Earlier this month of May, 2015, Governor Rick Scott signed a recent Senate bill into law. What is being called the “Waldo” bill regards the reasons under which agencies around the state, from Florida Highway Patrol to various Police and Sherriff agencies, can issue traffic citations. Specifically, this new law, effective July 1 st 2015, will prohibit said agencies from establishing formal quotas for the number of traffic citations to be given.
Waldo city and its once-active police force was regarded as one of the worst speeding traps along 301, and resulted in the police department admitting that quotas for tickets accounted for over half of their agency budget. To prevent an abuse of power on the part of the citizen, as well as an abuse on the officers to operate under the duress of such quotas, the Waldo bill was signed into law. As an added measure, the law will require that agencies who see traffic tickets and citation revenue exceed one-third of their operating budget report the fact to the state.
What this law means exactly for the state of Florida is not yet know, but many consider it a step in the right direction. The landscape of justifying a traffic ticket may see a slight change as a result if a violation of this law on the part of the agency can be determined.