New Traffic Amnesty Program can help drivers save half on unpaid court fines

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – House Enrolled Act Number 1141, also known as the traffic amnesty program, could save qualifying drivers money. However, the program will not last long.

The Traffic Amnesty Program takes effect on July 1 and will make it easier to get Indiana drivers back on the road.               

Starting December 31 until the end of 2020, Indiana drivers can pay outstanding balances or get their license reinstated for half the cost.               

However, those violations must have happened before January 1 of 2019.               

Terre Haute City Attorney Eddie Felling says these fees can be thousands and thousands of dollars, making the program a great opportunity for drivers to save.

“Every time you get certain types of dings against your driver’s license…You can rack up these reinstatement fees…And oftentimes it’s in the thousands of dollars. So obviously cutting that in half would be a huge benefit to individuals who may be trying to get their license back,” Felling said.

According to Indiana State Police, troopers come across drivers with suspended licenses and unpaid tickets on a daily basis.               

Sgt. Matt Ames says the program is just what the city needs to help every day people who may not be able to afford the cost.

“People have lower incomes and they need a break. They’ve already paid all their legal fees…They’ve paid their fines to the courts and when it comes time to get their license from the state of Indiana it’s astronomical the amount of money they would have to pay to the bureau of motor vehicles,” Ames said.

Those who hope to get their costs cut will have to do so by filing a petition through the court.

Certain documents would need to be on hand in order for the program to work in their favor.     

Felling says seeing a lawyer beforehand will help to avoid being denied. There are options for those who cannot afford one.

We have some options here locally where we have certain days where people can come to talk to a lawyer. That would be a great opportunity.

If you owe child support, have an outstanding arrest warrant, or have been sentenced to pay restitution you cannot participate in the program.

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