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Example, outrageous traffic court costs

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Example, outrageous traffic court costs

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 25, 2009

A comment was just posted to the September 21, 2008, article about Exorbitant Traffic Court Costs. Read this:

"I got two tickets, one for an expired license sticker, and one ticket for not having insurance( which I have now). The judge fined me 15 dollars for the expired sticker and 100 dollars. I walked out of there 500 dollars in the hole. I get mad just talking about it. How can they justify tacking on 380 dollars to a 125 dollar fine? I feel like I was robbed. I'm writing to my state legislator because I want to vent about this."

This reader's example is typical of a day in McHenry County Traffic Court!

The judges tell those in the courtroom not to get mad at them and not to get mad at the ladies at the payment counter, because court costs (which are in addition to fines, which are set by the judge) are set by the Illinois legislature and the McHenry County Board. The judges know of these exorbitant court costs, and they often "go easy" on traffic violators, because they know the violator is going to get clobbered at the payment window.

One of the reasons we don't have a revolution in this county or this state or this country is because relatively few of us are affected by these outrageous court costs. And too many of those who are affected have little personal power. They aren't huge money contributors to County Board members or to state legislators.

To read the prior article, search (upper left on this site) for "exorbitant".

What we must scream is, "Enough!" What we need is "Annual Traffic Court Costs Day" when everyone goes down the throats of his County Board member and State Representative - state-wide. Let them feel the heat.

Another solution would be for the police (especially the State Police) to ticket legislators who are speeding to and from Springfield. And for judges to convict them! Think it doesn't happen? I've heard of 80-90-100 MPH by our McHenry County reps. Next time you see them, ask "How long does it take you to drive to Springfield?" If they tell you four hours, try not to laugh while you are standing in front of them.

Let me know. At least one of them will not answer that question from me.

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