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August 23, 2019Cart

Politics

by Daily Voice
by DV

New Data: These Fairfield County Communities Collect Millions In Traffic Tickets

Traffic is detoured as Greenwich Police investigate a fatal accident.
Danbury collected more than $1.4 million in fines last year for traffic violations.
Stamford collected more than $1 million in fines last year for vehicle and traffic violations.
Texting while driving was among the most common traffic violation in Fairfield County last year.

Ten communities in Fairfield County combined to collect more than $7.5 million in vehicle and traffic fines last year, according to state judicial branch records.

Topping the list of high-enforcement towns is Greenwich, where police wrote $1.74 million in traffic tickets last year. 

Danbury was runner-up in 2018, collecting more than $1.4 million in traffic fines. If you're driving in Danbury, be extra careful of emergency vehicles for more than the obvious reason. A total of 35 tickets were written last year for failing to yield to ambulances or fire trucks. And the penalty for disobeying emergency lights or sirens is steep: up to $500 in fines and up to a year in prison. Danbury collected $10,788 on those "failure to stop on right" tickets in 2018, for an average of more than $300.

However, the most fines collected in Danbury came in various categories of speeding -- at least 1,255 tickets with fines totaling more than $266,000. More than 1,100 tickets were written for texting or talking on the phone with fines totaling $180,200; 568 tickets for operating a motor vehicle without a license with $159,000 in fines; and 556 tickets for operating or parking an unregistered vehicle, collecting nearly $90,000 in fines.

Like Greenwich, as reported here earlier by Daily Voice Plus, a high number of tickets were written in Danbury for overweight/oversized vehicles. The city collected more than $60,000 last year from truck drivers. State and local police in Shelton also ticketed oversized trucks last year, collecting nearly $18,000 for three infractions. 

The third municipality that collected more than $1 million in fines last year was Stamford.

In Newtown, speeding led all other ticket categories. More than 300 drivers got speeding tickets (91 of them for driving over 70 mph). Speeding fines brought nearly $79,000. Another 208 tickets were written in Newtown for driving an unregistered motor vehicle ($27,756 in fines) and 61 tickets for driving without a license ($15,170 in fines). All totaled, Newtown collected more than $230,000 in traffic ticket revenue. 

In Redding, the top three traffic tickets categories were: driving without a license (22 tickets for $5,796 in fines), driving unreasonably fast (20 tickets for $4,887) and operating/parking an unregistered motor vehicle (33 tickets for $4,648 in fines.)

In Stratford, the most tickets were written for operating or parking an unregistered motor vehicle (255 tickets and nearly $35,000 in fines), driving too close (175 tickets for nearly $26,000 in fines) and driving without a license (67 tickets for about $18,000 in fines), All totaled, more than $245,000 in fines were collected in Stratford. 

Speeding also is a big ticket item in Trumbull, where about 600 tickets were written in various speeding categories, bringing in nearly $150,000 in fines. Also in Trumbull, 249 tickets were written for operating/parking an unregistered vehicle ($37,877 in fines), 138 tickets for texting or talking on the cellphone while driving ($23,200 in fines), 132 tickets for driving too close ($19,052 in fines), 93 tickets for operating a motor vehicle without a license ($26,276 in fines). Traffic ticket revenue totaled $375,544 in Trumbull last year, enough to place the town eighth countywide. 

It's not a good idea to ride without a seat belt in Bridgeport. Not only is it dangerous, but that city wrote 535 tickets for that violation last year, collecting nearly $55,000 in fines. However, seat belts were not the most common vehicle and traffic infraction in Bridgeport in 2018:

  • -- More than 500 drivers were ticketed for operating a motor vehicle without a license, bringing the city more than $129,000 in fines. 
  • -- More than 300 drivers were ticketed for texting or talking on the cellphone while driving -- for nearly $53,000 in fines in that city. 
  • -- A total of 231 drivers for driving/parking an unregistered motor vehicle, for $41,590 in fines. 
  • -- Driving too close was another common infraction in Bridgeport. A total of 244 motorists got tickets for that and were fined nearly $41,000. 
  • -- In various speeding categories, 278 people were charged with driving unreasonably fast and fined more than $44,000, while another 142 drivers got tickets for driving over 70 mph, and were fined nearly $44,000.

All totaled, Bridgeport ranked fourth in Fairfield County for traffic ticket revenue, collecting more than $732,000.

Not far behind was the town of Fairfield which collected more than $693,000 for vehicle and traffic violations last year. 

In Norwalk, state and local police wrote vehicle and traffic tickets across dozens of categories. More than $575,000 was collected for vehicle and traffic infractions in Norwalk. Here are the top 13 types of violations there last year:

  • -- 427 tickets for texting or talking while driving ($65,159 in fines);
  • -- 342 tickets for operating or parking an unregistered motor vehicle ($51,943 in fines);
  • -- 332 tickets for driving too close ($59,639 in fines);
  • -- 252 tickets for driving too fast for the conditions of the roadway ($35,328 in fines);
  • -- 245 tickets for operating without a license ($58,080 in fines);
  • -- 222 tickets for driving unreasonably fast ($39,107)
  • -- 183 tickets for driving in an improper lane ($30,793 in fines);
  • -- 167 for passing a traffic control device ($16,113 in fines);
  • -- 166 tickets for passing a stop sign ($23,802 in fines);
  • -- 156 tickets for driving without a front seat belt ($15,940)
  • -- 153 tickets for driving in an improper lane ($30,793);
  • -- 126 tickets for passing traffic signals ($19,862); and
  • -- 108 tickets for driving without proof of registration or an insurance card ($21,855 in fines).

After Norwalk, the county's next highest traffic fine total was $491,063 in Westport.  For more details on vehicle and traffic tickets in Connecticut, click here.