The Greene County Commission repealed an ordinance that made traffic violations like parking violations a county crime that could be ticketed by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
However, that doesn’t mean residents are off the hook when it comes to violations of traffic laws; the state’s laws on the same actions come into effect for the county, and Deputies will still be able to write tickets for violations.
Greene County Commissioner Bob Dixon told OI the reason for the change is related to costs connected to a change the county made in 2013 after a state legislature action. The legislature passed a measure that allowed first class counties to enact traffic violations in the same manner as cities, thus allowing counties to keep revenue from tickets that would have normally been put into the state coffers.
The County put the Greene County Traffic Bureau into place and it initially brought the county $163,000 in additional revenue, but in the last fiscal year the county only received about $11,000 in revenue from the tickets.
The Office of State Courts Administrator has decided they will no longer process the tickets for counties without a separate database for each county rather than having them processed through the main state database.
This means Greene County would have to hire someone to create the system to process the tickets, and someone to input the tickets and maintain the system data.
The cost to create such a system proves to be highly cost-prohibitive for the county, and the Commissioners said that repealing the county ordinance would be a better financial position for the county in the long-term.
Greene County Sheriff’s Department deputies will be enforcing all state traffic laws, including items like parking violations.
(Editor’s note: An earlier version of the story stated that the OSCA was no longer taking county payments; they are actually taking the payments but only if counties set up and maintain a separate database from the state.)