Traffic ticket costs going up

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Commission tells attorney to draft ordinance to increase fee by $15

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

    Drivers and scofflaws beware.

The Levy County Commission voted unanimously to have the county attorney prepare an ordinance raising the court facility fee tacked onto every citation from $15 to $30.

    The item came up during the commission’s regular meeting Tuesday morning when County Clerk of Court Danny Shipp said Legislature passed the law approving the increase in the 2009 session.

    With 8,000 tickets issued in Levy County annually and many uncontested, a new ordinance could bring in $120,000 a year for the Levy County court facility fund.

    Commissioner Lilly Rooks asked if a judge could void the fee on a ticket.

    “The judge can waive any of the fees,” Shipp said. “I wouldn’t say they waive them a lot since very few people contest them.”

    Of course, Shipp said, most every ticket fee went up by $22.50 this year as a result of the Legislature’s actions.

Commission Chair Nancy Bell was left breathless when Shipp mentioned that not using a seatbelt while driving a vehicle could result in $98 ticket.

Once the new ordinance is drafted the commission will have to hold a public hearing on the measure and vote on it twice in order for it to be approved and enacted.