More than $40 million could be raised if the Los Angeles County marshal's office embarked on an aggressive campaign to locate up to 750,000 traffic offenders who have failed to pay their fines, the auditor-controller said.
After a review of the marshal's office, county Auditor-Controller Mark Bloodgood said that such an enforcement program also could lead to better compliance with traffic laws.
"The long-range impact of this issue, in our opinion, is extremely important, as it strikes at the heart of traffic control and the authority of the judicial system," Bloodgood said in a report released Friday.
Bloodgood said the 750,000-plus outstanding traffic warrants represent about $100 million in fines and penalties. Each warrant carries a $100 fine, plus a penalty of up to $70.
Bloodgood added that only about $40 million of the $100 million actually could be recovered. He explained that many violators would not be located, others would pay reduced fines and still others would opt for jail rather than pay a penalty.