JeffCo Traffic Fine Comparison – Guess Whose are Highest?

2 Apr

When it comes to raking in revenue from traffic and other tickets, writing a lot of tickets is only part of the equation. A city must also charge high fines for infractions. The DOJ’s Ferguson report notes that Ferguson prides itself on having higher fines than surrounding municipalities (page 10) for traffic and other offenses. Well, it may not surprise you to learn that Byrnes Mill has the honor of charging the highest fines in Jefferson County.

In the table below (click to enlarge), I have chosen a sampling of offenses and listed the fine charged by each JeffCo municipality, along with those charged by the county. The highest fine for each offense is highlighted in yellow and the second-highest is in blue. A blank cell denotes that an infraction is not listed on the schedule for that city. These numbers include court costs. Note that some cities have a different fine for each mile over the speed limit, which is why ranges are listed in the speeding rows for Pevely, De Soto, and Herculaneum.

fine schedules

As you can see, Byrnes Mill leads the pack in 9 of 16 offenses and is 2nd highest in 4 of them. Pevely has the highest fine in 6 offenses and the 2nd highest in 3 of them. Interestingly, Hillsboro’s fines are, in all but a few cases, precisely $2 less than Byrnes Mill’s. Both cities share the same judge, Colby Smith-Hynes. While it is the city council/board of aldermen that ultimately sets a city’s fines, perhaps the judge has some input in those two towns.

Byrnes Mill claims (dubiously) to have changed its ways and reformed its police department. If that is actually the case, perhaps the city should prove it by reducing some of its fines.

Here are links to each city’s full fine schedule:

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2 Responses to “JeffCo Traffic Fine Comparison – Guess Whose are Highest?”

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  1. The Missouri Torch – The Show-Me Report: April 3, 2015 - April 3, 2015

    […] Jefferson County Penknife: JeffCo Traffic Fine Comparison – Guess Whose are Highest? […]

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  2. MO House Eases up on JeffCo with SB5 Amendment | Jefferson County Penknife - April 16, 2015

    […] a provision limiting total fines plus court costs for minor traffic violations to $200. As I showed here, these two cities have a few fines that exceed $200. These would have to be reduced under this law. […]

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