Several weeks ago, I was pulled over and ticketed for driving 10 mph over the speed limit on Roosa Avenue in Durango at 1 p.m. The police officer advised me that I could go to court or pay the ticket outright. He then showed me on the ticket that the fine was $140. Initially, I could not believe a ticket for exceeding the speed limit by 10 mph would cost that much. Then, as I thought about it, I felt this was exorbitant and that someone had to stand up and say something. If we don’t, things never change.
So I had my day in court. I shared my opinion with the judge. He seemed to understand how I felt but told me the City Council sets the price of fines and that my infraction was about to cost more with court fees. So as I left a laughing court room paying $183 for this fine, I decided I would contact some of the members of the City Council. I did do that and received one nice reply from a councilor who told me that she would forward my email. Since then, I have only heard from one other person who told me how the city is organized, how the City Council is elected, who develops the fines, who reviews them and that basically the City Council doesn’t set the fines after all.
So after all of this, I’m not sure anyone will do anything about it, but I wanted justice here – not just for me, but for others as well because $183 for a 10 mph speeding ticket is ridiculous. I can’t even remember the last time I received a ticket, but at this rate, who can afford to drive? And I have to ask, are the coffers of Durango in trouble? Is this the reason for these types of fines?