FHP brass has no right to demand ticket quota, lawmaker says

Pauline Gross
August 13, 2017

The Florida Highway Patrol said troopers will begin ticketing aggressive drivers as the agency launches a safety campaign in an effort to educate motorists about the dangers of driving aggressively.

FHP figures show that troopers wrote 934,965 citations in 2014, 869,352 in 2015 and 749,241 past year, the Times reported. Mark Welch, who oversees troopers in an eight-county region that includes a long stretch of Interstate 10, told his staff in a recent email to write two citations an hour while working overtime.

In his email, Welch noted that highway patrol officers recently got a 5 percent pay raise, thanks to the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott, "which has also increased your overtime rate". "I am directing you to ensure that no quotas are being issued from our troops and that no performance metrics are impacted by a quota". North Florida troopers are writing an average of 1.3 tickets per hour in the SOAR program.

Lt. Col. Mike Thomas said Welch's word choice was off and he was not imposing a quota.

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FHP declined the a request to interview Welch.

Florida law prohibits the setting of ticket quotas. "Two tickets per hour?"

"FHP is committed to making our highways safer, and one way to accomplish this is to enforce safe driving around commercial motor vehicles", said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. "No ifs, ands or buts", Smith said.

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