Another major reform to St. Louis County’s many municipal courts was announced last night by the St. Louis County Municipal Court Improvement Committee. No longer will certain fines like speeding, driving without insurance, red light violations, etc. vary by hundreds of dollars depending on where the ticket is issued. Instead, it was announced last night that 80 of our 82 municipal courts have agreed to issue uniform fine and court costs amounts for most ordinance violations.

Under this new standard, fines are $70.50 plus court costs for most routine moving violations (speeding, lane violations, illegal u-turns, etc.), and $50.50 for non-moving violations. Speeding fines range from $6 to $8 per mph over the limit. The municipal courts also agreed to standardized court costs of $24.50. This will make things much more clear for defendants as well as for their attorneys who at least have a baseline from which they can counsel their clients.

Two towns – Brentwood and Wellston – are not yet on board but are expected to join after changes to their municipal judges are finalized. These changes do not have to go into effect until this summer, and towns are free to levy higher fines for certain violations such as school zone violations. But this is yet another positive step towards fixing our embarrassingly corrupt municipal court system.