Money from traffic tickets in Nashville will now stay local

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NASHVILLE, Ind. — Get caught speeding in Nashville, Indiana and you’ll probably get a ticket. However, now the money you pay in fines is now finding a new home.

"Alright here we go,” said officer Adam Behmlander, with the Nashville Police Department, as he peeled off his parking spot along the side of the road. He had barely been set up for five minutes when his radar gun detected a driver going 51 mph in a 40 mph zone.

The ticket wasn't the  first ticket officer Behmlander has ever written, however it was the first that benefits to the Town of Nashville. Instead of receiving a few dollars from a $158 state ticket, the town can now collect the entire $100 price of a local ticket. Or $85 if it's paid within 15 days.

"It could be huge,” said Nashville Police Chief Ben Seastrom. His department now joins other towns across the state in handling local traffic violations.

Drivers pay a smaller fine and avoid receiving points on their record, while the town sees the benefit. “It does help us out, we’re on a limited budget because we have a population that’s a little lower than most places in the state, and we really depend on tourism.”

The local rules  apply to speeding, not stopping at stop signs and not yielding at crosswalks. All of the money collected will go into the town’s general fund. It's something the town has been trying to put in place for nearly three years.

"We had to have a legal fair way to allow people to contest a violation," said Chief Seastrom on why it took so long for the ordinance to be in place. "So you had to have an opportunity for someone to be able to say 'no they didn't do that' or 'no, I want someone to review this' and we didn't have that in the past.”

All of the money collected will go into the town’s general fund, but Seastrom says the new system won’t change the way they patrol the streets.

“The goal has not been to go out and make a speed trap," Seastrom said. "That’s not what we look for. We just want to keep safety and enforce the best way we can... We just want to capture lost funds, we’re still doing the same job we’ve always done."

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