The amount of the New York traffic ticket revenue generated by localities might surprise you. There are over 1,262 justice courts in New York State, and 37 of them generate more than $1 million in revenue. The top 6 had over $2 million.
The number one traffic court is Port Chester traffic court in Westchester County with $2.3 million in revenue. The revenue is derived from traffic ticket fines, fees and bail forfeitures, and the locality shares it with the state.
In order of revenue, the top three grossing New York traffic courts are:
- Port Chester traffic court in Westchester County
- Hempstead traffic court in Nassau County
- Colonie traffic court in Albany County
Other top grossing traffic courts include: East Hampton traffic court, Clarkstown traffic court, Bedford traffic court, Harrison traffic court and Walkill traffic court. When it comes to generating money, however, none of these courts compare to the Traffic Violations Bureau in New York City and Suffolk County. The TVB, by far, generates the most money for New York State than any other traffic court.
Even small of the less active traffic courts generate relatively big monies. Rotterdam traffic court is one of the top grossing court’s in the Capital Region with over $425,000 in revenue for the town and representing 3.2% of its $13 million budget.
Interestingly, the allocation between the locality and state is subject to manipulation. When a traffic court enters into a plea bargain, it can agree to certain types of reductions which result in the locality keeping 100% of the fine. An example of such a plea is a local parking ticket. This is why it pays to fight any New York traffic ticket or speeding ticket returnable at traffic court which allows for plea-bargaining.
Of course, regardless of who gets to keep the money, it is obvious that localities need this revenue to support their tax base and they are under tremendous pressure to issue tickets to cover budget deficits. As shown above, some localities are more aggressive than others so be extra careful when driving in the above locales.