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Politics

Blame The Budget? CHP Officers Issue 200,000 More Tickets

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Don’t expect any sympathy next time you get pulled over by the California Highway Patrol.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports CHP officers have been writing more tickets in an effort that critics say is driven at least in part by pure economics.

Officers handed out 200,000 more traffic citations in 2009 than it did two years earlier, according to the most recent data available.

State and local officials continue to search for ways to drum up additional revenue as Sacramento, Los Angeles and many of California’s biggest cities grapple with massive budget shortfalls.

The increase in CHP tickets produced as much as $50 million over two years with some fines costing as much as $250 — money that officials say goes to fund state and local courts, crime labs, and other departments.

The number of citations made by CHP officers jumped by 8 percent from 2007 to 2009.

Tickets for public safety violations such as excessive speeding and failure to stop dipped across the state between those years, while technical violations such as expired registration tags and faulty tires jumped significantly higher.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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