Traffic violation costs on the rise — beware

Section 3111 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code is “Obedience to Traffic-Control Devices.”

Up until Dec. 31, 2013, the penalty for violating this law was a $25 fine plus costs. The total amount was $112.

As always, half of the fine, $12.50, went to the municipality in which the offense occurred; the other half went to the state. There were no points assigned to the defendant’s driving record for violating this section, and it was a significantly lower fine than a citation for speeding.

For those reasons, police officers often issued citations for this section instead of citations for speeding, stop sign violations, etc., as a “break” to the recipient. As of January 1, 2014 the fine amount increases to $150 plus costs. The new total amount will be $237.50, as the costs are rising also.

The state is also no longer splitting the fine with the municipality in which the offense occurred 50-50. The state is taking all of the $125 increase in addition to their half of the original $25.

This amount will be placed in the Public Transportation Trust Fund. This change is part of the “Transportation Bill” (Act 89 of 2013).

I am anxious to see how much of the Public Transportation Trust Fund will be allocated to this region.

Henry T. Fownes