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Cost of traffic tickets in Washington state going up July 1

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File photo of a police officer giving a driver a ticket. (Photo: KCPQ-TV)

SEATTLE (AP) — Getting pinched on the roads is going to hurt a little more in Washington state.

Effective July 1, the state Supreme Court is boosting the base fines for most traffic infractions by $12. It’s the first increase since 2007.

The money is partly to help cities and counties provide legal defense for poor people accused of crimes, and partly for a new computer system for the state’s district courts.

Chief Justice Barbara Madsen said in a news release Monday it was a tough decision, because the operations of the court system should not depend on fines and fees, which disproportionately hurt low-income people.

Three of the court’s justices dissented from the order increasing the fines.

But Madsen also said the increase is a reasonable amount, and the court will work with the Legislature to reduce the consequences for those who have difficulty paying.


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  • John Fuller

    Yet drivers will still be seen on a daily basis on 3rd Avenue during “metro bus only” periods while SPD can only spare a lone motorcycle cop that does his job. Can’t we get at least two motorcycle cops on 3rd Avenue on a regular basis? Or are they too busy at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts?

    • Speedon99

      @JOHN FULLER. The 40mph rule of Seattle. Go 40mph. Left lane on the interstate? 40mph. School zone with one lane between parked cars? 40mph. Such an odd bubble of drivers here.

    • Jimbob

      Not any more so than the state police. They all had brand new Hondas a few years back, now they all have brand new BMW’s. Yet every year every department and agency “is under funded”. They’re all running around in brand new cars and “evil SUV’s” that they don’t need. Under funded my butt.

  • Eric

    Increasing the fines, which costs more to (poor) people who are cited, in order to raise more funds to “provide legal help for poor people accused of crime,” sounds like something a bureaucracy would come up with as a “solution”.

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