Grand County follows state’s lead, raises fines for traffic violations
July 29, 2008
Colorado’s fines for moving violations have motorists digging deeper into their pockets.
Fines for infractions such as speeding and careless driving have increased two-fold, and some nearly three-fold.
Ron Watkins, master trooper with the Colorado State Patrol, said before the increase, Colorado traffic fines were “some of the lowest in the country.”
Gov. Bill Ritter signed the bill authorizing the increases on June 3, and troopers began implementing the new fines July 14.
An across-the-board revamp of all fines such as this one hasn’t been done in 20 or 30 years, according to State Patrol officials.
The increases may be mirrored in Grand County towns and have already been implemented in the county, according to Sheriff Rod Johnson.
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Kremmling Police Chief Scott Spade said violators in Kremmling should expect a like increase if accepted by the town. The department usually matches state fines, Spade said.
Granby should be reviewing its in-town traffic fines in light of the state’s increases as well, according to Police Chief Bill Housley, who brought up the topic at a recent town meeting.
Fraser-Winter Park Police Glen Trainor could not be reached for comment in time for this article.
With the state’s effort to prevent most traffic fatalities by 2025, Trooper Ryan Holmes said the former, lower fines were counterproductive.
A $15 seat belt penalty, for example, was not taken seriously, he said.
“The fines were way too low.”
Sgt. Gary Meirose of the Granby State Patrol office said since the new fine schedule, he has gotten a few complaints from motorists experiencing ticket-sticker shock.
On the other hand, the sergeant said, some Colorado visitors from out-of-state found it worth speeding, even getting caught, for the perceived modest amount they formerly paid.
“Maybe this will make people realize they need to slow down and wear their seat belts,” he said.
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