Sacramento Bee: Time to put the brakes on add-on fees for minor traffic citations

Original article from The Sacramento Bee

by the editorial board

One of the hidden impacts of years of tight local government budgets in California was the creation of new fees tacked onto routine traffic citations to help finance parts of the criminal justice system. These surcharges can turn a minor ticket that carries a modest fine into a major expense that can break the bank for someone living paycheck to paycheck.

And if the offender fails to pay in full on time, for any reason, the fine not only increases again, but the person’s driver’s license is immediately suspended.

The result is that millions of low-income Californians have had their license suspended with no prospect of having it restored. Then they are faced with a difficult choice.

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