On July 12, 2019

Bridgewater’s high traffic ticket revenue becomes point of contention

By Curt Peterson

BRIDGEWATER—In 2018, Bridgewater wrote 12 percent of all traffic citations in the state. The topic is a bone of contention among members of the three-person Select Board, and a hot topic among the town’s 936 residents and handful of businesses.

“Being Vermont’s biggest ticket writer does not enhance Bridgewater’s reputation,” said Lynne Bertram, chair of the Select Board.

Some residents resent the Windsor County Sheriff Department, whose deputies patrol Route 4 through town 84 hours per week and issue the tickets.

In December 2018, Bridgewater issued $30,383 in fines for 179 tickets, netting $14,090 in fine-sharing revenue with the state. The smallest fine was $125, $479 the largest. Fines are graduated by speed, according to a state-issued schedule.

In  2017-18 the town received $240,000 in shared ticket fines revenue and paid $236,000 for WCSD services, which is about half of the total fines. Windsor County Sheriff Michael Chamberlain said next year’s revenue will probably not cover Bridgewater’s contract cost.

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