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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Illinois Bans Traffic Ticket Quotas

Posted on in Criminal Defense

illinois traffic ticket quotaA traffic ticket quota describes a minimum number of traffic tickets an officer must issue per designated period. One purpose of issuing quotas is to incentivize officers to do their jobs thoroughly. Additionally, a purpose of mandating ticket quotas also may be to encourage officers to pay closer attention to a designated area of law enforcement.

In practice, the issuance of traffic ticket quotas to law enforcement officials has faced some criticism. Critics contend that the quotas actually enhance unbalanced enforcement of a law or policy. When an officer feels pressured to meet a ticket quota, he or she may end up ticketing motorists for minor offenses that are normally overlooked.

Until recently, Illinois law allowed town, county, and state police officers to decide whether or not to mandate driving ticket quotas for their officer-employees. In June, Governor Patrick Quinn signed off on legislation making it unlawful for Illinois police departments at state, county, and municipal levels to assign driving ticket quotas to officers. The legislation also makes it unlawful for Illinois police departments to consider the number of traffic tickets an officer wrote as a factor in evaluating the officer’s performance. The law goes into effect immediately.

According to news coverage on the quota ban, state lawmakers encouraged the parking ticket ban because it is an outdated method of law enforcement and also because it could create unnecessary and harmful tension with the communities that police officers serve. Importantly while the new legislation prohibits assigning ticketing quotas for driving violations, it leaves local, county, and state police departments free to assign quotas for other police actions such as performing traffic stops or making arrests or investigations.

Illinois Law Moving Forward

This topic is legally relevant because conviction of a traffic violation can be a serious matter in Illinois. Conviction of a speeding or reckless driving offense can make a motorist eligible for license suspension or may result in fines, revocation of certain driving privileges or even jail time if certain aggravating factors are present. Moreover, increased police officer attention to driving behavior of Illinois motorists can lead to charges for less easily detectable violations, such as driving while uninsured or driving without a valid license. The ban on traffic ticket quotas may though result in a shift in police attention from traffic violations to other types of minor or petty offenses.

The law office of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. is experienced in counseling clients who have received a wide variety of Illinois traffic citations, from construction zone speeding, to driving without a seatbelt, to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you want help or advice on contesting your traffic ticket, contact our Oak Brook office today at 630-472-9700.

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