Maine courts to see traffic increase

| Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Thanks to a computer switch, Maine ’s traffic courts are going to handle about 14,000 motor vehicle violation cases in February and March.

The Bangor Daily News reported that the cases are the result of a 10-month backlog created when the state Traffic Violations Bureau switched to a new computer system in March 2005.

The bureau handles all civil infractions of the state’s motor vehicle statutes, including those issued by local police, sheriff’s deputies and the state highway patrol.

Court Administrator James Glessner told the Daily News that switching over to the new system – and training people to use that system – slowed down the ability of the courts to process cases.

To help process the caseload, the busiest district courts in the state – in Bangor , Belfast , Lewiston and Ellsworth – have scheduled “blitz days” when 200 cases are scheduled to be heard by each court in one day.

Glessner told the Daily News that not all of the cases will go to trial. Many people will simply pay the fine rather than take the day off work to go to court. Others will likely show up in court and decide they don’t want to go through the expense of a trial.

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