In one American town, police officers were banned from fining motorists for speeding violations. It sounds like a motorist’s paradise. However, if you think about it, there is some doubt that the local authorities took this step not because of the sharply increased police generosity, or because of the sharply increased responsibility of citizens. So what’s the problem?
In the U.S. state of Arkansas, there is a small town of Menifee. Not so long ago it was forbidden to write motorists fines for speeding for a period of 1 year. The moratorium was introduced as a result of a prosecutor’s audit of local authorities and law enforcement officers. The fact is that there are quotas in the U.S. to supplement local budgets from fines on motorists. Specifically in Menifee, local budget revenues from fines must not exceed 30% of the total.
It is important to emphasize that Menifee is a tiny town of only 300 people, yet it stands on a highway leading from Memphis to Oklahoma and Albuquerque. Yet in the past year, the local budget has received more than $120,000 from speeding tickets. For a community the size of a village, that’s a whopping sum of money. The mayor of Menifee, Gary Green, was quick to blame local police chief John Randall, who had allegedly abused his authority.
A prosecutor’s inspection in Menifee found that the township had been turned into a “speed trap” for cars in transit by local police. What’s more, in fact, law enforcement officers had been breaking the law for more than a year or two. Apparently, the “trap” has been in operation since at least 2018. Moreover, there is every reason to believe that not all of the money was accounted for in the local budget, since most of the fines were written out to the motorists-victims by police officers who had already retired and were not on the staff of law enforcement agencies.
It would be a mistake to think that you can now drive at any speed near Menifee. In fact, the moratorium applies only to township police officers. Officers from other precincts will be controlling the road. Therefore, the speeding tickets will still “arrive” to the lawbreakers. Of course, the money from their payment will go to other settlements.