month, it was
reported that New Jersey State Senator Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, is
proposing a $40 surcharge on all motor vehicle violations that would be
used to help smaller municipalities pay for police. It is
estimated that this program could raise as much as $160 million dollars annually.
This is a mistake
on several levels.
motor vehicle violations exist to serve as a punishment for the
committed violation and as a
deterrent against further violation. They are supposed to help make our
the line the idea of generating revenue from motor vehicle violations
came to light. Instead of just serving as a penalty, tickets
became yet another source of income for the state.
So today, some
poor schmo who left his new registration on the kitchen counter gets
banged with a 39:3-29 (Failure to Produce Credentials) now needs to come
up with $173 for his fine.
Wait, he opted to
go to court and make the payment in person, so the fine with the court
costs is $203.00.
Not so fast.
A middle class
couple in central Jersey needs police protection but loves their small
town’s low municipal tax rate. After all, since their town doesn’t have
to foot the bill for their own police department, life is good.
Let’s tack on
forty more bucks to the poor schmo’s fine bringing the total up to
$243.00 for his heinous crime of forgetting his registration.
At what point, at
what friggin point did we accept that $243.00 is an appropriate fine for
a credentials violation? Or even $173? For Pete’s sake, the credentials
fine is bigger than the fine for speeding. ...continued below...
It is hard enough
for average people to survive in this state. Surcharges like
this foster the perception that the cops are revenue
collectors for Trenton and that the state is out to screw the little guy
at every turn.
One solution would
be for us – the cops – to stop writing tickets.
How about we all shut
down and stop this entire revenue stream. We'll settle into our
radar spots with a sharp pencil, the day's crossword, and perhaps that
beverage we love so much.
Oh wait, we cant.
The reason we write tickets is to make the roads safer.
At least one of us
The only people
who should be paying any type of surcharge are those who live in the
areas where the police coverage will be provided.
Police and Law Enforcement News
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 8:50 a.m.
you Thoughts on This Editorial
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DO NOT WRITE IN ALL
You forgot to mention the new legislation that ex governor McGreevy put
into place. If you go to court to avoid insurance points on a speeding
violation it will now cost you another $300.00 in surcharges. This puts
police, especially the State Police into an unfair spot. I'm just
waiting for a seatbelt ticket to go up to $180.00 lol.
I really wish some of these people creating bills and passing regulation
would step down and get into the working Joe's shoes. This is not fair
for the people. Corrupt individuals will do anything to get promoted to
make more money in the end. Greeeeed will destroy human kind.
I got a better idea. how about we stop the county workers from driving
brand new Excursions and vehicles of such and start using the money for
Police in the towns who need it. I'm all about the
brotherhood but we need to take a better look at the situation on a
closer level to us. We make the county more money to waste and
they are happy so they give us police money. This is a ploy to
make us all do better work so they can give themselves raises..
Play their game fellows and do some car stops!
As a PO, I never write a 3-29 (especially for reg.) unless the offender
is a wiseass. Such a heavy fine for credentials you can verify is crazy.
Use our discretion and when it is written, at least we know it was well
deserved for that schmo.
Every law enforcement agency in the USA should be able to charge a
surcharge! I work in Kansas and nothing from citations go back directly
to the agencies! If you have not noticed it is very expensive to have
officer's and equipment on the road these days.
How about a little common sense here??? If the NJSP stops a violator in
one of the towns in which they cover that does not have a local PD, they
tack on the 40 dollar charge.
In terms of the towns that do have a police department, the fine is as
is. Or am I asking too much of our leaders in this state to use common
sense and to do the right thing?
You could just write written warnings. No fine and you still stop the
car telling them what they did wrong. That way, you "enforce" the laws
but don't screw the little guy working 7 days a week to barely make ends
Let the individual towns pay for it... Don't let every citizen have to
Asking a small town like mine (under 2000 people) to create a PD is
crazy- and none of the surrounding areas have PD's either (rural
farmland)- so I guess regionalization looks good on paper but can't work
Do the high crime cities that the NJSP has to bail out have to pay a
share of the costs??
Response time here is good and the Troopers are very professional, I am
glad they are the responders. They would be here (right near Rt. 80)
weather there was a town here or not. Also... I thought I read that the
entire reason the NJSP was created in the 1920's was to patrol the rural
areas of NJ that did not have police departments.
Why is the revenue from my town's tickets going to fund state police in
another town that is too cheap to start a police dept of their own. 96%
of the state's municipalities have their own PD. Get with it you cheap
I agree the fines for certain (most) violations are way too high. I
think the small towns should merge services. In Western Monmouth County
there are a few towns that don't have coverage but it isn't a small
town. It is open rural areas which the state police were created to
patrol years ago. If the state police want to become the highway patrol
that is one thing, but if they charge then they should be posted in
these areas. (Get what you pay for) Because response time is generally
30mins - 1 hour and you never see a car in the area. In all reality
regionalization is coming. It will take years and most of us will be
retired but these small town departments and the political corruption
are sinking this state. How is it in the south they have nicer roads and
schools with less population density?
I think its a joke that all tickets
will carry an additional surcharge for funding. I do however feel that
these towns that get State Police Coverage should pay taxes for service
like the rest of us.