Press Release

Hertzberg Calls on Courts to Consider Impact of Driver’s License Suspensions

Lawsuit highlights license suspensions for failure to pay traffic fines

August 2, 2016

SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, issued this statement today regarding a lawsuit challenging the Los Angeles County court system for suspending driver’s licenses:

“We know that suspending driver’s licenses for people who are struggling to make ends meet can have huge negative consequences including costing them their jobs. It’s imperative that courts take into account the severity of this action. Driver’s licenses should be suspended only when merited and not for minor missteps, such as failing to pay a traffic fine on time.”

Hertzberg is the author of SB 881, legislation that stops the automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for people who fail to pay fines for minor traffic offenses. The bill has passed the Senate and is presently in the Assembly.

SB 881 follows Hertzberg’s landmark measure, SB 405, and Gov. Jerry Brown’s related budget proposal that together established a new traffic amnesty program on Oct. 1, 2015. The program allows people to talk to a judge if they want to before paying fines, restores driver’s licenses to those with a payment plan, and reduces exorbitant fee debts by taking a person’s income into account.

In the first three months of that program, more than 58,000 Californians received amnesty fine and fee reductions and more than 40,000 requested reinstatement of their driver’s licenses, according to the California Judicial Council.


Bob Hertzberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, represents nearly 1 million San Fernando Valley residents of Senate District 18, which includes part of Burbank and the following communities in Los Angeles: Arleta, Granada Hills, Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, part of Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, part of Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, the City of San Fernando and Universal City. See a district map at After serving in the Assembly from 1996-2002, including two years as Speaker, Hertzberg invested in solar, wind and electric-car projects; and worked for structural changes in government through the Think Long Committee of California. Learn more at

Communications Director
Senator Robert M. Hertzberg
Capitol Building, Room 4038
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-4018

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