Being the goody-two shoes that I am, I tend to get pretty indignant when people who do things they are not "supposed" to do get away with it. I know, this puts me in real danger of becoming one of those old ladies who hits people with her cane, but it just pisses me off that I follow all ( well, most... usually...) of the rules and people who flout them get a break! Here's what's happening-
Beginning January 1st of next year, those of you with unpaid traffic tickets that were issued before January 1st of 2009 will be given a 6 month window of amnesty during which half your debt will be forgiven as long as you are willing cough up the other half. At the moment this amnesty only applies for people who haven't paid anything - not one cent - of the initial fine, while anyone who has paid any portion must pay off their entire debt. Stupid, right? And unfair. L A County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky thought so too and on Tuesday the Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to urge the California Judicial Council's Administrative Office of the Court to amend the law to include those who have already paid part of their initial fines.We'll see what happens.
The cynic in me - can you be a goody-two-shoes and a cynic? - doubts that the amnesty will be widened. Why? Because people who have made some payment are already in the books. It's easier to find them and get them to pay full price. Full payment = more in the city coffers and isn't that what the amnesty program is all about? But there's a larger question and I'm sure you are already asking it. Why should anyone be given a break on their tickets? If you get a ticket today you won't get a break - you will be expected to pay the entire thing. Is this fair? And what is the message the city sends by having an amnesty program at all? We need money so - a wink and a nudge - just give us half, all is forgiven, and try not to kill anyone the next time you make an illegal U-turn? What do you think?