Watch Out for Traffic Fines

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Bay County is still waiting to issue its first texting while driving ticket a week after the law went into effect October first.

But law enforcement is warning drivers to stay alert for other hidden fees that could come with traffic violations.

Drivers don't realize how quickly the cost of one ticket can add up - or even where the money you pay goes.

Panama City Police Corporal Michael Streichert says, "Some days we can only do a few, some days it can be as many as 30 traffic stops in an 11 hour shift."

Thirty years ago, a fine for driving six to nine miles over the speed limit was around $50.

Today, it's $150 - and that's one of the cheaper tickets.

The fine for texting while driving is only $30 for the first offense, but after adding on court fees and other fees the total comes to $110.

Running a red light is $258, and passing a school bus with its stop sign out is $365.

Panama City traffic units pull over on average 20 cars a day, but what many people don't realize is the price of a ticket is just the beginning.

If you're found guilty of the violation in Bay County, taking a ticket to court could cost you $85 to $585 dollars.

In Jackson County, it could cost you up to $500.

Walton County is the only one that doesn't normally require additional court fees.

But don't forget traffic school.

On average, that's another $25.

Cpl Streichert says, "The top two things are the price, but most people are concerned about the points because it affects their insurance. It makes their insurance rates go up."

So where does all the fine money go?

Depending on what sort of violation, the majority is sent back to the county, then the state, and then to the agency that issued the citation.

The actual breakdown depends on each individual county.

Among other local agencies, your fine money reaches the Bay County Commission, and Gulf Coast State College.


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