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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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TRAFFIC TICKET. In February 1950, Dubuque became one of four or five of Iowa's largest cities pioneering a plan for more uniform traffic law enforcement. Dubuque Traffic Officer W. J. Andresen was the chairman of a three-man committee appointed by the Iowa Association of Chiefs of Police and Peace Officers to study the situation and prepare a plan to offer to the legislature. Beginning on April 1, 1950 the police department would start using a new form of traffic ticket. The ticket was similar to one introduced in Kalamazoo, Michigan which had then been adopted statewide. The object was to prevent variation from city to city that allowed a driver to go ten miles an hour faster than the speed limit in one place and not get a ticket while going one mile an hour faster in another place and getting a ticket.

In addition to the usual spaces for vital information, the ticket carried the names of six of the nine most frequent violations believed as contributing to accidents. A space was provided where the officer could write in any offense not listed among the six which were speeding, running traffic signals, improper left turns, improper right turns, running stop signs and improper passing. Below the section listing the offense was a section to indicate further the seriousness of the violation: heaviness of traffic, vision obscured, slippery pavement, whether the vehicle was in a collision. This would give the judge information for judging the case.

Space was provided to indicate the severity of the offense: less than five miles an hour, five to nine miles over the limit, and ten or more miles over the limit.

All the officer had to do was heck the box next to the alleged offense, hand one copy to the dirver, and turn in the police department and police court copies at headquarters.



"Traffic Ticket to be Changed," Telegraph Herald, February 5, 1950, p. 17. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19500205&printsec=frontpage&hl=en