ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Points, fines and surcharges; all the penalties you could face for a speeding ticket. Currently, New York automatically imposes a surcharge of $88 or $93 depending on whether the driver was in a city or a town. This is in addition to the fine for the speeding ticket.
Assembly member Angelo Santabarbara has introduced a bill that would cap surcharges to a maximum of 10% of the original fine, “It could be a $45 speeding ticket, ends up costing in some cases two or $300 because of the surcharges, that seems to me like it’s a system that’s more focused on the revenue generation, rather than fairness inappropriateness.” He said right now, the surcharges just don’t make sense. “When you think of a surcharge, you think of a percentage or a portion of what the original amount is, but in this case we’re seeing …. 100, 200, 300% or even higher at the end of the day.”
But what exactly are surcharges? “Typically surcharges are somewhat done either at the town or county level, it really depends on what county you’re in. Most of the time, once you get those types of tickets right, they’ll use a surcharge to cover court fees, things like that,” explained, Ryan McCall, an attorney with Tully Rinkcey. He said that money also helps pay court staff and adds to the state’s general fund, often putting money into state run programs.
McCall said he’s skeptical that this bill will pass in the legislature, “Just based on my knowledge of New York State, and how I know how reliant they are on these surcharges, in addition to other things to be able to pay court staff, things like that, but it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities. I think it would be a welcome site for a lot of traffic speeders out there.”