A review of the City's traffic tickets shows more than 21,000 people have outstanding traffic tickets that they have failed to pay in the last five years.
Lubbock resident Charles Beavers owes $8,600 in traffic fines-- everything from running red lights to driving with a suspended license.
He told KAMC Investigates he racked up the tickets driving to and from work with a suspended license.
In an interview Sunday night, he said he wants to pay the tickets off but his other financial obligations make that hard.
"Kids and rent and everything else, ya, it's kind of hard," he said. "I've been thinking of a way to try to pay it off and I've tried-- I've thought about doing work release but at the same time I don't have time to do it because of my work schedule."
He's not the worst, though. Other drivers owe the City upwards of $12,000.
How could people with outstanding warrants rack up so many traffic fines? Our investigation found a pattern of Lubbock Police officers pulling repeat offenders over but not arresting them on their outstanding warrants.
"When the police pull you over they never tell you they're gonna take you to jail?" Investigative reporter Nick Ochsner asked Beavers. "Usually it's a motorcycle cop because I'm always either going to work on the interstate or something like that. "And he just lets you go?" Ochsner asked. "Ya, pretty much," Beavers said.
Lubbock Municipal Judge Robert Doty tells us his court relies on LPD to arrest these repeat offenders when they encounter them at subsequent traffic stops.
City Councilwoman Latrelle Joy told KAMC Investigates she would like to see stepped up enforcement of traffic warrants.
"We have those penalties in place for a reason and that is to encourage people to pay those fines and there's no excuse for not paying them," Joy said.
When we told her about LPD's practice of not arresting drivers with outstanding traffic warrants, she said she would work to change that.
"I will be visiting with chief Ellis about this situation and I think we will see a change."