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Anti-Speed Trap Bill Passes First Senate Panel

MGN Online

A panel of lawmakers have unanimously passed a bill prohibiting local law enforcement agencies from establishing traffic ticket quotas.

Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) says his bill stems from the small north Florida town of Waldo known as one of the nation’s worst speed traps. That area’s police force later disbanded.

“This is an issue that is personal to the people I represent in District 7,” said Bradley. “We had a jurisdiction where many of the officers revealed that they were ordered to issue “x” number of tickets a day, which is a classic quota system. Furthermore, a majority of the expenses of the police department and one third of the entire city budget was supported by traffic revenue.”

In addition to making sure traffic quotas are illegal throughout the state, Bradley says his bill has a transparency component.

“It would require a county or municipality…if the revenues they receive from traffic citations exceed 50 percent of the cost to operate a law enforcement agency, then that particular municipality or county would need to transparently disclose that to the legislative auditing committee, so there would be a public notification of this and these local jurisdictions can decide, because they have all the facts, whether this is a good way to run a police department,” he added.

The bill—backed by the Florida Police Benevolent Association as well as the Florida Police Chiefs Association—passed its first committee stop in the Senate Transportation Committee Thursday. It has two more stops to go before it heads to the Senate floor.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.