Anchorage gets tough on delinquent drivers

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage is putting scofflaws on notice.

Beginning Monday, the city is listing on a new Web site the names of hundreds of drivers who owe more than $1,000 in overdue traffic fines.

The city ordinance also allows the city to impound scofflaws' cars the next time a police officer pulls them over, until they pay up.

Scofflaw signs also will be posted on city buses and the program will be advertised on radio spots. The Web site's address is www.scofflaw.muni.org.

The $1,000 limit applies to moving violations such as speeding or running a red light, but not unpaid parking tickets. People who pay off the fines will have their names removed from the list that is updated daily.

The new rules kicked in late last year, with the city impounding 18 vehicles so far. That includes five this month, said Mick Fornelli, senior administrative officer for the city.

Along with unveiling the Web site, the city planned to start the bus advertising Monday, and begin the radio ads next week.

All the publicity could lead to some unpleasant surprises as drivers learn they've stacked more fines than they thought.

"I don't owe over a thousand, do I?" Orlando Brown asked when called by an Anchorage Daily News reporter.

According to one of the lists on the Web site, he does.

It says Brown had seven delinquent traffic fines totaling $1,465.

Brown didn't admit any wrongdoing. He said, however, that some people may want to pay off the fines, but can't.

"They have to choose whether they're going to pay that citation or put food on the table."



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