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Senate Bill 1099 — Red traffic lights

Senate Bill 1099 — Red traffic lights

Parrish Miller
February 15, 2021

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1099 will triple the fines for certain traffic law violations from $90 to $270.

Rating: -1

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?

Senate Bill 1099 amends Section 49-236, Idaho Code, to impose $270 fines for certain traffic law violations. This will triple the current fine of $90 established by rule of the Idaho Supreme Court in its interpretation of  Idaho Code 49-236(2) and 18-113A. Among these traffic law violations are proceeding through an intersection before the light has turned green and failing to stop at a clearly marked limit line.

This increase in fines will apply equally to violations made in error and those made willfully. There is also no requirement that anyone be harmed or even put at risk for these fines to be imposed.

The statement of purpose for Senate Bill 1099 claims, "The current fine totaling $90.00 is not a satisfactory deterrent." This claim does not appear to be independently substantiated nor does it satisfy a commonsense analysis. The typical driver does not memorize the fine schedule for various traffic infractions and is unlikely to follow or break traffic laws based solely on the specific fees assigned to their violation. 


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