Traffic court getting tougher for speeders?

Jan 6, 2011

If you challenge a speeding ticket in traffic court, you’ve had a good chance of getting it thrown out in recent years.  That’s because prosecutors in western Washington have been cutting their budgets and prioritizing for bigger crimes. 

Prosecutors have been absent from traffic court for at least five years, according to The Seattle Times.  At the urging of presiding King County District Court judge Barbara Linde, that's changing. 

"The system has been thrown out of balance, and this is aimed at restoring some of it," Linde said.

"Motions to dismiss have been met with silence. That will no longer be the case," at least in some cases.

King County is joining several other jurisdictions by making traffic cases more of a priority.  The Metropolitan King County Council is requiring a full-time prosecutor for traffic cases.  They hope the extra revenues from speeders and red-light-runners will cover the prosecutor’s salary. 

The Snohomish prosecutor was the first to try this, according to KIRO-FM, and find that it made sense economically.  Kitsap County followed suit earlier this week.