Traffic fine dollars go back into policing

Victoria police get $2.3 million in 2011

Better driving habits mean fewer traffic fines, but also less money to run the Victoria Police Department.

Since 2004, the provincial government has divvied up revenue from traffic fines to municipalities, to put toward policing and public safety initiatives in their community.

This year, funds from traffic fines revenue (and a smaller amount from Strategic Community Investment Funds grants) amounted to $2,333,668 for VicPD, which polices Victoria and Esquimalt.

A spokesperson for the Government Caucus of B.C. said the money from traffic fine revenues comes from tickets that were handed out for traffic infractions, so less money  means fewer tickets were handed out. Essentially, it means that people were driving better.

In years past, the revenue was higher for VicPD: $2,675,460 in 2009 and 2010, and $2,576,210 the two years before that.

The funds go into general revenue to put toward the department’s operating budget, said VicPD spokesman Const. Mike Russell. The traffic fines revenue pays about six per cent of VicPD’s $40-million annual budget.

ecardone@vicnews.com