Pa. Revenue from Traffic Tickets Up Despite Frein Manhunt

State revenue from traffic tickets rose by nearly 10 percent last year despite a double-digit drop in the number of citations issued by Pennsylvania State Police during the massive manhunt for trooper ambush suspect Eric Frein, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Revenue from tickets issued by state police rose $6.5 million in 2014 because of a huge increase in the fine for one of the most common violations, failure to obey a traffic control device, The Morning Call of Allentown reported. The fine jumped from $25 to $150.

As many as 1,000 officers took part in the 48-day manhunt for Frein, 31, of Canadensis, after authorities say he opened fire on the Blooming Grove state police barracks last Sept. 12, killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and injuring Trooper Alex Douglass. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against the self-styled survivalist, who has pleaded not guilty.

With so many officers in the woods looking for Frein, the number of traffic tickets issued by state police dropped 22 percent in September and 11 percent in October, the newspaper reported.

Trooper Adam Reed, a state police spokesman, said the charge of failing to obey a traffic control device is among the top five most commonly cited by police. Lawmakers hiked the fine for violations — and approved increases in ticket surcharges — as part of a $2.3 billion transportation package that became law in November 2013. The law is funding repairs and improvements to Pennsylvania's roads, bridges and transit systems.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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