People who kept a heavy foot on the gas pedal kept police busy and added to the state’s bank account in 2008.
State police issued almost 78,000 speeding tickets last year, a 16 percent increase over 2007. The rise in tickets has put an additional $327,000 in the state's dwindling coffers.
Lt. J. Paul Vance said troopers don't enjoy issuing the expensive tickets, which carry $123 to $371 in fines. The penalties are even higher for truck drivers caught speeding and for drivers speeding in school and construction zones.
However, Vance said, speeding tickets are an important tool to increase safety on the highways and reduce serious accidents. Troopers have stepped up enforcement on roads with more accidents.
The extra revenue from tickets comes at a time when the state has a budget deficit, which continues to be fueled by income and sales tax revenue declines.