The Senate Transportation Committee released a bill Monday that would reduce fines for drivers who are stopped and do not have their license, registration or insurance documentation with them.
Under Sen. Christopher Bateman’s measure, fines would be reduced to no more than $100 and a judge would have discretion to waive them altogether if the motorist could prove their license, registration or insurance was valid on the day a ticket was issued.
The fines now are $150, and with court costs the expense for drivers can climb. Many drivers who cannot afford to take off time from work to attend a traffic court hearing end up paying court costs and fines.
“The municipal courts have really become revenue raisers for the state of New Jersey,’’ Bateman (R-16) of Somerville told the committee. He said traffic fines should not have risen to the level they have for such situations.
The committee unanimously released the bill.
Bateman said the fines were hiked in 2003 from $44. On top of that, court costs can be $23 for an individual offense.