WILLIAMSON CO.-- Workers in the Williamson County circuit clerk's office are finding themselves swamped, as traffic tickets pour in by the thousands.
The year is not over yet, but already, a record number of traffic citations have been issued in the county.
"They are just unbelievable. They are coming in in groves" says Sue Davis, Circuit Clerk Supervisor.
Nearly 21,000 traffic tickets have been written in the last 11 months. That rounds out to be just more than 60 tickets a day.
"We're just completely out of space" says Davis.
That's not the only problem. Workers here are processing about 200 tickets a day, but they're still finding themselves backed up.
"We have had to hire an extra person and we're still behind."
It's a stark contrast with neighboring counties.
Employees in the Jackson County circuit clerk's office say just more than 9,000 citations have been written this year. Around 8,000 have been issued in Franklin County.
State Police say there's a reason so many people are being pulled over and ticketed in Williamson County.
"The Illinois Department of Transportation will do seat-belt surveys. They'll also check the crash reports and identify areas of non-compliance" says Trooper David Sneed, District 13.
Sneed says recent reports have indicated Williamson County is a high risk area for traffic violations.
"It may give the appearance of being excessive sometimes, but extreme situations take extreme measures."
Sneed says traffic stops will continue until more drivers comply with speed and seat belt laws. Clerical workers are hoping that time will come soon.
"We've never had this many files" says Davis, pointing at a cabinet that is packed with tickets. "We don't know what we're going to do."
Because of their heavy workload, employees in the Williamson county circuit clerk's office say it's taking them about two weeks to process each traffic ticket. They're hoping folks will be patient-- despite the inconvenience.
By: Jackie McPherson