Traffic tickets are a pain. If you don’t have an extra $300, or even $500, lying around, or if you weren’t violating any traffic laws, you have to go to court to fight the ticket. For many of us, this means taking an entire day off of work. And now if you live in Southern California, taking care of a traffic ticket is going to be a lot more painful next year. The San Diego County traffic courts in the East County’s and South Bay’s superior courts are next up on the chopping block.
Beginning next year, the San Diego Superior Court is expected to close traffic courts in Chula Vista and El Cajon as a cost-saving measure. These court’s serve half of the county’s population. It will consolidate them with the Kearny Mesa Traffic Division.
Not only are residents objecting, but cities and police officers are objecting too. National City Mayor Ron Morrison is not a fan of the idea and has spoken out against it. One of his concerns is the impact on police. Officers will have to travel farther on taxpayers’ dime to appear in court. Thus, Morrison is worried that there will be a lot more officers who will have to be on overtime—which will also cost taxpayers extra money.
Thousands of South Bay and East County residents will also have to travel farther to contest tickets. It is twice or three times as far to Kearny Mesa and we all know what a nightmare traffic can be. And if you want to travel by mass transit, it will become even more of a headache to get to court to contest your ticket as Morrison points out that there is a huge lack of transportation. And you may have to travel to Kearny Mesa twice—once for the arraignment and once for the trial.
The reason for the consolidation is one that we’ve been hearing a lot lately: budget cuts.
San Diego Superior Court Executive Officer Mike Roddy explained that the state of California has cut the county’s court budget by a billion dollars statewide over the past six years and they simply have nothing left.
The transition is expected to be made in July of 2015. Even though several South Bay officials oppose the plan, the court plans to move ahead with the plan to move all operations to Kearny Mesa.
There is one piece of good news for residents of Vista: The traffic court in Vista will not be closed under the plan.
If you need an legal assistance in traffic court, call a local San Diego Legal Expert like Ticket Snipers today.