Traffic ticket “quotas” bill heads to Illinois House

A new law to keep police departments in Illinois from targeting drivers to make money for cash-strapped cities is set to be voted on in the House next week.

The bill would ban the use of “ticket quotas” for police departments around the state. It would also prohibit police officers from being evaluated on the number of citations they issue.

The bill was drafted by Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill. It passed the Senate in April 2014 by a 57-1 vote.

The only “no” vote came from Sen.Tim Bivins of the 45th District. The Republican is a former Lee County Sheriff, who argued the law would give certain officers permission to “slack off.”

Rock Island County Sheriff Jeff Boyd says his department does not have any kind of mandatory quota system for writing tickets.

Boyd says the department had almost 8,600 traffic stops last year with 3,165 citations issued.

“We have never had ticket quotas at the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department. We require our deputies to turn in statistics and we evaluate those stats. What we are looking for is police contacts,” said Sheriff Boyd.

The bill would also prohibit evaluating officers based on their traffic ticket statistics.

“To have a state senator or state rep telling you ‘you can’t do that’ in evaluating your people, and make it against the law, seems kind of far-fetched,” Boyd said.

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police also expressed concern that the bill would cause Illinois to lose millions of dollars in federal highway traffic safety funding.

At least 17 other states have similar laws.

5 comments

  • Elliott Whitlow

    If you feel the need to pass a law saying no quotas that is direct admission that there WAS quotas.

    I read the “association of police chiefs” problem with the bill and there is a VERY different issue between quotas and requiring officers to charge DUIs and things like passing a stopped school bus. What it reads as is an excuse and any REAL issues could be addressed.

    If public safety is the goal and not revenue then why should anything change?

  • James C. Walker

    Hopefully the bill will pass the House by a similarly overwhelming majority as it did in the Senate.

    The National Motorists Association partnered with the Police Officers Association of Michigan to support a bill in 2010 which became law in Michigan. It prohibits the use of numerical ticket numbers for BOTH officers assignments and their evaluations. Ticket quotas of any kind became illegal in Michigan, and should be illegal in every state.

    Beware that the Governor might veto such a bill because he supports speed traps – particularly on Chicago freeways posted with speed limits that are up to 20 mph lower than their safest points.

    James C. Walker, Life Member – National Motorists Association

  • chirs

    a law like this still wont change any thing. most departments will tell you they dont have quotas. if you dont want to get a ticket, then stop breaking the law. see easy enough.

  • Alexis

    I think its a good thing to do this. It’s not always a person breaking the law, there are times when they do it to meet quotas. They find senseless reasons. Then again, they do what they want as it is now… All you have to do is watch them drive.

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