THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO TRAFFIC INFRACTIONS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that fines for speeding generally serve the purpose of deterring such activities. However, the legislature notes that flat fines, which apply to any speeding driver, can be ineffective deterrents upon wealthy offenders, since a person with access to monetary resources can pay a flat fine with ease.
The legislature further finds that Finland utilizes a scaled system for its traffic fines, in which the amount that an offender must pay is based upon that offender's income, with higher yearly incomes resulting in higher fines. The legislature also notes that Finland's scaled system is determined by fining offenders using a formula based upon approximately half of their daily earnings, with that number then being subject to multiplication based upon the severity of the violation.
For example, if a person earns $60,000 per year, then it can be determined that the person makes approximately $230 per workday; the baseline fine for such a person would be $115, which is half of their earnings per workday. Further, Finland's system would then multiply this baseline $115 amount by a factor of fifteen if the person was driving fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit, with a maximum factor of one-hundred twenty for the most egregious of violations.
The legislature additionally finds that implementation of a scaled fine system in Hawaii would require that the judiciary or police departments obtain sufficient data on the incomes of offenders. Further, the legislature finds that implementation of a scaled fine system would require a mathematic equation or other process by which an offender's fine is calculated in relation to their income. The legislature further notes that the feasibility of such a program should be explored.
Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to establish and fund a traffic fines task force, which shall examine the Finnish traffic fines system, determine whether a similar system could be implemented in Hawaii, and provide recommendations as to how such a system could best be implemented.
SECTION 2. (a) The judiciary shall convene a traffic fines task force to study the system of proportional traffic fines, which is used by Finland, determine the feasibility of such a proportional traffic fines system or a similar system in Hawaii, and make recommendations as to how proportional traffic fines could be implemented in Hawaii. The task force shall include the following members:
(1) The chief justice or the chief justice's designee, who shall serve as chairperson;
(2) The attorney general or the attorney general's designee;
(3) The director of taxation or the director's designee;
(4) The director of public safety or the director's designee;
(5) Two members representing different county police departments;
(6) One member representing the cargo industry; and
(7) Any other member as assigned by the task force.
(b) The members of the task force shall not be compensated for their services, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses, including travel expenses, incurred for serving on the task force. No member shall be made subject to chapter 84, Hawaii Revised Statutes, solely because of the member's participation in the task force.
(c) The task force, with the assistance of the judiciary, shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than forty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2024.
(d) The task force shall be dissolved on June 30, 2024.
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $100,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 for the establishment of a traffic fines task force, which shall examine the Finnish traffic fines system, determine whether a similar system could be implemented in Hawaii, and provide recommendations as to how a system could best be implemented.
The sum appropriated shall be expended by the judiciary for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that section 3 of this Act shall take effect on July 1, 2023.
Traffic Fines; Task Force; Establishment; Appropriation
Establishes a Traffic Fines Task Force that will examine the Finnish tiered traffic fines system, determine whether a similar system could be implemented in Hawaii, and provide recommendations as to how a system could best be implemented. Appropriates funds. (SD1)
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