There’s nothing like a speeding ticket to ruin your day, but for some lucky Americans in a small Arkansas town, they won’t have to face that problem until next summer. In one of the most unusual legal incidents we’ve seen, police officers in Menifee, AK will not be able to issue any speeding tickets until August of 2023 after citing way too many traffic violations in recent years.
According to Yahoo!, the year-long ban on speeding tickets came as an audit found that nearly half of the town’s revenue came from traffic violations in 2020. Specifically, earnings from traffic violations that year totaled $120,000.
Per the outlet, this violates AK law. Arkansas rules that no more than 30% of a city’s revenue can come from speeding tickets and other traffic violations. For perspective, Menifee’s revenue for 2020 surpassed that landmark by nearly 20%. Further, what makes the audit even more significant is that Menifee is a town numbering just 300 in population.
In addressing the audit and the excessive number of traffic violations, the 15th District’s prosecuting attorney, Tom Tatum, said, “Clearly, they were writing substantially more tickets than other communities that were similarly sized.
Since the ruling has gone public, local authorities and city officials are in a war of words, trying to determine who’s to blame.
Menifee, Arkansas Officials Seeking Source of Increased Speeding Tickets
With one of the small town’s major sources of income blocked, Menifee’s mayor, Gary Green, is blaming Police Chief John Randall, calling him “incompetent.” And Randall is blaming Green.
“When I hired him,” the Menifee mayor said, “I said, ‘we can’t write tickets 10 miles and under.’ But yet, these guys [were] writing tickets 10 miles and under.”
On the other hand, Police Chief Randall responded, “The only reason why I could see he’s got harsh words for me is because I’m enforcing the laws in Menifee.” He further said that the $120,000 in Menifee Arkansas’s revenue collected in speeding tickets in 2020 included unpaid fines from previous years. The town’s Alderman affirmed the fact, stating Randall had the permission of Mayor Green “and the city council to go after past due and unpaid tickets.”
Another interesting tidbit of information to emerge following the audit is that the vast majority of 2020’s traffic citations were issued by just one of the local department’s officers. That individual issued, in total, 771 citations. The Arkansas officer following issued a much less hefty 263 speeding tickets.
In addition, the outlet reports that while one officer issued nearly 800 speeding tickets in a year alone, the Arkansas town’s police officers didn’t issue a single warning for several years in a row.
With Menifee, Arkansas’s leading officials looking to blame each other for the excessive number of speeding tickets from 2020, and authorities unable to issue any more until next August, hopefully, people make better attempts to abide by traffic laws and follow speed limit signs by their own accord.