Audit says Randolph broke speed trap law, collected too much money through highway traffic tickets
3:33 PM, Sep 15, 2010
10:40 AM, Sep 16, 2010
RANDOLPH, Missouri - Police mean business in Randolph.
Kansas City, Kansas resident Felipe Aguilar learned his lesson
the hard way. Wednesday, he paid a $108 ticket for speeding on his
way to the Ameristar Casino.
Felipe explains how he got caught in a speed trap, “As
soon as I get off the highway, I mean I tried to slow down a little
bit but the police were hiding over there so that's why they pulled
Being out of the public’s view is ordinary police
However, what has caught the eye of Missouri's auditor is the
town's cash flow. A recent audit shows half to two thirds of the
town's revenue comes from traffic tickets issued on state and
federal highways. That's almost double what's allowed by state
The news came as a surprise Wednesday to those who travel
through the small town often.
Steve Shocke said, “Every time I see them, they've got
people pulled over. I had no idea it was that much revenue that
comes from speeding tickets."
Ben Stallings worried about the legality of such collections but
said, "They don't have a lot of industry in Randolph. I don't know
where they're going to get much income. I'm sure that's why it's a
primary source for them."
That income is limited by state law. If a town collects more
than its allotted share, it's supposed to turn that money over to
the state or to local schools. The state's auditor, Susan Montee,
says it appears Randolph has violated Missouri law.
The law was originally created to discourage speed traps by
limiting traffic ticket collection to just 35% of the town’s
The audit showed Randolph generated $270,043 in 2009. Between
$134,090 and $148,393 of that money came from traffic violations on
state and federally owned highways. It also noted that Randolph
didn’t have any way of tracking the extra money flow that
should be going to the state.
Even after repeated calls and requests, Randolph officials were
not available for comment Wednesday. The town’s mayor, Alan
Long, avoided our crew when they knocked on his front door.
Randolph Municipal Judge Gregory Dorsey responded in a written
statement attached to the audit. He said the city attorney will be
calculating how much of the past revenues need to be paid to the
state. A new computer software system should help guard against any
future violations of the law.