The Town of Hamlet has recently changed the way it issues tickets for speeding, seat belt violations, and other similar offenses. Town officials say that for the past few years, Hamlet Police had been treating traffic offenses as town ordinance violations, after other municipalities adopted similar procedures.
That meant the town was able to set the fine and keep the revenues for itself, rather than sending most of it to the state. On top of that, the violation would not be noted on the offender’s license.
However, Clerk-Treasurer Kristina Pitts says the state has notified the town that this practice is not allowed, and the town’s police department immediately stopped doing it at that point. She adds that state officials had never voiced any concern to her before, even during an audit by the State Board of Accounts.
Town officials believe the state has started cracking down on the practice because other communities have been making tens of thousands of dollars a year off of it. Pitts said Hamlet never saw more than a few hundred dollars annually.