Monday, August 10, 2009

Police on the Lookout for Cash

“Just a warning, I’m driving like a granny,” that’s what my friend Anne said before we ventured up I-70 to our hiking spot yesterday. Anne has good reason. She received two traffic tickets since I last saw her a few weeks ago. She’s not a notorious speeder either.

If it seems like there are more police on the road, well it’s sort of true. There may not actually be more officers but there is a focus by more municipalities to increase revenue through traffic and parking violations.

Last week at two different intersections in Denver I noticed police motorcycles sitting directly next to traffic light poles. Within seconds of my noticing each of them they had nabbed somebody.

In January of this year the Rocky Mountain News noticed that the city of Denver had handed out 6% more parking violations, but a public works spokesperson denied a connection between the economy and the increase.

Yet another article by the Denver Post in June linked increased violations to budgets. This time the accusations were not denied.

"We've put everything on the table, and fee increases are always part of that," said Eric Brown, Mayor John Hickenlooper's spokesman.

Colorado is the only place cashing in on our speeding. Car and Driver has noticed growing numbers of tickets across the country.

It used to be that I could tell that it was the end of the month by the increase in speed traps. My brother-in-law who is a chief of police in another state confirmed this. He said that in months when the revenue budgets were not met they would work to bring in more money through traffic fines. Now, however, increased patrolling can be any day of the month.

So be careful out there. Drive safe and slow to save yourself some money.

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