State Patrol Not Ready To Enforce New Fines

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

A new law that went into effect today was supposed to raise fines for speeding, DUI's and other traffic offenses, but the Colorado State Patrol says troopers across the state are not ready to enforce the law.

Until they are, lawmakers say the state is losing out on money meant to fix roads.

It took lawmakers 120 days to pass nearly a dozen laws, but the Colorado State Patrol had 30 days to get ready to enforce one of them.

"It's such a short time frame," State Representative Steve King told 11 News on Tuesday.

11 News called Representative King after we discovered that troopers across the state are not prepared to write new tickets.

"It goes into effect today but whether we're going to start actually writing tickets for that amount, obviously it's not going to happen," said Colorado State Patrol Public Information Officer Trooper Gilbert Mares in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

Good news for drivers who get caught breaking the law, traffic fines will stay the same until troopers get up to speed. But lawmakers say it's bad news for the roads they drive on.

"That money goes for our roads and upkeep of our highways," said King.

The new law will double fines for most speeding tickets and raise fines by thousands of dollars for more serious offenses like vehicular eluding and DUI's.

The state had hoped to raise more than 12 million dollars for roads, but gathering all that new cash is on hold.

"We will start enforcing them as soon as everybody has those common code sheets and I can tell you write now that not everybody does right now," said Trooper Mares.

Mares could not tell 11 News why troopers are not prepared but Representative King made some calls and got the answer.

"It's a massive undertaking of printing," said King.

He says the Colorado State Patrol waited until Governor Ritter signed House Bill 1010 before it printed the new tickets.

"If the governor vetoed that bill and we had already printed all the tickets, that would have wasted taxpayer money."

The Colorado State Patrol could not give 11 News an estimate of how much money would be lost until it gets the new tickets.

Troopers are hoping to have them by the beginning of August.


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