Government to increase traffic fines to fill holes in national budget
The fine rate for minor traffic violations will increase by 10 percent from the start of next year, even though the Public Prosecution Services (OM) advocated for a reduction. The Cabinet already announced the increase in the spring memorandum, but it is inconsistent with a report from the OM, which outgoing Justice Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz sent to parliament on Monday. She wrote in an accompanying letter that she desperately needed the money to close a gap in the budget.
Yeşilgöz instructed the OM to investigate the amounts of different types of fines after receiving signals that they were in danger of becoming out of balance. It concerned fines for minor traffic violations like skipping a red light or using a phone in traffic and financial penalties for more serious violations like driving under the influence or speeding. The concern was that the fine amounts in the latter category were disproportionately low compared to the financial penalties for lighter violations.
The OM confirmed this picture after its investigation and, therefore, recommended increasing the fines for more serious violations or reducing the amount for minor traffic offenses. According to the OM, a combination would also help to restore the imbalance. But the Ministry decided to just increase the fines for minor violations next year, allowing it to close a gap in the budget so that, for example, no cuts are made to the police. “This step puts the burden on traffic violators, who can avoid these costs by adhering to traffic rules,” Yeşilgöz said.
The Minister decided to increase the minor traffic violation fines before the OM published its report. A policy response will take some time due to the Cabinet’s caretaker status, the Minister said, but there will be consultations on the results of the report.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times