While traffic ticket fees are not mandatory by law, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that they exist in some law enforcement agencies. Ticket quotas are commonly defined as any establishment of a predetermined or specific number of traffic tickets that an officer must issue at a specified time. Some police departments may set productivity goals but deny specific quotas. In many places, such as California, Texas, and Florida, traffic ticket fees are specifically prohibited by law or are illegal.
Fee quotas are explicitly illegal in most states and police departments will deny that they exist because it implies that cops will write violations when they are not necessary or do not exist at all just to meet a quota. Law enforcement agencies would be prohibited from requesting or ordering an officer to issue further subpoenas or arrests. Florida law distributes traffic ticket money in small percentages or amounts to several separate funds, preventing you from returning to the agency that issued the ticket. To show how reliance on ticket revenues can influence traffic enforcement, The Times examined the practices of three states in Ohio, Oklahoma and Virginia, where police traffic stops have sparked controversy.
By 1920, traffic tickets helped the Los Angeles police traffic division become “virtually self-sufficient,” according to an annual report at the time. State law prohibits cities and towns from generating more than half of their income through traffic tickets. Minnesota law prohibits law enforcement agencies from implementing an order, mandate, requirement or suggestion to an officer, a summons fee. The sudden appearance of speed traps and weekend wolf packs has led many drivers to believe that law enforcement is simply in place to meet traffic ticket quotas and not to protect the public.
A common way to prevent traffic ticket fees includes regulating by law the distribution of ticket revenues, to prevent them from returning directly to the law enforcement agency that issued the tickets; thus eliminating any direct monetary incentive to issue the tickets.