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Are The Winds Of Change Blowing?

carsWhile Governor Brown pushes for another ticket amnesty plan, other voices are calling for much more radical reform.

Van Nuys Sen. Bob Hertzberg wants to set aside most drivers’ license suspensions, to help people get back on the road and get back to work. Another proposal is to raise the basic fines, eliminate penalty assessments, and use general revenue funds to make up the difference. Still others favor abandoning the current system in favor of a sliding scale. They cite the $290,000 speeding ticket that a wealthy driver received for speeding through a village in Switzerland. However, the fact that you work hard and made more money doesn’t necessarily mean you should have to pay more than your neighbor did for the same offense.

These advocates stress that unless there is radical reform, the same problems will continue to occur.

Anatomy of a Ticket

Amnesty bills would treat the symptoms, but do nothing about the cause. It’s always easier to rub some cream on a wound than it is to amputate an arm.

As it stands now, most all tickets in Tulare County have four components:

  • Base Fine: This is the figure that’s on the citation; many base fines haven’t been changed in decades and still average about $50 for a non-moving and $100 for a moving violation.
  • Penalty Assessments: This is the big one. Since the current formula is $29 for every $10 in fines, the penalty assessments are always much larger than the base fine.
  • Add-Ons: These are miscellaneous fees for things like courthouse construction, night court, state surcharges, and court costs; each one ranges from one or two dollars to $40 or $50.
  • Points: Most moving violations in Lamont and Shafter are either a one or two-point violation; as few as six points means drivers’ license suspension.

These costs do not include higher insurance rates, typically in the form of a lost good-driver discount. Some violations have extra penalties; for example, driving with a suspended license typically means vehicle impoundment.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-859-1177 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.