July 15, 2024

The Nerve Archive

Where Government Gets Exposed

New Law Bans Ticket Quotas


blue lights in side view mirror

Outlawing the practice of taking money from citizens for no good reason . . . What a great idea.

Over the weekend – yes, our weekends are just that pathetic – my husband and I were going over some new laws passed by the General Assembly in 2016. (Thanks, by the way, to the South Carolina Policy Council* for helping us on that.)

Among the new laws there were plenty of bad and indifferent ones. But here was one that looked promising: H.4837.

It would outlaw the practice by police departments of imposing ticket quotas on officers. Here’s the new law verbatim: “A law enforcement agency, department, or division may not require a law enforcement officer employed by the agency, department, or division to issue a specific amount or meet a quota for the number of citations he issues during a designated period of time.”

The law goes on to define its terms fairly strictly – “quota,” “law enforcement agency,” etc. – but the gist of it is this: The chief of policy in Podunk, South Carolina had better not get caught telling officers they have to come up with a certain number of traffic stops or a certain dollar amount in traffic fines.

I’m not sure how you would prove that that’s happening unless a cop leaked an email to the media or SLED. Or maybe sending a Freedom of Information request to the agency. (Good luck with that.) But at least this form of fleecing the public – taking law-abiding people’s money for doing nothing that endangers public safety – is now actually against the law.

Now, if only we could apply the same logic across state agencies. The logic, I mean, of not taking money from the public unless it’s a matter of public safety. Just a thought?

Debbie Wise and her husband ran a hotel for nearly 30 years. They are retired and live in Greenville.


*The Nerve’s parent organization. –The editors

We need your help to continue our mission of holding government officials accountable! As part of the South Carolina Policy Council, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, we rely on donations to operate. Please consider giving today so we can keep bringing accountability to government. It’s your power, and it’s time to take it back!
The Nerve