6/11/2007China: Local Officials Pay Salary with Speeding Tickets
Speed traps and speed cameras in China generate one trillion yuan in annual revenue.
The Chinese government earns a quarter of its revenue from fines and allows local government officials to line their own pockets with the proceeds from speed cameras and conventional speed traps. Gongzhuling City's Public Security Bureau, for example, pockets 20 percent of each ticket issued. The city, located in Jilin Province, also allows each issuing policeman to keep 10 percent of the revenue from tickets he issues, according to Xinhua's Outlook Weekly magazine. Last year, that meant 22,000 yuan (US $2,870) for each of the fifty officers. The city issued 11 million yuan (US $1.4 million) in fines.
Speed traps in the Hunan Province are set up on high-speed roads where the speed limit has been reduced to as little as 20km/h (12 MPH). Officials in the underdeveloped Shanxi Province spent 10 million yuan (US $1.3 million) buying a state-of-the-art government office building using traffic ticket revenue.
Xinhua, China's official government news service, also reported that fine revenue throughout China reached a trillion yuan (US $130 billion) last year.