Ticket Quota #2

Adding a Second Traffic Squad, Which Has a Daily Ticket Quota

In 1999, the Tampa Police Department added a second traffic squad, which had the expectation of writing 15 to 20 moving violation tickets per officer, per day.

In 1998, a written directive to the traffic squad supervisor revealed that officers were expected to write 15 to 20 moving violation tickets per officer, per day.  A second traffic squad was added in 1999 after the “extra” pension benefit law was passed.  Traffic squad officers focused on speeding violations of 15 mph or more over the posted speed, as this adds an additional driver’s license point (and larger auto insurance increase), relative to speeding at less than 15 mph.  Tampa’s traffic squads regularly patrolled the interstate in unmarked vehicles, even though the interstate was not a high crash area.  The quota was easily achieved on the interstate, since the left lane typically moves at 70 mph, which is 15 mph over the speed limit.  Traffic squad officers also focused on school and construction zones, where an extra driver’s license point is also added, again boosting auto insurance increases.  Instead of being highly visible in these zones to slow traffic and improve safety, traffic squad officers would hide at the end of the zone to ticket violators.  Officer evaluations revealed a single traffic squad officer could produce nearly 3,000 moving violation tickets per year. Tampa’s additional traffic squad would yield tens of thousands of additional moving violation tickets annually.