In less than two months since it launched, Los Angeles Superior Court reports has received more than 18,000 applications for the California traffic ticket amnesty program. Created by state lawmakers to help wipe out suspensions for millions of drivers, it offers some people reductions on unpaid traffic fines.
“The effect of losing the license meant often people lost their job or they couldn’t get a job,”said Michael Herald, a legislative advocate with the Western Center on Law and Poverty who helped draft the legislation. About $10 billion in unpaid fines contributed to about 4 million Californians having their driver’s licenses suspended.
“They got on this hamster wheel where they couldn’t get a job because their license was suspended and they couldn’t get their license un-suspended until they got a job,” he said.
The amnesty program provides relief in two situations: it offers an income-based discount of either 50 or 80 percent for those with unpaid tickets that were due before January 1, 2013. It also allows anyone to restore a suspended license if they are on some sort of payment plan, even if they have not fully paid off the fees.
The amnesty program began last month and extends to 2017.