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Bill aims to make traffic tickets based on income

KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

There could be a big change on the way to the cost of traffic tickets. A new bill making its way through the California state legislature would base the price you pay on your income.

SB185 argues a ticket that would be a minor annoyance to wealthy people could be potentially detrimental to lower-income earners.

“As a college student, I don’t make that much money. A traffic ticket would be a big deal for me, so it’d be helpful if it were lower for me,” said Annalies Snowhook, Cal Poly student.

Here’s how the legislation would work: Let’s say you get a ticket and it’s more than you can afford. You would just need to prove to a judge you need a discount.

The bill argues this will be more efficient in getting people to actually pay their bills. A 2015 study found that California now has more than $10 billion in uncollected court-ordered debt, much of it from low-income people who can’t afford to pay, according to a report by the Western Center on Law and Poverty.