County considers increasing traffic fines |

County considers increasing traffic fines

Christine Metz

The Routt County Sheriff’s Office is considering raising traffic fines by an average of about $15 per ticket. Lt. Richard Wood said the increase would bring the county’s fine schedule in line with the state’s fine schedule. While the average increase would be about $15 per ticket, a couple of the fines would decrease.

The county has not changed the costs of its traffic fines since 1993. When the fine schedule was approved in 1993 along with the model traffic code, those fines were approved under the state’s fine schedule. Since then, the state has increased its fines, but the county has not.

A draft ordinance has been handed over to the county attorney for review. Routt County commissioners would have to approve an ordinance in a first and second reading before any fine increase could take effect.

Under the proposal, fines for routine traffic violations, such as following too closely or not stopping at a stop sign, would increase from $20 to $35.

Speeding fines could decrease, Wood said, because the county’s current fines are $5 higher than the state’s schedule.

The draft ordinance calls for a $50 ticket for those traveling 10 mph to 19 mph over the speed limit in a 55 mph zone.

A $60 fine is proposed for those traveling 15 mph to 19 mph over the limit in a 65 mph zone, and a $100 fine is proposed for those traveling 20 mph to 24 mph over the limit in a 65 mph zone.

The county is not the only one proposing to increase fines.

Fines were raised in the city earlier this month. Under a proposal from Municipal Judge Paul Sachs, fines were increased from $15 per point to $25 per point. The fine for a four-point speeding ticket, for example, has increased from $60 to $100.

Most of the city’s traffic fines increased by 66 percent, and fines for traffic violations in school and constructions zones doubled.

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