Fighting Traffic Tickets in California Gets Easier Under New Law

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Californians will be allowed to challenge most routine traffic tickets without having to first pay the contested fines under a bill signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The measure, which takes effect immediately, was one of 37 bills signed by the governor Wednesday. Others help homeless youths get high school degrees and allow early release for some terminally ill jail inmates.

The bill on traffic tickets is in response to widespread complaints that the current system lacks due process and that many motorists cannot afford to pay escalating court costs and can lose the use of their car if their license is suspended, making it harder to go to work or school.

“The system was broken,” said Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), who introduced the bill. “Is it reasonable or fair to require the poor to pay a huge fine before getting a hearing? I say no, and I’m grateful the governor agreed.”

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