Driver Notes Of Fee: 'It's Literally Highway Robbery'

HAUPPAUGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Thousands of drivers who were charged administrative fees on traffic offenses that were ultimately dismissed can expect refunds from Suffolk County.

As WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported, motorists were pleased to learn that the county has a plan to refund the charge.

“These fees have always been unfair and it’s a good thing they finally recognized it and took a position on doing something about it,” a driver named Richard told Xirinachs.

The Suffolk County executive reportedly supports a plan to reimburse the $30 to $50 fees.

The legislation is expected to pass when lawmakers vote on the issue next week.

“It’s literally highway robbery,” the man told Xirinachs. “Happy is the day when the driver gets a break and somebody does something for he or she.”

Under state law, motorists who are ticketed for broken tail lights, lack of insurance and other minor infractions are given 24 hours to have the infraction taken care of and tickets can be expunged, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported earlier this month.

However, regardless of the outcome of the tickets, Suffolk County adds an administrative fee of $30 or $50 on nearly all of the tickets it processes.

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) has admitted the county made a mistake.

“I would say this is us recognizing that we had an administrative error in the way we implemented the law,” Calarco said.

He sponsored the measure to scrap the controversial charge.

Officials said it’ll be several months before any fee refunds are made.

Officials estimated the refunds could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The administrative fees were imposed earlier this year.

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