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Small success for Operation Green Light

Operation Green Light, which was held here on Saturday, April 18, is a statewide initiative that allows people to pay delinquent traffic tickets and court fines without the collection agency surcharge associated with the citation, which translates to a 40 percent saving. In Madison County, it was a small success. Clerk of Courts Tim Sanders said the office processed 10 accounts during the one-day event and collected $1,471 in fines. The $1,471 collected barely made a dent in the $1,264,083 that’s owed the county in uncollected fees going back to 2001. There are currently 7,252 outstanding accounts. Sanders stated that they handle between 10,000 and 15,000 tickets a year and many are out of state drivers.

The community benefits from getting the tickets paid. For a $201 speeding ticket, the courthouse facilities receives $30; school district’s drivers’ education program receives $3; countywide radio communications receives $11.25; law enforcement education receives $4.50; State General Revenue Fund receives $19.94; Fine, Fees and Court Costs receives $87.45 (partially funds Clerk of Circuit Court court-related expenditures; remainder goes to state); State Courts, Public Defender and State Attorney Trust Fund receives $10 each. “Operation Green Light was a success for the ten accounts that were paid here with collection fees waived,” said Sanders. “Operation Green Light held statewide on April 18 would have been much more successful in Madison County had it not occurred the same day as our Down Home Days Festival.”

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