Amnesty for unpaid traffic tickets ends April 3

- A statewide traffic amnesty program is set to end Monday, according to the Southland lawmaker who proposed it.

Hundreds of thousands of Californians have cleared debts from traffic fines and gotten their suspended driver's licenses back as a result of the program, according to the office of Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys.

Motorists eligible for the one-time offer of amnesty include those with unpaid tickets with fines originally due on or before Jan. 1, 2013, who haven't made a payment after Sept. 30, 2015. Under the program, fines may be reduced by 50 or 80 percent depending on income.

Those who made payments after Sept. 30, 2015, may be eligible to have their license reinstated if they are on a payment plan, but won't benefit from reduced fines.

The program doesn't apply to parking tickets, drunken driving offenses or citations for reckless driving.

Created in 2015, the legislation is due to expire Friday, but due to a state holiday in honor of farmworkers advocate Cesar Chavez, will end on April 3.

Hertzberg, who authored the amnesty legislation, has proposed another bill that would prevent the automatic suspension of driver's licenses for people unable to pay fines or fees for minor traffic violations and would also force courts to base fines on motorists' ability to pay.

Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal also calls for an end to license suspensions for those who fail to pay traffic tickets.

Read more here.

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