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Published February 11, 2011, 09:53 AM

Traffic Fines

North Dakota cities may soon be able to increase their traffic fines.

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota cities may soon be able to increase their traffic fines.

Lawmakers in the House voted 51-42 on Thursday to allow cities to raise their fines up to double the state's fine for the same offense.

Current law allows cities to impose fines that can't be higher than the limits set in state law. But critics of the state fines say they're too low. It costs $20 for running a stop sign, $20 for careless driving and $20 for failing to wear a seat belt.

Supporters of the new proposal say higher fines are a deterrent to bad driving. Grand Forks Rep. Eliot Glassheim says cities should have authority to set their own fines.

Opponents of the bill say local governments use traffic fines to pad their budgets.

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