Traffic Violation Enforcement: Further Evidence It’s More About Money

The newly opened Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Bureau (SCTPVA) currently charges an administrative fee on all tickets. While this isn’t necessarily unusual for a court, the SCTPVA is charging a fee even if a motorist is found “not guilty” of a charge and the traffic ticket case is dismissed.

As one motorist whose ticket was dismissed asked, “Why do I have to pay anything? Why do I have to pay their court costs? Why do I have to pay any of that?”

Drivers have voiced complaints about this policy to some local elected officials and some agree that this policy is a problem. “Traffic violations should be about safety, not about revenue generation,” said Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer (D-Centerport.)

The county will claim that this is compensation necessary for the time and expense of prosecuting traffic violation charges. However, when you consider that just a few months ago Suffolk County opened this new SCTPVA to keep local control over revenue from fines (it previously went to Albany when tickets were handled by the NYS DMV TVB), one would have to question whether this was just a way to squeeze a little more revenue out of the court.

Drivers want Suffolk lawmakers to end the practice of charging motorists who challenge the moving violations issued against them. Following a hearing, some Suffolk lawmakers agreed to introduce a bill to exempt most dismissed tickets from the administrative fee.

UPDATE:  As of late December, 2013 Suffolk County has done away with these fees.  However, they’ve been simply replaced by new, different fees which even further shows what we’ve known all along–it’s about revenue generation as much as anything else.  Read more: https://www.tickethelp.com/suffolk-county-end-fees-on-dismissed-tickets/

Submitted by Scott Feifer