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Shaking The Money Tree

Add a recent government report to the growing chorus of voices for change in the way traffic citation fines are assessed in Delano and Ridgecrest.

One of the report’s central recommendations is to end the flat fee system and institute a sliding scale based on the driver’s ability to pay. But there are significant problems with this move, not the least of which, according to study author Anita Lee, is that there would be two different people paying two different fines for the same infraction. The study also suggested that the Legislature end the earmark system, and that the revenue be directed to the general fund and distributed on an as-needed basis to different programs.

Currently, over 75 agencies, from the Abalone Restoration and Preservation Account to the Winter Recreation Fund, depend on the money that comes from traffic citations.

Non-Fine Costs

As an example of out-of-control penalty assessments, the report cited a VC 22450 infraction. The fine for running a stop sign is $35, but the total amount due, after considering penalty assessments and add-ons, is $283. That figure has increased nearly 30 percent in the last decade. An infraction has substantial indirect costs as well. According to one estimate, the actual cost of a California traffic ticket is twenty times the fine, when considering increased insurance rates and other costs.

The bottom line is that a traffic ticket is a crippling financial blow to many working individuals and families. Unless the law changes, and lots of luck with convincing politicians to accept less funding, the only way to save money is to fight the ticket.

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.