When you have been driving for a while, it is easy to slip into some habits in the way you drive. Some of these may not be entirely within the law. You might consistently drive a few miles per hour over the speed limit. Maybe you roll through a stop sign at an intersection you have been through thousands of times. Perhaps you often pick up your cellphone to read texts while driving. Any one of these habits can be a reason for a police officer to pull you over and issue you a citation.
Overwhelmingly, the top reason that scores of Californians do not pay their traffic fines is that they simply cannot afford to pay. As a result, approximately 612,000 people in California have a suspended driver’s license for failure to appear in court or to pay their tickets.1
Gov. Jerry Brown recognized the disproportionate impact of traffic fines on California’s lowest income drivers, who often lose jobs for lack of transportation or face additional fines for driving on a suspended license. Calling the traffic court system “a hellhole of desperation,” Brown introduced an amnesty program for unpaid traffic tickets. Since this program began recently, 58,000 drivers have already had their fines reduced up to 80 percent from their original fine amount.