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Cost of a ticket in Woodstock

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Cost of a ticket in Woodstock

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 9, 2010

I wonder how Woodstock cops can sleep at night. Do they really feel good after they write a ticket for failure to signal a turn? Or is the pressure so great within the P.D. to keep their ticket count up that they'd rather lose sleep from writing a "cheap" ticket than take the heat from their sergeants for letting their ticket numbers slide.

Sure, writing a ticket for a traffic violation doesn't have to be big deal for either the driver or the cop. It shouldn't cause either to lose sleep. If a driver makes a minor mistake, he might get a ticket, pay the fine and go on his merry way. The cop may even feel that he has contributed to the driver's safety by making the traffic stop and issuing the ticket.

But $187.00 for not signalling a turn?

Here's the breakdown for a driver who got a ticket in Woodstock in March.

$40.00 fine
$15.00 Circuit Clerk fee
$15.00 Court automation fee
$15.00 Court document fee
$10.00 Mental Health Court fee
$5.00 Court fee
$25.00 Court Security fee
$35.00 Court Supervision
$13.00 Child Advocacy Center
$10.00 PTF10 TR/CR surcharge
$ 4.00 Violent Crime Assistance Fund

The fees for this driver were 360% more than his ticket!

At least one traffic court judge tells the public that he only sets the fine. He then tells the public that they are likely to get mad when they are told how high the total court costs are when they get to the payment window, but that they should not get mad at the women who work there. They should get mad at the County Board and the State Legislature.

Well, I agree. Every person who gets a ticket and pays these exorbitant court costs should appear before the County Board at one of its morning or evening meetings and take up his full three minutes to protest these outrageous costs.

And he should go to Jack Franks' office and give him an earful. You don't have to be polite, but don't be aggressive or act unlawfully. Let Jack and his staff really get your message.

If Jack really wants to do something for McHenry County, he should knock down these fees.

Frankly, when $187.00 gets sucked out of the community for a $40.00 ticket, the public ought to revolt. Not only should the drivers revolt, but so should the merchants, because that's $147.00 that could have been spent in their stores.

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