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D.C. collects $2M since August in ticket amnesty program

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The District has collected nearly $2 million in paid outstanding parking tickets since the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles agreed to look the other way on late fees, officials said Monday.

The Ticket Amnesty Program started Aug. 1 and in three months drivers have paid 35,357 outstanding tickets, agency spokeswoman Sylvia Ballinger said Monday.

Maryland drivers have paid the most tickets, 17,387 of them worth $931,024 in revenue.

Virginians have paid 5,968 tickets worth $302,894. and District drivers have paid just under 10,000 tickets for a total of $559,311.

When the program started, agency Director Lucinda Babers said the city collects about $142 million a year in traffic tickets, but millions more are lost because doubled late fees are a deterrent for motorists to pay their ticket.

The amnesty program forgives the late fee for parking and moving violations before Jan. 1, 2010, so drivers have to pay only the original fines.

“We have quite an aggressive collection agency, and we tend to get most of the more recent monies,” Ms. Babers said in August. “It is the tickets that are old … that we need additional incentive in order to receive some of those funds.”

The program’s deadline is Jan. 27, 2012.

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