Traffic Ticket Fines to Increase
By the end of July, drivers who are stopped will see the costs of citations increase. A typical fine of what was $101 at the beginning of 2007 will increase to $124. The $1,050 penalty for not yielding to an emergency vehicle will also increase, as will most other traffic offenses. Unfortunately, there isn't much the public can do. The Washington Supreme Court and the State Legislature are driving the increases to keep pace with inflation, to pay for $50 million in computer upgrades, and to help people who suffer from traumatic brain injuries and their families (although it appears as though people with brain injuries will get less state money than will be collected to pay for computers, but that's a different issue). Whether these increased penalties are needed for state programs is questionable when more police are being hired, more drivers are moving to the state, and more tickets are being issued. In 2006 alone, police in Washington issued more than one million traffic tickets, resulting in over $110 million in fines. The police, the legislature, and the courts know that most people will just roll over and pay their tickets, giving these governmental bodies an extra incentive to charge you more for the same offenses. Fight back and fight your traffic ticket!