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Got Traffic Fines? The State Is in a Forgiving Mood

A new state law offering traffic violators a 50 percent discount on unpaid traffic fines is set to take effect Jan. 1; amnesty is offered for six months.

A new state law offers traffic violators a 50 percent discount on unpaid traffic fines.

Though some public officials have argued that the new law sends the wrong message by rewarding scofflaws, Los Angeles County is mandated by the state law to offer the amnesty.

SB 857 will take effect Jan. 1. For the six months that follow, motorists who have unpaid traffic fines that date back prior to 2009 can send in just half of what they owe and clear the slate. Some restrictions apply, including that the violator cannot have any outstanding misdemeanor or felony warrants.

Another restriction leaves out anyone who has tried to pay off part of his or her fine. The exclusion prompted the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week to urge the state to extend the amnesty to drivers who have made partial payments on their fines.

"California traffic fines are among the highest in the country and have become extremely onerous to our citizens," Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said. "It is only fair that if the state wishes to grant a 50 percent amnesty for those who have made no attempt at payment, then those who have made partial payment should be offered the same discount."

What do you think? Is the law unfair or is it a smart way to fill state coffers with payments for tickets that have gone unpaid for years?

Kristen December 30, 2011 at 01:35 AM
This is so backwards. Rewarding those who have not paid.... Sickening.

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