New York City Traffic Tickets Generate BIG Money

By virtue of a Freedom of Information Act request, I have un-covered a wealth of statistics about the New York City Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) and New York City traffic tickets which generally is not known by the public. My next seven posts will discuss these metrics.

The most staggering statistic in involves the amount of money that was generated last year by New York City traffic tickets — over $76 million for New York State — making it VERY big business.

Despite is name (which suggests it is independent), the Traffic Violations Bureau is actually an arm of the Department of Motor Vehicles and is tasked with adjudicating moving violations issued in New York City, Rochester, Suffolk and Buffalo. At the TVB, there is no plea-bargaining so all “not guilty” pleas are scheduled for a hearing.  There are various rules which make it easier for the police officer to be prove his or her case against you including no right to pre-hearing discovery, no right to an affidavit from the officer (known as a supporting deposition), admissibility of hearsay, guilt must be shown by the lesser standard of “clear and convincing” evidence (rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt”) and the DMV judges can (and often will) ask questions of the officer to help him or her.

Given the staggering amount of monies generated from this administrative agency, it is not surprising that these anti-motorist rules have been put in place making it hard to fight a traffic ticket and win.

This lop-sided system proves to be quite lucrative for New York State. Last year, $76,852,904 was collected at the seven TVB courts (fines, surcharges and suspension termination fees) and DMV in Albany (fines and surcharges) as a result of NYC traffic tickets. This figure does not even include New York City’s share of the $20+ million of suspension termination fees collected in Albany.

The largest single source of revenue was from motorists who simply sent in their tickets with guilty pleas along with a check. Many motorists do not contest their traffic tickets and, as a result, over $14 million was sent in to DMV in Albany in 2009.

In terms of the specific courts, the Bronx Traffic Violations Bureau prove to be the biggest earner followed by the two Queens Traffic Violations Bureaus and Brooklyn North TVB. Manhattan South TVB and Richmond TVB trail in the rear among down-state TVBs.

Below is the 2009 breakdown from largest revenue to least revenue:

Bronx Traffic Violations Bureau – $11,723,075

Queens North Traffic Violations Bureau – $9,169,767

Brooklyn North Traffic Violations Bureau – $9,022,929

Queens South Traffic Violations Bureau – $8,901,253

Brooklyn South Traffic Violations Bureau – $7,179,216

Manhattan North Traffic Violations Bureau – $6,193,402

Manhattan South Traffic Violations Bureau – $5,302,721

Staten Island Traffic Violations Bureau – $5,242,790

Suffolk County Traffic Violations Bureau – $7,298,724

Rochester Traffic Violations Bureau – $3,451,926

Buffalo Traffic Violations Bureau – $2,341,088

For those of you who want to view the 2009 Traffic Violations Bureau statistics.

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New Red Light Camera Rules To Make It Easier To Tow
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Suspension Termination Fee Generated Over $32 Million In 2009

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • This the definition of highway robbery. People need to know about this. I would love to see a grass roots movement that encourages 100% compliance and education of the laws for a week or so to protest this. I honestly doubt that the legal system in New York State is motivated by anything else than generating wealth for its corrupt system of government. Furthermore, I want to know how all this money is being spent.

    • Mikey Dady,

      The money from traffic tickets is added to New York state’s general budget. It is not earmarked for a certain purpose.

      Matthew Weiss

  • Link fixed above but you can also click below:

    2009 New York City Traffic Violations Bureau statistics

    PDF is at bottom of page.

  • “For those of you who want to view the certified records from DMV which corroborate these figures, click here.”

    No link?


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