Many small American towns, especially those in the rural midwest or southern regions, have a history of using traffic fine to generate revenue. Many times these tickets are issued under questionable conditions, often targeting out-of-town residents, and are also tied to other forms of police abuse including extortion, racism, and other immoral conduct.
But while many will talk about these actions committed by a local sheriff or town cop, it is a small problem compared to Washington, DC. The nation’s capitol is arguably the worst abuser of parking citations, and according to a recent news story, has issued a record $1 billion in fines.
D.C. has long been considered one of the most onerous places in the country for traffic fines, seeing a steady climb year to year in tickets issued and revenue generated. But recently the District broke into stunning new territory, issuing more than $1 billion in tickets in just three years.
I don’t know another local jurisdiction in the entire nation that has generated as much money from traffic tickets, parking tickets and moving violations,” said John Townsend, Public Relations Manager of AAA Mid-Atlantic. “That tells us that things are out of control and out of hand in the District of Columbia. (source)
It would be difficult to find a local cop in an American small town who ever issued, either in number or proportion, anything close to fines such as these.
The problem of such fines is representative of the corruption of government. While it exists on all levels of society, much is concentrated in the capitol. The fact that it only seems to have grown under Trump is not only proof that Trump did not “drain the swamp”, but that maybe he drained it enough only to fill it up with his own waste and to a higher level than what it was before.