Randolph, Missouri, a well-known speed trap zone was recently nabbed by the state auditor. With a population of 47 (!) people the cops doled out 3132 fines last year alone. A look at the city’s books revealed that Randolph made over 35% (!) its revenue from traffic tickets. This fact means that the town is in violation of the “Macks Creek” law which makes speed traps illegal. The law is named for a town that actually went bankrupt after it lost its ability to issue speeding tickets.
The audit found that the town gave out 83% of its tickets on a state or federal highway. Last year, the general fund revenue was $270,043; under the law Randolph was only allowed to issue a maximum of $94,515 in traffic tickets which is up to $53,000 more than permitted.
Last August the municipal court clerk stepped down, leaving no replacement until January 2011. That left them with only one court employee and no oversight so the books were seldom balanced.
Due to the backlog, if a person didn’t pay a ticket, it was just thrown into a box that now holds around six hundred tickets; no further action was taken. The police failed to log tickets and could not locate records for 38 percent of citations that the auditor had been examining.
The municipal judge says he will now use a new computer program to track the tickets and ensure the law is not violated again.