Some traffic violators in Sunnyside will be able to go back to school instead of paying a fine.
That's according to a plan organized by the Sunnyside Police Department in collaboration with the Sunnyside Municipal Court and the Yakima County Safety Task Force.
A traffic school is planned as an alternative to some traffic citations, offered as a fourth option outside of paying for the violation, contesting the citation or asking for a mitigation hearing.
The school will be offered as a four or five-hour course at the Sunnyside Law and Justice Center. Offenders considered for traffic school will be evaluated and accepted according to specific criteria. Those with an extensive record of past driving offenses, or certain other offenses, will not be accepted.
In some instances the Municipal Court judge may ask that a violator attend traffic school as part of the sentencing process.
Violators eligible for traffic school will be asked to register at the Sunnyside Police Department and pay the registration fee of $100 per violation.
Traffic school is seen as an alternative for those who want to keep minor citations off their driving record or insurance premiums under control. Elements learned in the school will include the basic rules of the road, new traffic laws and consequences of risky driving behavior.
Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder sees traffic school as an opportunity for those motorists who are normally law abiding drivers.
"We would like to remedy the situation for those who receive that once in a lifetime traffic ticket," said Radder. At the same time he says the school can help in "reducing their chances of finding themselves back in that situation in the future."