ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Does there seem to be less of an enforcement of speeding violations on Illinois streets? That might be because of a 2014 law that prevented officers in Illinois from meeting ticket quotas.
Under former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D), a measure was signed into law that states: “A municipality may not require a police officer to issue a specific number of citations within a designated period of time. This prohibition shall not affect the conditions of any federal or State grants or funds awarded to the municipality and used to fund traffic enforcement programs.”
The quota ban went into effect on January 1st, 2015, in an initiative to increase officer efficiency and boost public morale toward police officers.
Lawmakers decided it was a better use of officers’ resources if they spent more time investigating criminal activities and more serious crimes, according to the legal firm of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates.
The law also included a Sign and Drive Law, which changed a former practice in which drivers had to surrender their driver’s license as a security that they would appear in court to pay their ticket. Since the law went into effect, drivers can now sign the citation itself as a bond.
Prior to the law’s passage, police officers were sometimes required to issue 100 tickets a month, a quota that was used during a performance review.
But studies found that officers with higher arrest and citation quotas had a lower clearance rate for violent crimes, which sometimes led to police officers fabricating tickets to meet their monthly goal.
In 2021, a Chicago Police lieutenant sued the city after he was reassigned for refusing to comply with the department’s “illegal” quotas. “Regardless of the criminal activity occurring that day, his officers were required to make the same number of stops,” the lawsuit read.