GUEST POV | Defective equipment pleas have been abused - WDRB 41 Louisville News

GUEST POV | Defective equipment pleas have been abused

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By Mike O'Connell
Jefferson County Attorney

Traffic violations happen every day in Louisville - leading to more than 50 traffic deaths already this year. Our Metro Police have a daunting task trying to stop those who ignore the law. 

As County Attorney, it is my job to hold speeders and other traffic violators accountable for poor driving. For years, it's been the practice in Jefferson District court to cut deals on speeding tickets by pleading cases down to a defective equipment charge. That system has been abused. Far too often those who have a history of speeding were getting breaks because they could hire an attorney to negotiate for them. That's a process that benefits the fortunate, not those who struggle financially. That system needed to stop. 

In 2012, the Kentucky legislature made it possible for county attorneys across the Commonwealth to run their own traffic safety programs. In Louisville, we began the Drive Safe Louisville program. This allows qualifying traffic violators to complete an online program and we will request the court dismiss their case. 

Drive Safe Louisville accomplishes our goal of educating drivers. And yes, it also allows our office to generate revenue to address shrinking budgets. It also provides funding to Circuit Court clerks, public defenders, the Brain Injury Trust, law enforcement and others who get funding from court costs. 

My prosecutors are committed to finding fair and just resolutions to all cases. Our ultimate goal is to create safer streets and better drivers in our community. 

I'm Mike O'Connell and that's my Point of View.

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