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Illinois Bans Traffic Ticket Quotas

Posted on in Traffic Law

traffic ticket, quota, Northbrook Criminal Defense AttorneyA new law recently signed by governor will go into effect in Illinois January 1, 2015. The new law bans police departments from issuing traffic ticket quotas to officers. It also prohibits departments from including the number of tickets an officer writes when it comes time to determine raises or promotions. The law applies to all state, county and municipal law enforcement officers.

In statements, both the governor and several lawmakers who favored the bill, pointed out that police having traffic ticket quotas often erodes the public trust and that eliminating the quotas will not only restore that trust, but allow police officers to focus on their job of protecting the public.

In his statement, Governor Quinn said, “Law enforcement officers should have discretion on when and where to issue traffic citations and not be forced to issue traffic tickets to motorists to satisfy a quota system. This new law will improve safety and working conditions for police officers and prevent motorists from facing unnecessary anxiety when they encounter a police vehicle.”

However, the new law is not welcomed by all. Several police departments have been vocal with their opposition to the law, stating that having quotas actually motivates police officers to do their job. There has also been concern voiced that without the quotas, some officers may “slack off” when it comes to traffic violations.

This law only applies to quotas on the issuing of traffic tickets. Police departments can still demand quotas for warnings, investigations, arrests and community outreach. For example, controversy centered around one Illinois police department last year when the police union objected to new department quotas for stops, field interviews and arrests each month. One of the quotas officers have is the requirement of to file 40 reports of “suspicious characters” every month.  Despite the police union objections, the quotas still stand today.

If you have been the victim of a over-zealous police officer and have been arrested for a crime, contact an experienced Cook County criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.

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