11/9/2005Missouri Filled With Speed Traps
More than a dozen Missouri cities receive between a quarter and half of their city budget from speeding tickets.
More than a dozen Missouri municipalities receive between a quarter and half of their entire budget from traffic tickets. The practice is so widespread that the legislature placed the state's "Director of Revenue" in charge of the speeding ticket point system.
In the north St. Louis County town of Bel-Ridge, for example, police issue the equivalent of three speeding tickets for each resident annually. About $699,000 of the town's total budget of $1.4 million comes from these traffic fines.
The town generating the most speeding ticket revenue, Country Club Hills, earns sixty-one percent of its income from tickets. The town's mayor was recently sentenced to five years in prison for unrelated theft.
The following cities make a quarter or more of their budget from traffic citations:
City Ticket Revenue
as % of Budget
Country Club Hills 61% Bella Villa 59% Calverton Park 56% Bel-Ridge 48% Moline Acres 41% Cool Valley 37% Bellerive Acres 36% Vinita Terrace 35% Flordell Hills 30% Velda City 30% Marlborough 28% St. George 28% Charlack 26% Greendale 26% Clarkson Valley 25% Edmundson 25%