CSAC Bulletin Article

Futures Traffic Working Group Requests Comments

June 28, 2019

A new proposal based on the work of the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System, seeks to decriminalize minor traffic offenses by making traffic infractions a civil violation rather than a criminal violation. The Futures Traffic Working Group is proposing Judicial Council-sponsored legislation and is requesting comments on the proposal.

At the direction of the Chief Justice, the Futures Traffic Working Group was charged with developing a proposal to implement and evaluate a civil model for adjudication of minor vehicle infractions. The proposal includes recommendations for statutory changes as well as appropriate standardized processes to free up court and law enforcement resources and simplify procedures for defendants. Additionally, the proposal was informed by input from law enforcement, the Department of Motor Vehicles, organizations representing the interests of low-income Californians, and other stakeholders. The working group explored, evaluated, and now recommends options for online processing of all phases for all Vehicle Code infraction violations. Lastly, the proposal provides an alternative to the current system of criminal adjudication of several million traffic infractions each year.

The Invitation to Comment and the proposal can be found here: www.courts.ca.gov/documents/leg19-04.pdf. The deadline to submit comments is July 8, 2019.

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