Wild lies about traffic fines

The in basket: Jo Reasons passed along an e-mail she has gotten, making some astonishing claims about the increase in traffic fines in this state as of July 1. She notes that the source is not provided and wonders if the information is true.
It lists fines of $485 for blocking an intersection, $450 for driving on the shoulder, $380 for an incorrect lane change (it says “don’t cross the lane on solid lines or intersections”), says a carpool lane violation is $1,068 for a first infraction and doubles and triples after that until you get your license suspended for the fourth citation, that fines for cell phone use in construction zones double, that both the driver and any over-18 passenger get a ticket if the passenger isn’t wearing a seat belt, that three miles over the speed limit has been established as the citable speed, that cell phone use on the highways must be hands-free as of July 1 and that “DUI = JAIL.”


The in basket: Jo Reasons passed along an e-mail she has gotten, making some astonishing claims about the increase in traffic fines in this state as of July 1. She notes that the source is not provided and wonders if the information is true.
It lists fines of $485 for blocking an intersection, $450 for driving on the shoulder, $380 for an incorrect lane change (it says “don’t cross the lane on solid lines or intersections”), says a carpool lane violation is $1,068 for a first infraction and doubles and triples after that until you get your license suspended for the fourth citation, that fines for cell phone use in construction zones double, that both the driver and any over-18 passenger get a ticket if the passenger isn’t wearing a seat belt, that three miles over the speed limit has been established as the citable speed, that cell phone use on the highways must be hands-free as of July 1 and that “DUI = JAIL.”
The out basket: I have to wonder about the originator’s motivation for such a wild exaggeration. There’s hardly a word of truth in the list. If nothing else, it tells us again how careful we must be with what we “learn” on the Internet.
According to State Trooper Brian George of the Bremerton WSP detachment, the fines for intersection blocking, shoulder driving, carpool and lane violations went up to the same $124 as most other infractions this month. The hands-free cell phone law is effective next year, only speeding fines double in construction zones, the driver will be issued a seat belt citation only for an unbelted passenger younger than 16, “the speed limit is the speed limit,” and DUI suspects are often but not always booked into jail.
As we previously discussed in Road Warrior, you can change lanes (but can’t pass) in an intersection, and you can cross solid white lines if the lane change carries you into another legal driving lane.
Jo said she has received the e-mailed list twice and Brian said he’s seen it once previously, so I figure it’s best to do what I can to debunk it before it spreads.

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