If you've ever wondered whether a police officer pulled you over just because he or she is trying to meet a quota, especially at the end of the month, you are not alone. If you conduct an internet search, you will discover that there are many people that are asking whether law enforcement has specific quotas they must meet.
While quotas in California have been banned for more than a decade, police departments are being sued by their own officers in 2009, 2013, and 2014, alleging performance assessments are also graded on the amount of tickets each officer issues. These cases resulted in tens of millions in damages awarded to police officers.
Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says federal law actually requires tickets. Late last month, federal regulators have finalized the procedures local police departments use to receive their share of $450 million in traffic safety grants paid for by the federal tax on gas.
The Section 402 grants need to be part of a “data-driven” enforcement effort to prevent traffic violations, accidents, fatalities, and injuries in areas most at risk for such incidents. The law also references an NHTSA report on traffic safety performance measures which calculates the number of citations issued as “activity measures” that can determine how much money localities receive. That report includes activity measures related to impaired driving arrests, speeding citations, and seatbelt citations.
Alas, in addition to collecting fees and fines for DUI arrests, police have added incentive of receiving federal funds.