Fighting Traffic Tickets Just Got Fairer

by on October 2, 2015 · 2 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Economy, History

traffic ticketGov. Jerry Brown just signed a bill on Wednesday, September 30th, that makes it a lot more fair for the average Californian fighting a traffic ticket.

Drivers who have been ticketed but who want to challenge the ticket, can now do so without having to initially pay the fees. The law goes into effect immediately.

Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), who introduced the bill, said:

“The system was broken. Is it reasonable or fair to require the poor to pay a huge fine before getting a hearing? I say no, and I’m grateful the governor agreed.”

Mike Herald of the Western Center for Law and Poverty, which pushed for the measure, SB 405. stated:

“By allowing people to have their day in court without having to pay the ticket first, fewer people will get their license suspended and end up in dire straits.”

Californians have been complaining that the current system is basically unfair to many motorists as it lacks due process. Many ticketed drivers can’t afford to pay the court costs – and then the costs escalate – forcing many motorists to have their license suspended and to lose the use of their car. This makes it extremely difficult to go to work or school.

The LA Times reports:

More than 4 million Californians had their driver’s licenses suspended from 2006 to 2013 because they didn’t pay their fines on time or missed their court date, the senator said. That resulted in $10 billion in fines.

The LA Times states that it had recently reported –

how a traffic ticket with a base fine of $100 will also see court fees and other costs added on to raise its cost to $500, and that increases to $815 if the motorist misses the deadline for payment.

If the deadline is missed, many counties will allow a court hearing only if fines are paid first, something that many drivers can no longer afford.

With the signing of this bill, that policy has been immediately overturned. LA Times

traffic ticket kid

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Frances O'Neill Zimmerman October 2, 2015 at 7:24 pm

The real issue is that it’s neither reasonable nor fair for ANYONE living in the US of A to be required to pay a huge traffic fine without a hearing!
I’m not poor, but I am mad after being slammed by this utterly undemocratic practice two years ago, to the tune of more than $500. I’d like to know on whose watch we drifted into such a blatant money-making-to-hell-with-people’s-rights system. There were still plenty of bureaucrats around to tell you no, no, no in many different ways whenever you asked to appeal the ticket.


George at the Cliffs October 4, 2015 at 6:36 pm

If Gov. Brown wanted to do something fair he’d make traffic infraction fines a percentage of one’s income and not a fixed amount. The rich are not even bothered by a $500 fine but for a poor minimum wage worker it’s catastrophic. The Swedes have done this for many years.


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