Reporting Jon Delano
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Okay, admit it — sometimes you drive a touch over the limit — or run a red-light — or maybe not quite stop at a stop sign.
Well, the price for doing that could jump.
“We want to move the state forward. We have to do something about transportation funding,” said PA Sen. John Rafferty, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.
To pay for bridge and road repairs and better fund public transit, a bi-partisan group of state senators, led by Rafferty, wants to add a $100 surcharge to the current fines for moving violations.
“You mean an extra hundred dollars per citation on top of what they charge right now is outrageous,” noted Dean Albert of Upper St. Clair.
That’s exactly the proposal.
“I think it’s absurd, to be honest. Tickets now are already so terribly expensive,” added Lucian Wintrich of Squirrel Hill.
“With the economy, everyone is struggling as it is. I think that would be one more burden for families, noted Joanne Witkowski of Bethel Park.
But Rafferty says the state must act to repair 4,400 structurally deficient bridges, over 11,000 of poor state-owned roads, and under-funded public transit systems.
“We’re at a critical juncture now. We have roads in disrepair. We have bridges that are structurally deficient. We have needs for our mass transit system,” said Rafferty.
The Rafferty transportation plan is more ambitious than Governor Corbett’s plan.
“It’s his starting point,” said Corbett on Friday. “My starting point is considerably lower than that.”
Corbett who like Rafferty raises gas taxes, registration fees, and drivers licenses – didn’t reject higher moving violation fines but added, “I’m very cautious about continuing to add to the burden of the people of Pennsylvania.”
If the Rafferty transportation bill does pass the state senate, it has an uphill battle in the state house where every member of that house is up for reelection next year.