BOSTON (AP) — Police who are working with smaller budgets are handing out fewer speeding tickets in Massachusetts as law enforcement focuses on crime.

State numbers say police issued 241,979 citations last year, down 20 percent from 2008. In the first quarter of this year, police wrote about 49,000 tickets, which would be down more than one-third if the pace continues, according to the Boston Globe.

Police officials say staff shortages have made traffic details a luxury. Observers say the slowdown in speeding tickets coincides with layoffs and reduced overtime budgets in the past three years.

For example, Fitchburg police say they are spending very little time on traffic enforcement.

Wayne Sampson, who directs the Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association, says some police are giving motorists a break to help them avoid fines and insurance premium increases that come with a ticket.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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