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Drivers warned about traffic ticket increases

Monday, September 06, 2010

Look out speeders, fines are going up. Traffic tickets will soon cost as much as 60 percent more than they do now in Illinois.

The changes go into effect later in September.

The increases may seem high, but officials point out it has been 17 years since the fines were adjusted, and they say they're considerably lower than in many other states.

If you're an Illinois driver who speeds every time you take to the roads, now may be the time to rethink that. Starting September 15th, the cost of the typical speeding ticket will go up from $75 to $125.

At the Des Plaines Oasis, drivers weighed in on the increase.

"It's too much of an increase. I think they should be easier on it," said driver Ben Boparai.

"When people get caught speeding, it's not like they were looking to get caught speeding. The question is, what are they trying to do-- collect money or stop crime? People can't pay $120. I think it's going to have a negative effect," said Thomas White, also a driver.

Still, there is no question the state needs the additional revenue, and speeding is just one of the fines going up to collect it.

On the low end of the spectrum, the fine for not wearing a seatbelt will go up from $55 to $60-- while, on the high end, driving with a suspended license or permitting someone to drive under the influence will go up from $1,000 to $1,500.

But could the increases also act as a deterrent for people not to do those things? Drivers speaking with ABC7 said they did not think so.

"It's just another way for them to collect more revenue. They just need the money," said driver Brian Martin.

"If anyone is going to speed, they are going to speed regardless of the fine. One hundred twenty-five dollars to feed the state more money, I'm for it. It's going to pay for my kids' education. Let the people speed," said driver Jill Lasauskas.

How much of a windfall local governments can expect to see will vary. Currently, when a mail-in-bond is paid, just under half of the money goes to the local government where the ticket was written. The rest is divided between the county and the state.

The new fines go into effect September 15th.

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