Sen. Bob Hertzberg is on a mission to "restore common sense" to the justice system and he is another step closer after the Assembly of Public Safety Committee voted 5-2 in favor of a new bill addressing minor traffic violations resulting in fines worth several hundred dollars. The bill is aimed at preventing the automatic suspension of a driver's license who has failed to appear in court or pay the designated fees for certain minor violations. Hertzberg feels his bill would put a stop to a severe punishment that often "sends many people of modest means into a downward spiral." According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there are currently more than 600,000 individuals with a suspended license in the state. Opponents however argue there will be no incentive for those individuals to pay the violations they originally failed to pay on time if approved. Individuals accused of driving under the influence or reckless driving would not be qualified for the amnesty program, which is a follow-up to the temporary program put in place last October. If approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee, the bill returns to the Senate before being sent to the governor's desk.
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