Nassau County exec proposes adding extra fees to traffic violations to pay for more cops

GARDEN CITY, Long Island (WABC) -- As if getting a ticket wasn't bad enough, a new plan could make traffic violations in Nassau County even more expensive.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano wants to add extra fees, calling it the least painful way of paying for additional public safety jobs, something he says has to happen given the increasing threat of terror and the increasing cost of paying existing police overtime.

"There's a significant police presence that's now required at these events, and that takes personnel, and that takes dollars," said Mangano.

And so in his budget proposal, Mangano is hoping to tack on a flat fee of $105 to all traffic violations to pay for 150 additional police officers plus 81 civilian public safety jobs.

What would it mean? Red light camera tickets and fees for example would shoot from $95 to $200.

Critics call it ridiculous, both fiscally.."I think it's a result of having kicked the can down the road for many years and so they had to do this draconian fee," said Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran.

But also ethically, because it banks on bad drivers to balance the budget.

"The biggest problem is that we had 92 people die in Nassau County on our roads in 2015," said Alec Slatky of AAA. "That's what traffic fines should be about."

Critics also don't like the fact that this $105 fee would be across the board, even for the more mild parking violations.

And for something like an expired inspection sticker, it costs $105 now, and under Mangano's plan it would be double that.

But Mangano says it sure beats a property tax hike.

The legislature is set to vote on the budget by the end of October.
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