Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "ticketing" ...

  • Driven Into Debt

    This ongoing series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • ProPublica Illinois: Driven Into Debt

    This series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • Citation Nation

    In our investigation Citation Nation, we exposed Colorado municipalities aggressively ticketing drivers for financial gain and for survival. In Campo, Colorado we uncovered traffic tickets and court fees bringing in 93% of the town’s revenue. The state average is approximately 4%, based on our extensive analysis of 270 budget reports from every single recognized town and city throughout the state. [https://vimeo.com/150724208] [https://vimeo.com/131464361]
  • Obstructed View

    9NEWS of Denver, Colorado exposes a tiny town’s traffic ticketing revenue scheme that aggressively cites drivers for dangling air fresheners and cracked windshields.
  • Short Yellows and the Red Light Fight

    Our first-of-its-kind investigation exposed cities, counties, and the state of Florida abusing red light camera technology to improperly increase tickets on unsuspecting drivers. The initial piece – one of more than 40 parts in the series – revealed how the state was systematically reducing yellow light intervals and generating millions of dollars in extra fines. The outrage it provoked, coupled with our ensuing reporting, prompted major reforms to Florida laws. This entry is a half-hour special highlighting our year-long investigation that exemplifies IRE ideals.
  • Parking tickets include fee for phantom towing

    A computer analysis of more than 38,000 parking tickets revealed that a police officer was assessing towing charges on hundreds of tickets he wrote for illegally parked cars – even though he never summoned a tow truck. The charges for the phantom tows totaled nearly $10,000, making him the city’s most prolific ticket writer. After the story, the city suspended the officer, offered refunds and no longer allows ticketing officers to assess towing charges.
  • Tops in Tickets

    Reporter's from the News Tribune discovered that police officers in the small town of Fife, WA, averaged 1,013 tickets per 1,000 residents in 2000. Traffic tickets outnumbered people in Fife, population 4,784, in 2000 with 4,846. The News Tribune's investigation found that the combination of location, lower speed limits and aggressive policing led to the situation in Fife, where a large number of traffic tickets are given to motorists passing through town. Citizens and public officials in Fife are divided over the ticketing practices.
  • Policing for Profit: Fines are City's Lifeblood

    The spoils of traffic enforcement in Pine Lake are significant. During the years 1989 to 1998, Pine Lakes collected an average of 57 percent of its revenue from traffic fines. The city tripled the size of its police force from three officers to 10 and more than quadrupled its revenue from fines. Three-quarters of its $1.13 million budget came from traffic tickets.
  • (Untitled)

    The Intelligencer Record takes an inside look at the traffic ticketing system. The three part series reveals it as a subjective one not always based on promoting traffic safety. (June 25 - 27, 1995)