State lawmakers continue to wrangle over the state budget, but one idea for raising new money is getting the okay from all of the warring parties. The plan is to raise traffic fines.
Jessica Lyons plunked down $160 for her first speeding ticket. It was one of nearly four million tickets written each year in the state of Florida. "I was running late that day, and it just happened to be a once in a lifetime that he was sitting right there waiting for me." Said Lyons.
Tickets of all types are about to get more expensive. The plan is to raise non-moving violations by $10, and moving violations by $25. $500 would be tacked onto a DUI. The idea of raising fines isn't considered a tax or a fee, so the idea is winning approval from even the most anti tax legislators.
Sponsor Irv Slosberg says obey the law and it costs you nothing. Slosberg added, "Bad drivers pay, that's it, it's that simple. Bad drivers pay, in other words I received one ticket in the last six or seven years so it would cost me 25 bucks."
The only thing keeping the higher fines from reality right now is a hang up over where the $125 million will be spent. Senate sponsor Skip Campbell thinks the cash will help close the gap between the House and Senate. He said, "you go to pick on somebody, if you violate the law then you are going to pay a little bit more."
The legislation would raise the cost of non-moving violations from $30 to $40 and from $60 to $85 for moving violations. Court costs and additional charges for speeding are also tacked on to the basic fines.