State traffic fines to go up Tuesday
Rep. Buffie McFadyen
Minimum costs for class 1 offenses, such as speeding, will rise from $100 to $300.
By CHARLES ASHBY
CHIEFTAIN DENVER BUREAU
DENVER - Motorists beware.
Starting Tuesday, fines for every motor vehicle violation in the state will jump several times over under a new law.
Under a bill called for by the Colorado State Patrol and approved by Legislative Transportation Review Committee, the state will increase fines for everything from failure to use a child restraint seat to making an improper U-turn.
Rep. Buffie McFadyen, who introduced the measure because the Pueblo West Democrat is chairwoman of the committee, said the fines will make Colorado comparable to what other states charge motorists who break traffic laws.
"The whole mission of the Colorado State Patrol is to increase safety on our highways," McFadyen said. "Increasing the traffic fines in Colorado, which we haven't done in over 20 years, will allow our fines to be comparable to other states around us, and hopefully reduce the number of deaths and accidents on our highways." Under the new law:
The minimum fines for class 2 traffic misdemeanors, such as not wearing a seat beat, rise to $150 from $10.
Minimum fines for class 1 offenses, such as speeding, will rise to $300 from $100.
Fines for driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while ability impaired, underage drinking and driving and habitual user driving would double, to at least $600 from a minimum of $300. The maximum fine for such violations remains the same, at $1,000.
Doubles the minimum fine for eluding a police officer, which can be as high as $6,000 if the violation results in death to another person.
Though law enforcement officials hope the new fines ultimately reduce the number of violations; until that happens, it is expected to generate about $12 million in additional revenues for the state, all of which will go toward highway construction projects.