July 16, 2010
OLYMPIA — The Department of Licensing announced today it stands ready to reimburse local governments for fiscal impacts related to an oversight in updating a state traffic offense rulebook.
About 3,000 traffic citations issued by jurisdictions that have adopted the Model Traffic Ordinance since 2007 are subject to scrutiny. They include cell phone law violations until July 1 and some off-road vehicle violations.
The state’s new cell phone law is fully enforceable by municipal governments since that date, and a full update to the ordinance will be completed in September.
Individuals who were issued a citation and paid a fine should go to the jurisdiction which issued the citation to request reimbursement. The state in turn will reimburse the local jurisdiction for the full amount of the citation. The agency estimates that reimbursements could total up to $400,000 statewide.
The issue does not affect citations issued by the state patrol, other state police agencies or Seattle Police.
The agency has already formalized a process to ensure the Model Traffic Ordinance will undergo an annual review following each legislative session and will be updated if necessary.