Traffic fines may soon go up in Pulaski County

Traffic fines may soon go up in Pulaski County

Speeders may soon have to shell out more money when they get caught. A Pulaski County Quorum Court committee Tuesday said yes to raising the county's portion of your fine from $5 to $20.
Speeders may soon have to shell out more money when they get caught. A Pulaski County Quorum Court committee Tuesday said yes to raising the county's portion of your fine from $5 to $20. In fact, that would go for all moving traffic violations and misdemeanors. The full quorum court will vote on this in two weeks.

Those with the county say the increase would bring in about $500,000 a year and it would go toward the county jail. That money could help the Pulaski County Jail house 150 more inmates at the jail's work center, now called the satellite unit. The jail is already funded for 100 beds at that location. The additional income would be one brick in the path toward re-building the jail's capacity to what it was before budget cuts in 2005, 1,130 beds. 

"It's still going to take conscious budgeting on the part of county government as well as help from municipalities," said Phil Stowers with the Pulaski County Quorum Court.

Still, it's a step. And it's one many other cities and counties may take in the future to bring in more bucks.

Lawmakers this year increased the amount local governments can fine.  If you plead guilty, plead no contest or if you're found guilty of a traffic violation or other misdemeanor, you could end up paying $20 to the county as part of your fine. Right now it's just $5.

Little Rock driver Stephen Long just a got a ticket for an accident a few months ago. It was $155. Think about this. If it happened in Little Rock and the city and county both approved increases, he'd pay an additional $15 to each since they already charge $5.

"No one likes to pay a ticket, but I don't see where I'd have grounds to be upset about it," says Long.

As a father, Long hopes this would increase each driver's sense of personal responsibility and hopefully keep the roads a little safer, especially with more pedestrians on the road as we get closer to summer.

"If you don't drive unsafe on the road, you don't have to worry about the fine," said Long.

The quorum court will have to vote on this when they next meet in two weeks. But this is catching on in a lot of places. Jefferson County just voted to increase its fines Monday night.
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