12/19/2007Massachusetts State Police Goal: $1.2 Million More Speeding Tickets
Ticket quota forces Massachusetts State Police to issue $1.2 million more in speeding tickets next year.
Budget shortfalls have forced Massachusetts State Police officials to order troopers to raise an additional $1.2 million in speeding tickets next year, with half of the amount raised from Boston-area motorists. Moentary pressures began to mount in July last year after a collapse in the city's Big Dig tunnel drew troopers away from speed trap duty and onto missions designed to ensure construction efforts proceeded safely. This led to $600,000 in lost speeding ticket revenue, the Boston Herald reported.
To recover these funds, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority budget set a $2.3 million Big Dig speeding ticket goal for 2008, up from $1.7 million this year. Statewide, the Turnpike Authority expects $5.8 million in speeding ticket revenue next year, up from $4.6 million in 2007.
"It's extremely unfortunate the Big Dig has drained the Turnpike's resources to such an extent that this method of balancing the books is even on the table for debate," Turnpike board member Mary Connaughton told the Herald.
To raise even more revenue, the Turnpike is hiking tolls by up to twenty-five percent on January 1. In 2006, the Massachusetts courts joined with insurance companies in encouraging the state police to offer bonus time off to troopers as an incentive for writing extra traffic tickets.