NBC3: Las Vegas Traffic Fines Are Not Being Paid 34_NBC3_traffic_tickets

May 26, 2023 01:41 PM


By Rachel O'Brien, Deputy Policy Editor, OpenTheBooks,com

Law enforcement agencies in the Las Vegas area may be busy writing traffic tickets, but only about half — and in some cases, less — of fines are being paid.
Between 33% and 58% of fines from traffic tickets written by Las Vegas Metro Police Department, North Las Vegas Police Department and Henderson Police Department were paid in municipal courts in 2022, according to records obtained via Nevada Public Records Act requests.
Las Vegas Metro PD wrote tickets for 45,378 traffic violations and filed those citations in Las Vegas Municipal Court in 2022, totaling $8.1 million in potential fines. But only 17,205 violations were paid in full for $4.2 million and 2,063 violations were partially paid for $513,512, or $4.7 million out of $8.1 million — a 58% collection rate.
Another $15,625 came from fines paid in justice courts.
Open The Books requested records of the traffic citations filed in the 11 justice courts in Clark County and only received records from three.
North Las Vegas Justice Court received 67 tickets filed by Metro PD, with possible fines totaling $46,466. Out of that, 36 were paid, with $15,126 in fines collected.
Mesquite Justice Court had three traffic tickets filed by Metro PD in 2022, and received $500 from the fines collected.
Henderson Justice Court had two filed by Metro PD, with potential fines totaling $938, but neither were paid.
North Las Vegas Police Department filed 16,705 traffic citations in North Las Vegas Municipal Court last year, with possible fines totaling $8.6 million. Only 10,471 citations were paid, with $2.8 million in fines collected, records show. That’s a 33% collection rate.
Henderson Police Department received $2.7 million in fines from a potential $5.3 million, an almost 52% collection rate.
The department filed the vast majority of its traffic tickets in Henderson Municipal Court — 15,043 tickets with $5.2 million in fines — resulted in 11,834 paid tickets totaling $2.7 million.
Henderson PD also filed 125 tickets in Henderson Justice Court in 2022, with potential fines totaling $102,414. Out of that, 104 tickets were paid, totaling $34,665 in fines. Combined, the paid tickets represent an almost 52% collection rate.
Of the citations that it keeps track of, Clark County’s ticket-writing agencies collected only 18% of eligible fines.
While fines from administrative and parking citations totaled more than $3 million, only $546,927 was collected last year, records show.
Clark County Code Enforcement – overseeing things like zoning, building, solid waste, sign enforcement and graffiti — issued 1,497 administrative citations and 458 were paid, with $465,852 fines being collected out of the $2.8 million fines issued in 2022 — a 17% collection rate.
Code Enforcement also wrote 794 parking citations, 435 were paid, collecting $57,700 in fines out of the possible $117,100, a 49% collection rate.
Clark County’s Animal Protection Services also issued 416 administrative citations and 176 were paid, collecting $23,375 in fines, out of a possible $67,500, a 35% collection rate.
Clark County Public Safety also issued 446 misdemeanor citations, which are processed by the courts. Public Safety doesn’t track payments and the courts didn’t tell us how many of those have been paid.
Similarly, Animal Protection Services also wrote 1,169 misdemeanor citations but how many were paid is unknown because like public safety, the courts handle misdemeanor citations and didn’t provide those figures.


Back to news
Sign the Petition