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Proposed MN Bill Might Get Drivers Out of Tickets - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Proposed MN Bill Might Get Drivers Out of Tickets -- At a Cost

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Pay the fine, or show up for class. That might be the option for Minnesota drivers who are cited for minor traffic violations. The bill isn't official yet and cities and counties across the state would still need to get on board. 

Many people would agree that getting pulled over is the worst. Especially when you're not sure why it even happened. "Over the years I've stopped people for a violation and they look at me and say, well I didn't know that was the law," says Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist.

Finding out what the law is the hard way, can cost you. "It could cause your insurance premiums to go up. But it could also cause a suspension of your driving license," says the bill's supporter Representative Jay McNamar of Elbow Lake.

But the proposed Minnesota bill would give drivers who are issued minor traffic violations like modest speeding, running a red light, or improper passing a second chance of sorts. They could pay the fine like usual or opt to take a re-education course in driving. "This would give them an opportunity to keep their record clear and at the same time get an update in the law," says Sheriff Bergquist.

While the majority of money collected from traffic fines goes to the state, the re-education course fee would stay local. "It's not to make money it's to inform the public and keep them being lawful in their driving," says Representative McNamar.

It would cost about 100 dollars for a driver to keep their record clean and take the course. But they'll have to pass a test saying they learned something upon completion. "Fines and fees for traffic violations are not meant to generate revenue. They're meant for compliance and to make our roads safer," add Representative McNamar.

So quite possibly down the road, Minnesotans could leave their excuse for rolling through that stop sign in their back pocket. Because this bill might be a part of Minnesotan's future. "Once we get a little bit older we don't remember the day we were 16 in drivers-ed. And I think it would be a great opportunity just to remind people," says Sheriff Bergquist.

The bill still has to pass another committee before getting a full House vote. All of the fee's collected for those re-education courses would be used for traffic safety programs locally.

 

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