If you ask any group of American citizens why police officers issue traffic tickets, you are likely to receive a different answer from each respondent. There are many theories regarding the matter. The following article will take a quick look at three real reasons police officers write traffic tickets.
Penalties Encourage Safer Driving Practices
The main reason police officers write traffic tickets is to promote safe driving practices. Traffic tickets can become quite expensive and most citizens can find other things they would rather do with their money. Paying fines makes people think twice about engaging in dangerous driving behaviors like texting, running a red light, speeding, or drunk driving. These driving offenses, as well as others, can cause injuries and cost lives. Enforcing a penalty for these behaviors keeps the roads safer.
Do Cops Actually Have Quotas?
Many drivers complain that police officers are required to reach a quota for issued traffic tickets. The truth is, an officer’s choice to write a citation is purely under his own discretion. There is no minimum number of citations that must be written. However, it would probably cause doubts about whether an officer was doing their job properly if he or she never wrote a traffic citation.
Many officers do not enjoy pulling citizens over or writing tickets. Traffic stops will be made only when something improper is done while operating a motor vehicle. And even then, there are many times the offer will issue a warning in lieu of a traffic citation.
At the End of the Day, It’s Up to the Cop
If you ask any officer who has used a radar gun, they will tell you there are days when nearly every vehicle they clock is speeding. There is no way a single officer can issue tickets to every speeding car. The officer also has no desire to do so. However, it is necessary for the officer to do something to maintain road safety.
Many officers will choose to give motorists a cushion and then pull over the cars that drive faster than the leeway afforded to them. Other times, officers will take a random approach to the speeders they pull over. The bottom line is the officer has sole discretion over which cars he or she pulls over and who receives a traffic ticket following a traffic stop.
Most American citizens have their own theories regarding the reasons police officers issue traffic citations. The three reasons mentioned above shed some light on the true reasons police officers write tickets for traffic violations.
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