraffic stops are often an anxiety-producing experience since traffic tickets can be at best a hassle and at worst a serious financial blow. Many people also experience particular worry if their traffic stop occurred towards the end of the month, fearing that the officer who stopped them was working to meet a quota. However, that will no longer be a concern for motorists. Senate Bill 3411, which goes into effect at the start of next year, prevents police departments from instituting ticket quotas or using ticket quotas for the purpose of evaluating their officers.

The New Law

Police departments had defended the existence of quotas as a necessary tool for evaluating their officers, but they also came with serious problems. On the one hand, a ticket quota creates a quantitative measure that allows officers to be compared to each other. It lets police departments review officers and see if they have been shirking their enforcement duties.

On the other hand, quotas also have a feeling of arbitrariness. Forcing police to make sure that they ticket a certain number of people might result in officers overzealously ticketing drivers in order to meet their department's requirements.

Additionally, there was some concern among legislators that quotas improperly affected police priorities. The quotas would force the officers to focus more energy on ticketing drivers, which pulled resources away from other jobs.

The legislature was also worried about how police ticket quotas affect the public's perception of law enforcement. Many drivers felt that quotas lead to inconsistent legal enforcement. In a quota system, a person's chances at getting a ticket would depend on a lot of unrelated factors like how close to the end of the quota period the traffic stop occurred and how many other tickets the officer had already given out during the period. Many legislators espoused hopes that this bill would increase respect for police officers by more closely tying ticket issuances to the actual circumstances of the particular traffic stop.

Ticket Quota Exceptions

The law does include a couple of exceptions where the use of quotas are still allowable. First, police departments are still allowed to evaluate officers based on the number of “points of contact” that they make. Points of contact are quantifiable law enforcement steps, like traffic stops, written warnings and arrests. Second, police departments may still use quotas if not using them would interfere with state or federal grants for law enforcement programs. Still, even with these exceptions, the law does much to reduce the use of police ticket quotas in Illinois law enforcement.

Consult an Illinois Traffic Ticket Attorney

If you have recently been involved in a traffic violation, seek help from an McHenry traffic ticket attorney today. Our firm's team of dedicated professionals are here to help you understand your different options.

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