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Over $6.2M in unpaid traffic fines are owed to Anchorage

April 14, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Scofflaws owe the city of Anchorage more than $6.2 million in unpaid traffic fines, city officials said.

More than 3,000 drivers are on the city’s list of scofflaws. That’s anyone whose delinquent moving violation fines exceed $1,000, KTUU reported .

“If you look through the list, it’s just frankly ridiculous,” Lt. Richard Henning told the Anchorage TV station. “People need to take responsibility for what they are doing.”

Assistant municipal attorney Pamela Weiss said the list doesn’t just reflect the amount of tickets received.

“It means they’ve received $1,000 (in tickets), been found guilty of the offenses and then have not paid it so they are delinquent,” Weiss said. “They are past due.”

Scofflaws risk having their vehicles impounded if they come into contact with police or are pulled over for other violations.

Among the top 50 violators in Anchorage, one man on the scofflaw list has 77 outstanding tickets.

Everyone in the top 50 has at least 25 unpaid tickets. Three people owe more than $10,000 each.

The scofflaw law was implemented statewide in 2007 by then-Gov. Sarah Palin, who was later the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate. The scofflaw law was adopted in Anchorage in 2007.

Henning said the purpose of the law is to get dangerous drivers off the road.

“They should take responsibility for their actions and pay their tickets so they are not on the scofflaw list anymore, and they shouldn’t drive,” he said.

Some of the money owed is collected through bank sweeps and Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend garnishments. Impounds may provide additional incentive.

Police have had about 430 vehicles towed this year, according to Henning. Last year, nearly 1,200 vehicles were towed under the scofflaw law.

Weiss said about $6 million is owed in any given year, and it remains fairly consistent at about 3,000 offenders.