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Resource ID: #13685
Subject: State Government
Source: Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
Date: 1996-11-19



Ohio financially depends on the misfortunes of traffic violators. In the name of safety, traffic tickets have become a billion-dollar business resulting in selective enforcement, punitive fines and jailing of the poor. Some cities annually collect more traffic fines than taxes. Some laws have little to do with highway safety. More than 14,000 teen-agers have lost their licenses for not finishing school since 1990; more than 100,000 motorists - often accident victims - lost their licenses for failure to fill out an obscure state report. In Columbus, more people are jailed for driving without a license than for any other crime. Never before have so many licenses been suspended by the state - nor so costly to buy them back. Federal funds earmarked for community-oriented police by the U.S. Department of Justice have been used to increase traffic ticket revenue by some municipalities. (November 17 - 19, 1996)

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