In a race to plug the state of California’s gaping $25 billion plus budget deficit, the Highway Patrol is issuing more tickets than ever before. According to KGET News the CHP handed out 200 thousand more traffic citations in 2009, than they did in 2007. At an average of 250 dollars per ticket, that’s an additional 50 million dollars that went back into state and county coffers.
The increase in citations coincides with the hiring of 700 more CHP officers statewide over the past 5 years. Another reason for the uptick in tickets has to do with the implementation of new hands free cell phone law. In fact the CHP in conjunction with hundreds of local police departments just launched the “Distracted Driving Awareness Month” which is an organized statewide crack down on distracted drivers using cell phones while behind the wheel.
As a personal injury lawyer I see that the simple truth is that the CHP is one California’s most efficient fund raisers and politicians rely upon the police to make money, now more than ever before. Monetary concerns aside, the CHP serves its purpose well by mitigating the chance of auto accidents taking place on our roads by enforcing both traffic and safety laws statewide.