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Mon November 7, 2011
State lawmakers try to reduce driver responsibility fees
The additional annual fees Michigan driver’s pay if they have seven or more points on their license may soon be reduced. The state House is expected to vote this week on proposed changes to the unpopular driver responsibility fee.
The state currently collects about $120 million every year from drivers with at least seven points on their records. State House spokesman Ari Adler said that’s too much money to simply cut from the state budget.
“We looked at doing this in a little bit more of an incremental approach without taking so much money out of the budget all at once,” Adler said. “The long term goal is to try to reduce or eliminate these driver responsibility fees but the reality is that there is a good chunk of the budget that is predicated on these fees and penalties.”
Senator Bruce Caswell agreed the state cannot afford to completely eliminate that amount of money from the budget right now but he said the fee is unfair to drivers who have already paid their fines.
“These later bills coming, I don’t care what the charge is, are inappropriate I believe and shouldn’t be done. So my hope eventually is to get rid of this thing entirely,” said Caswell.
Drivers with seven or more points on their license are assessed the annual fee in addition to the cost of their ticket. The proposal would omit or reduce the fee for minor infractions, but major traffic violations, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, would still be assessed the annual fee.