Tuesday, September 3, 2002
Davis Vetoes Traffic School Fee Bill Opposed by Los Angeles Court
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A bill to require trial courts to collect traffic school fees has been vetoed by Gov. Gray Davis after drawing stiff opposition from the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Presiding Judge James Bascue told the Legislature that Senate Bill 1969 would cost his court $300,000 a year to administer certificates of completion along with the $1.50 fees that currently are handled by traffic schools.
“The provisions of SB 1969 appear to offer no discernable benefit to any entity other than instructor-taught traffic schools,” he said.
Davis agreed that the bill would not improve efficiency.
“The bill would eliminate an efficient process for collecting traffic violator school certificate fees and replace it with a process that imposes new and costly burdens on the state’s traffic courts,” Davis said. “In addition, this bill would cause the Department of Motor Vehicles to incur implementation costs and delay the collection of more than one million dollars in... revenues each year.”
Currently, a traffic school instructor buys the certificates from the Department of Motor Vehicles at $1.50 apiece, and the instructor is free to pass on that cost to students when charging them for the class. Under the bill, the DMV would have issued the certificates free of charge to traffic schools, and students would have submitted a fee to the court clerks along with their certificates in order to get their traffic violations dismissed.
The courts would then have paid all of the fees they had collected back to the DMV on a quarterly basis.
State Sen. Mike Machado, a Democrat from Linden in the San Joaquin Valley, authored the bill. He was not available for comment on Friday, but a spokeswoman said he introduced the bill because he thought traffic violator schools should be relieved of the burden of using their own funds to buy the certificates.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company