Traffic tickets in the city returning to ‘normal’ count

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Traffic tickets, or infraction-level offenses, in the City of Cortland are rising and returning to the normal (and yearly) count seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to this year’s June report on arrest breakdowns from the city police department, the six-month count for infractions this year is 1,296. The report also notes that at the end of June last year, there were only 211 infractions.

Paul Sandy, the city’s police chief, noted the reason for low infraction numbers in 2021 was due to the pandemic. Traffic tickets (or infractions), according to Sandy, include speeding, no-turn signals, failure to stop at a stop sign and other minor traffic offenses.

“During the pandemic, we kind of backed off,” Sandy said, noting the low numbers in traffic in the thick of the pandemic. “Traffic was down, but we didn’t do as heavy enforcement as we usually do because we were trying to keep everybody healthy.”

In 2020, the year that the pandemic began, the total count of infractions was 555. The compiled number in 2019 was 1,942, and 2018 saw a total at 2,438. The year 2017 finished at 2,311.

“Now, things are back into full swing,” Sandy said, who noted that this year’s numbers “may look high” compared to the count in 2021, but compared to previous years, the number “is usually that high.”

“I don’t think that number is unrealistic compared to what we normally do,” he added.