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Archive for Saturday, June 22, 2002

Traffic tickets to jump in price

June 22, 2002

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Increases in state and Lawrence Municipal Court fees mean your next speeding ticket will cost a little more.

People who get tickets for speeding, driving under the influence and other misdemeanor infractions processed through the city court already are charged a $27.50 "court costs" fee on top of whatever punitive fines are assessed.

The state will increase that fee by $2 starting July 1, with that money going to the state law enforcement training center. And city officials revealed Friday they want to tack on an additional $2.50, bringing the total fee to $32.

City officials said they would use the fee increase to pay for a video arraignment system like the one used in Douglas County District Court. It allows a judge to stay in his or her courtroom downtown and conduct short hearings with inmates at the Douglas County Jail on the east side of town.

The municipal court system raised nearly $1.9 million in fees and fines in 2001, from 40,610 citations issued in the city. At that rate, the fee increases would generate an additional $182,000 more than $101,000 of that would go to the city. That should more than cover the expected $24,000 cost of the video equipment and fiber optic line installation needed for the system.

Lawrence city commissioners are expected to approve the increase at their next meeting, 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

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