Traffic Amnesty Program cuts costs for restricted drivers

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind.,(WTWO/WAWV)– The Traffic Amnesty Program helps drivers who are faced with reinstatement fees after having their privileges revoked.

Drivers who are caught driving illegally may face up to $1000 in reinstatement fees.

The program cuts the costs in half for those who can’t afford to pay their fees.

Ryan Adamson, Public Information Officer for the Terre Haute Police Department said, drivers are often faced with a dilemma.

“If someone gets a traffic ticket and can’t afford to pay it, their driver’s license gets suspended. Now he or she has a decision to make. Do they drive and go to work and continue to support their family? Or do they not drive? That’s a hard decision, especially for people who have never been in that situation before,” said Adamson.

City Court Judge Matthew Sheehan said these cases are very common in the Wabash Valley.

“It probably makes up about half of our docket are driving offense and a lot of times these are people trying to maintain a one income family,” said Sheehan.

The program is only available for one year but Judge Sheehan said it allows drivers the opportunity to get back on their feet

The reality of it is people can’t be successful in our community without having a license to drive. So we try to recognize that and do everything we can to get people back on track,” said Sheehan.

He said the courts just want to help as many people as possible while the program is available.

“I would just say even if you think it’s a lost cause or you’re nervous about it or you don’t want to address it, just come to court. We’ve got a great relationship with the prosecutors office, the public defenders office, the city clerk and we’re all pretty committed to helping people who want to be responsible,” said Sheehan.

Drivers who are eligible for the program must file a petition at the courthouse.

Anyone that has outstanding warrants or has had their privileges revoked because they owe child support may not enroll.

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