Kelly Ayott is after drivers who have failed to pay fines going back up to six years. Her office estimates that there are 3 million dollars in unpaid traffic fines due to the state. In the past five years two State Troopers assigned to the same task managed to collect 600,000 dollars, but at what cost to the state? If the troopers were on this full time, using state resources, equipment, phones and vehicles, if we add in their salaries and time away from other more important work, what was our return on investment?
I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to collect fines, and people should never get the idea that they can break traffic laws and just get away with it, but a system that permits 3 million dollars worth of uncollected fines to accumulate over a six year period is not working. If we needed a ten year equivalent in trooper man-hours to get back 600K, which even on principle is probably a net loss for the state, what do we need to fetch 3 million? Might it not be cheaper to keep these losers on the radar, but simply save the money we’d waste on looking for them with a vengeance, and simply find a better way to collect the next 3 million before 72 calendar months have elapsed?
I’m honestly not familiar with the costs, or time involved, but when you have a budget deficit, and you know the State is checking all the couch cushions for money to fill it, solutions that make a nice sound bite, or look good on paper, could just as easily be losers for the tax payers. I’d like to see the State, and the Senate budget committee issue an estimate on how much it’s going to cost the Tax payers of New Hampshire to try and collect this delinquent “3 million” if that is the accurate number. Government has no qualms about wasting your money on a wild goose chase. We need to keep an eye on this.