DANBY – The small town of Danby, VT has filed for bankruptcy, citing decreased revenues from speeding tickets. Speeding ticket revenues have previously made up close to 85% of Danby’s budget but, thanks to cautious drivers, that stream has dried up.
“We’re just at a loss,” said Select Board member Paul Dover. “We’ve lowered the speed limit on Route 7 as low as we think we can reasonably go. Currently the limit drops from 55 to 15 mph with no warning and a police officer hidden right on that line. We talked about dropping the limit to 10, or even 5, but at some point it just gets silly.”
Town officials blame their financial ruin on apps like “Speed Trap,” which alerts drivers to potential ticketing hotspots, as well as general word of mouth as residents alert guests and visitors of the sudden drops in posted limits.
“We’re considering a bill right now that would make it illegal for cars to flash their lights at oncoming traffic,” Dover said, “but beyond that I don’t that there’s much we can do. None of us can think of any other way to generate revenue for the town.”
A bill was passed earlier this year by the Danby Select Board that made bumper stickers illegal and punishable by a $500 fine per sticker, but it was struck down by the Vermont Supreme Court on appeal.
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