Wednesday, September 25, 2013

California drives up traffic fines with fees earmarked for projects

More signs of a state desperately seeking revenue any way it can.
Running a red light, currently $490, cost $340 in 2003 and $103 in 1993, according to the Judicial Council of California, which sets fines for traffic offenses. A ticket for rolling through a stop sign costs $238; a decade ago, it was $130. Speeding up to 15 mph over the limit also comes with a $238 price tag -- more than eight times what it cost in 1993. And traffic school can add $60.

Oddly, the base fine for most violations has remained the same for the last 20 years. The growth in fines is due to add-ons known as penalty assessments. These fees are tacked on to citations, with the money earmarked for projects ranging from court construction to DNA research for solving crimes.
And then the number of people contesting the tickets has increased.  So, were the extra ticket costs really paying the bills, or just paying the increased court costs?

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