LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Michelle Harris has been paying for a traffic ticket in installments because she says there were fees stacked on top of her fine.
“It is overwhelming because I’m not working now,” Harris said.
Harris incurred fees for an extension, fees for not paying that day and fees for traffic school.
Harris says she can’t afford all of this because she’s her mother’s caretaker which means she can’t work.
Now State Sen. Bob Hertzberg, from the San Fernando Valley, is aiming to change California’s traffic citation system for low-income drivers.
“You should pay a price when you violate the law, but the price can’t be a thousand times your annual salary,” Hertzberg says.
Under his proposal, traffic fines would stay the same but people who are unemployed or on welfare can qualify for a reduction.
Julio Flores recently got busted for running red light.
He managed to get an extension on his fines but he doesn’t think people should get a break when they’re in the wrong.
“Just because of somebody’s economic status – it shouldn’t differentiate the fees,” Flores said.
But Michelle Harris says it’s not the penalties that break the bank.
“You’re paying a fee to the court system or traffic school…so it’s unfair.”