New law helps protect drivers by limiting use of speed traps

traffic tickets in springfieldAs of January 1st, 2016, a new law will take place. SB 5, which will help to further limit the use of speed traps in Missouri’s towns.

SB 5

The SB 5 amends the existing ‘Mack’s Creek’ law. Reducing the percentage of a municipality’s revenue that can be collected. Speeding ticket fines will decrease from 30 to 20 percent. It also more clearly outlines when and how cities must go about reporting their revenue. As well as paying back the excess revenue to the state.

‘Mack’s Creek’ Law

The ‘Mack’s Creek’ law was named for the state’s most notorious speed trap. Under this law, municipalities were required to report the amount of revenue generated by speeding tickets to the state. And repay any funds in excess of 30 percent of their annual operating revenue. It was not clear, however, when cities had to file such reports. Nor was it clear when the funds were due to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

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In January 2015, this issue caught the attention of Missouri lawmakers. Resulting in 10 municipalities to be investigated. Whether they has failed to deliver their excess funds or failed to file a report at all for the year.

As a result, SB 5 and a handful of other proposed laws were introduced to establish clear criteria for the towns and cities.  In order to follow and to further reduce the amount of revenue communities were allowed to keep.

CONTRADICTING STATE CONSTITUTION?

The Municipal League met these proposed changes with push, back in April of 2015, arguing in the Missouri Supreme Court that the Mack’s Creek law contradicted the state constitution.

According to the League, the rights of municipalities were being violated. By restricting the amount of revenue that could be collected annually for tickets. They suggested that the law be thrown out, allowing towns to issue as many speeding tickets as they like.

The law, however, does not limit the amount of tickets that can be issued – only the amount of revenue that can be retained from those tickets. The state reallocates the excess funds collected from a city to fund school programs in that community.

SIGNED

On September 9th, 2015, SB 5 was signed into law by the Governor, and will go into effect after the end of the year. Additional funds will continue to be used to fund community schools, and drivers can feel a bit more comfortable when passing through the small towns along Missouri’s highways.

If you believe yourself to be the victim of an excessively issued traffic ticket contact us today!