Report Title:

Traffic Fines; Authorization for County

 

Description:

Authorizes counties to impose by ordnance additional fines for violation of state traffic laws. Requires judiciary to prepare citation forms. Establishes method to contest fines; requires traffic violations bureau to collect fines and remit to county semi-annually.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1331

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to traffic fines.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Since the enactment of traffic fines, there has been a debate over which government entity should collect the fines. While the counties employ the police officers that issue the citations, the state, through the judiciary, enforces the violations. The state favors the current arrangement where the fines are deposited in the state general fund, leaving no money for the entity responsible for hiring the officers that issue the citations. This is inequitable distribution, but one that has existed for a long time.

Providing the counties the choice and opportunity may be an equitable solution to this long-standing debate. As such, the purpose of this Act is to enable the respective counties to impose and collect fine for violations of the statewide traffic code, in addition to the fines imposed by the State under chapter 291C, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

SECTION 2. Section 291C-171, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"291C-171 Disposition of fines and forfeitures. (a) All fines and forfeitures collected upon conviction or upon the forfeiture of bail of any person charged with a violation of any section or provision of the state traffic laws and all assessments collected relating to the commission of traffic infractions shall be paid to the director of finance of the State[.]; provided that each county by ordinance may impose additional fines for the violation of any section or provision of the state traffic laws. Within thirty days after the effective date of that ordinance, the traffic violations bureau shall prepare citation forms for the police department of that county showing all state and county fines. Persons receiving the citations with county fines may contest them in the same manner that state fines are contested. The traffic violations bureau shall collect the fines for the counties and shall remit them to the respective director of finance of the counties on a semi-annual basis.

(b) In addition to any monetary assessment imposed for a traffic infraction, the court may impose penalties on all outstanding traffic citations and judgments. The penalties shall be established pursuant to rules approved by the supreme court; provided that the amounts of the penalties shall be based upon a graduated scale that increases in proportion to the length of the delinquency. Any interest penalty imposed as provided in this section may be waived by the court for good cause. All penalties collected for such outstanding citations and judgments shall be paid to the director of finance of the State[.]; provided that if the county has enacted an ordinance imposing an additional fine for the infraction, the director shall remit the counties' share, if any, of the interest penalty to the respective director of finance of the counties on a semi-annual basis."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________