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Traffic ticket surcharge draws mixed reactions

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 13 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 13 2013 10:07:48 PM CDT

There's a new plan in Harrisburg to charge drivers an extra $100 if they're caught speeding or violating some other traffic laws.

There's a new plan in Harrisburg to charge drivers an extra $100 if they're caught speeding or violating some other traffic laws.

The surcharge would help fund mass transit across the state.

While some are ready to give the plan the green light, others are saying not so fast.

The proposal is still being discussed by the House transportation committee.

Some say the surcharge may be too much for motorists.

“I don't know if they have to subsidize it by charging people more money for speeding tickets,” said David Kuruvilla from Norristown.

The extra money would go to help fund mass transit in the Commonwealth.

PA representative Michael Schlossberg represents Allentown and is on the transportation committee. He has his reservations about the surcharge, but he says mass transit funding would be a big help in Allentown because a lot of people catch the bus to work on a daily basis.

“Mass transit isn't a luxury, it's a vital necessity to our economy," added Schlossberg. "If we don't fund mass transit, quite simply the economy in the Lehigh Valley and in the city of Allentown collapses.”

The proposal could hit a speed bump before even getting out of committee.

Some feel that by having the surcharge, police may write fewer tickets so the money may not be as high as expected.

Still others feel every option needs to be looked at as legislators come up with a state budget.

“They're looking at very creative ways," said Gary Day, PA representative for parts of Berks and Lehigh counties. "Not just raise your taxes but other ways. So that in itself deserves all of our respect as legislators to look at this menu of ideas and then go back to the people in our district.”

The committee will continue to look at the options for transportation funding but some say they hope charging people caught speeding stays off the radar.

“If the public transit can't make enough money on it's own to survive, maybe they need to cut down on the number of buses that they have," said Kuruvilla.

The surcharge is just part of a transportation funding in the state budget.

One representative says if the surcharge comes out of the budget, representatives will have to figure out a way to make up that funding.