Ask Paducah - Facts and Myths about Traffic Citations and Collisions

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Date of Release:  February 6, 2017

Chief Brandon BarnhillEvery day people across the United States are stopped by police officers and issued traffic tickets.  Traffic laws are important to obey because they are proven methods that help increase the safety of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.  Driving under the influence laws and seat belt laws, among others, help drivers have a more successful trip while protecting others on the road.  For this edition of Ask Paducah, Paducah Police Chief Brandon Barnhill provides some facts and debunks common myths about traffic citations and collisions in the City of Paducah.

How many traffic citations are usually issued by the Paducah Police Department?  What are the most common types?   In 2016, the department issued 4,983 traffic citations ranging from speeding and red light violations to having no insurance and texting while driving.  An additional 3,608 courtesy notices were issued.  

Does the Paducah Police Department receive revenue from traffic citations?  No, the Paducah Police Department does not collect any of the revenue generated by traffic citations.  Money received from traffic citations is paid through the court system and forwarded to the responsible agencies in Frankfort.  However, the Paducah Police Department receives revenue from parking tickets at $15 per parking ticket.  There were 703 parking tickets written in 2016.

Are there ticket quotas or a minimum number of tickets required per officer?  The Paducah Police Department does not have a ticket quota.  As I like to say, the only quota the Paducah Police Department has is the requirement of eight hours worked for eight hours’ pay.

How many traffic collisions did Paducah have in 2016, and how long does an officer usually spend on one collision?  Officers investigated 1,894 vehicle collisions in 2016 with 375 of the collisions resulting in injuries to 589 people.  An average traffic collision can occupy from 42 minutes to more than 2.5 hours of an officer's time depending upon the damage and severity of the collision.

How do officers focus on reducing the number of collisions?  Each month, our Crime Analyst provides raw data and maps indicating the high collision areas.  Many of these areas are predictable based on the volume of traffic, but on occasion, new areas are identified that require increased enforcement to help reduce the collision totals. 

What are the benefits of the roadside speed trailer?  Using funds from a MetLife Foundation grant, the Paducah Police Department purchased a roadside speed trailer to help educate drivers. This trailer also collects data that allows us to determine the volume of traffic, average speeds, etc.  This data helps the department determine the level of problem that has been identified.  


For more information, visit the Paducah Police Department or visit Paducah Police on Facebook.   

Do you have an idea for Ask Paducah?
Contact Public Information Officer Pam Spencer at or 270-444-8669.
(Edition 12 – February 6, 2017)