Helena amends traffic safety program ordinance

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The city of Helena approved an agenda item to amend an existing ordinance pertaining to the city’s comprehensive traffic safety educational program at the Helena City Council meeting on Jan. 9.

The amendment was made to city Ordinance #605-02 that outlines the details and fees associated with traffic safety programs within the city of Helena.

Speeding violators in Helena will see a slight increase for the charge associated with the traffic safety educational program seminar. The registration charge will be increased from $150 to $200.

The original ordinance was signed and became a lawful ordinance in Helena in September 2002 and the slight increase in fees is in line with other area municipalities, according to Helena Mayor Mark Hall.

“The police department looks at our schedule for what we charge for driving school,” Hall said. “The court system runs this comprehensive driving school so we’re not re-establishing it. We’re actually amending what is charged to speeding violators who choose to attend driving school to cover all the costs involved with this. It is in line with area municipalities.”

Hall said driving school is an option for first-time offenders for speeding violations and the reasoning for the price increase is to help compensate instructors.

“If you’re approved then you must cover our cost of teaching the school,” Hall said. “We have certified instructors at our police department who we have to compensate so obviously we have to collect fees from violators to pay for those expenses.”

In addition to the traffic safety educational program fee increase, an increase from $300 to $325 was amended to section one of the ordinance for the fee associated with the alcohol abuse educational program, otherwise known as the highway intoxication seminar.