I recently secured through a Freedom of Information Act request 2014 data on the Traffic Violations Bureau (“TVB”) and share the following overall and court-specific statistics:
- TVB collected just under $63 million from motorists who pled guilty in person or who were found guilty after hearings. This total consists of fines, surcharges and suspension termination fees.
- TVB collected an additional $56 million from motorists who pled guilty online. This total consists of fines, surcharges and suspension termination fees.
- TVB conducted almost 400,000 hearings in 2014 with roughly 58% of them resulting in guilty determinations. Motorists won their cases when a police officer failed to show (on one or two occasions) 15% of the time and in an actual hearing with a police officer present motorists beat the traffic violation charge 27% of the time.
So which branches of the Traffic Violations Bureau are the best and worst for motorists?
- The Staten Island TVB is still the worst for motorists. Motorists were likely to be found guilty 73% of the time at this location (15% higher than the TVB average). Further, percentage wise the judges there exercised their discretion to suspend more motorists significantly more than any of the other 9 TVB locations.
- The best TVB courts for motorists in regard to conviction rates were the Buffalo TVB (40% conviction rate), followed by Manhattan South (51%), Brooklyn South (52%) and Manhattan North (53%).
So what does these figures demonstrate? Not surprisingly, they show that winning a case at any of the TVB courts is very hard and that DMV is raking in a huge amount of money from its TVB system.