Will California traffic violators get a pass on old debt?

When people think about amnesty in California, they probably believe we’re talking about amnesty for illegal immigrants. In the most recent proposal by Governor Jerry Brown pertaining to amnesty, he’s talking about the millions of citizens who owe money to the traffic court system.

What he calls a “hellhole of desperation” has resulted in fines that compound upon themselves and force many low-income residents to abandon driving altogether rather than pay the hefty sums. Nearly five million people have had their driver’s licenses suspended since 2006 because of failure to pay fines.

The Associated Press reports:

“California has sadly become a pay-to-play court system,” said Michael Herald, a legislative advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty who helped write a scathing report released last month by civil rights groups on how Californians are getting caught in a cycle of debt and having their driver’s licenses suspended as a result of costly traffic tickets and court penalties.

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