SEATTLE (AP) — Getting pinched on the roads is going to hurt a little more in Washington state.
Effective July 1, the state Supreme Court is boosting the base fines for most traffic infractions by $12. It's the first increase since 2007.
The money is partly to help cities and counties provide legal defense for poor people accused of crimes, and partly for a new computer system for the state's district courts.
Chief Justice Barbara Madsen said in a news release Monday it was a tough decision, because the operations of the court system should not depend on fines and fees, which disproportionately hurt low-income people.
Three of the court's justices dissented from the order increasing the fines.
But Madsen also said the increase is a reasonable amount, and the court will work with the Legislature to reduce the consequences for those who have difficulty paying.