Clarification: Traffic tickets are only part (but THE major part) of total court receipts, and they are rising.
A performance report on the Lincoln City Municipal Court raised a few eyebrows during Monday night’s city council meeting. It seems that the last couple of years have seen a healthy increase in the amount of money the city has collected from traffic tickets. Several years ago, total court receipts from all categories totaled around $100,000. But with the city building up the police department to something closer to full strength, total court fines added up to $160,000 in 2009 and are closing in on the $200,000 mark this year.
Other data shows that of all traffic tickets written, nearly 40% are on Lincoln City drivers. City Manager Dave Hawker commented that “When we get complaints about somebody’s driving habits or other traffic related problems, it’s our own people nearly half the time. It’s not always about tourists from out of town.”
The report also showed that most traffic offenses are committed by drivers between the ages of 20 and 39.
The data also reveals that the court continues to handle very few criminal cases since most of them have been channeled south to the Lincoln County Courthouse in Newport. The report also showed that it’s now easier to pay court-ordered fines because they’re payable at the city finance office where the lines are shorter. The clerk also reported that they have added credit cards as a method of payment which they expect will improve collections.