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Local Paper Endorses New Traffic Ticket Policies

The Fresno Bee joined the chorus of voices pushing for change in the penalty assessment system, but so far, all the talk and horror stories have had little impact on everyday drivers in Kings County.

Editors heartily endorsed Senate Bill 881, a pending bill sponsored by Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles), which would end the practice of suspending drivers’ licenses for unpaid traffic tickets in Ridgecrest, at least in most cases. Sen. Hertzberg, who also enthusiastically supported the ticket amnesty and sponsored a successful measure to expand it, says he eventually wants to place traffic ticket fines on a sliding scale based on what people can afford.

S.B. 881 is set for a hearing before the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee later this spring.

Penalty Assessment Reform

A “sliding scale” is not exactly the kind of reform that is needed, because sliding scales go both down and up, depending on the person’s perceived ability to pay. Sen. Hertzberg acknowledged that his eventual plan would “create a hole [that] we have to fill,” and I think we can safely predict that the filling will not come from additional taxes. There is a related issue as well: there is a difference between unable to pay and unwilling to pay, and those two things often overlap.

The current penalty assessment formula is $29 for every $10 in fines or portion thereof. It almost boggles the mind to think about how high penalty assessments could get for some drivers, if the Legislature ever does adopt a sliding scale.

No matter what happens, a lawyer will be there to advocate for you, work to bring about the best possible outcome, and, in most cases, appear on your behalf in traffic court. These are three very big reasons to have an experienced attorney on your side.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.