Time running out in amnesty program

Published 12:24 am Friday, February 24, 2012

Thanks to 2012 being a Leap Year, those who have outstanding traffic tickets from the city of Selma, have a little more time to take advantage of the city’s ticket amnesty program.

Traffic tickets that were just a few dollars, to those well over $1,000, have been taken care of this month, thanks to a program city officials declared was “no strings attached, no questions asked.”

But, even though officials worked to make the program as simple as possible before launching, chief magistrate June Taylor said rumors in the community have had an effect on residents coming in to clear up tickets.

Email newsletter signup

“We have heard a lot of stuff. We’ve heard people say that we were going to book anyone, force them to take drug tests,” Taylor said. “That is not the case at all. We simply want these individuals to come in and either pay off their fine or set up a payment plan to take care of the ticket.”

Taylor said the response has been good and has even drawn response from individuals throughout Alabama.

“We had someone from Gadsden come in and clear up a ticket. We had someone from Mobile,” Taylor said. “We’ve had them from all over the state.”

Selma Mayor George Evans said he is anxious to see just how successful the program ultimately is, but reminded residents there are only a few days left in the amnesty program.

“Next Wednesday is the final day to do this,” Evans said. “We don’t know if we are going to do this again. This is just too good of an opportunity to miss if someone is out there with an outstanding ticket. This is the time to clear it up.”

Taylor said she expects to see an increase in the number of people coming in as the month comes to an end.

“So far, we’ve had days when we’ve had 10 to 20 come in and days we’ve had just one or two,” Taylor said. “You really never know, but I would expect it to pick up the next few days.”

In an earlier interview, Evans said the city had more than 10,000 outstanding fines, dating back 13 years on the books.

“I couldn’t tell you right now how many we’ve had come in, but we have seen a few hundred people,” Taylor said. “We’ll have to see how we did when the month ends.”

The municipal court magistrate office, located at 1300 Alabama Ave., is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

More serious offenses are not included in the program. Those who have reckless driving and driving under the influence offenses will still have to appear in court. However, a new court date can be set by the magistrate.

Call 874-2135 for more information.