Stats show ticket adjudication is working fine
Most of this morning's link roundups took note of Bill Myers's story in the Examiner that three of every five challenged traffic tickets got overturned in D.C.
The knee-jerk AAA quote (that's the only kind of quote they give) says, "Something is wrong with the system." But is there really something wrong? It's possible, but the data don't show it.
For example, 7 percent of parking tickets get challenged, and of those, 40 percent get overturned. That means that less than 3 percent of all parking tickets that are written are overturned. Does that seem so problematic?
It shouldn't be zero, since sometimes ticket writers make mistakes, and it shouldn't be super high, since we hope ticket writers don't make all that many mistakes.
People decide whether to challenge their tickets based on whether they think they have a good case. If about a third of those who challenge turn out to be right, but few people challenge, that actually makes a lot of sense.
There's another important nugget in the Examiner data: Automated camera tickets get challenged less often (only 3 percent of total tickets), and also overturned less often (28 percent of challenges). In other words, cameras work: they make fewer mistakes and those they catch admit more often that they were breaking the law.
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.
| April 27, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories: D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, transportation
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