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Warren pushes traffic-violations agency for city

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Mayor Lovely Warren wants the city to have its own traffic-violations agency and she is asking City Council to support state legislation authorizing the agency. Council will discuss her request at a special public meeting at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow in City Council Chambers at City Hall.

Currently, if motorists are charged with a traffic violation in the city, they have to appear before a violations bureau operated by the state Department of Motor Vehicles. If they’re charged for the same violation in the suburbs, though, they appear before a town or village court. Those courts can accept plea bargains, but the DMV bureaus can’t. That means motorists charged with violations in the city may face higher fines and points, which can result in higher insurance premiums.

Bills authorizing a city traffic-violations agency have been introduced in the state Assembly and Senate, and Warren wants Council to act quickly so that the bills can be considered in legislature committees on June 6.

In her request to City Council, Warren says that while the new agency would require hiring staff, fees could offset that cost. The Buffalo traffic-violations agency has resulted in an annual revenue increase of more than $2 million for the city budget, Warren says.

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