Town traffic court plans moving along

If you are ticketed in town, you may soon be paying less, regardless of whether you pay the fine or fight it in court.

Nashville Town Council President “Buzz” King announced plans to start a town court system, run through the existing Brown Circuit Court.

It’s an idea Town Attorney Andy Szakaly and Nashville Police Chief Ben Seastrom have talked about for months.

King said that since the state changed the rules in 2014, town officers aren’t able to write local tickets for moving violations like speeding and disregarding stop signs; they have to write state tickets, which come with much higher fines. To do things the old way, the state mandated a town court, King said.

Judge Judith Stewart has agreed to hear the cases drivers decide to fight — which could amount to about a half-dozen a year, King estimated.

He said the new fine amounts haven’t been set yet, but they will be a lot less than the current $154.

King said drivers also won’t get points on their license through this system.

In addition, the town police will be able to keep a greater percentage of the fine money, he said. Of the $154, only $4 stays locally; the rest goes to the state, King said.

With town court, the majority of the money will stay here, King said.

“I don’t want the rumor started that we’re doing it to get money,” King said. “That’s not the case at all. We’re trying to save you folks money, too.”

He promised more discussion at the July 21 meeting.