Watch for Increased Fines in Your Alaska Car Rentals

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz plans to put down a heavy foot to reduce traffic violations and balance Anchorage’s budget. The new budget proposal would set heftier fines to particular traffic violations, often by as much as double the old fine. Berkowitz has chosen violations that are dangerous for drivers and pedestrians, hoping to discourage drivers from breaking laws that could harm themselves and others. Though the proposal has yet to be passed, you’ll need to remain aware of traffic laws before taking out your Alaska car rentals.

The proposal awaits another public hearing on November 10, 2015. Though some of the terms in the budget are controversial at this time, it’s possible that many of the revised traffic violation fees will be passed. If they do, you’ll want to be aware of them so you can avoid an expensive ticket in your Alaska car rentals.

For the safety of others

While it’s true that many of these changes are being made in order to balance the revenue gap in 2016, many are also reasonable reaches towards a safer Anchorage. For instance, drivers who fail to yield to a pedestrian currently only pay a $60 fine. If this proposal is passed, those same drivers will now be charged $100.

Other examples include an increased fine if you are driving your Alaska car rentals in the wrong direction in a roundabout from $75 to $150, and passing in a no-pass zone from $90 to $150. Speeding tickets are also boosted, with particular focus on speeding in school or construction zones, where the risk of danger to pedestrians is greatest.

Speeding tickets

Speeding tickets now have a much different range of fines than they did before. Rather than fining for every mile over, the fines will be set in place and escalate based on category.

For instance, for speeding between 3 mph and 9 mph over the limit you can be fined $8/mile. With Berkowitz’s new proposal, speeding between 1 and 10 mph over the limit will incur a $90 flat fee. For speeding between 11 and 20 mph will bring about a $180 fine, and $360 for 21 to 30 mph over. Beyond that, charges will gradually increase to as much as $1,200 for 40 mph over the speed limit. That’s a $400 increase from the current $800 fine of driving 40 mph over. Finally, drag racing will incur a $300 fee. Even though our Alaska car rentals are a thrill to drive, resist the urge to see just how fast they can go!

Other fines to be aware of

Though you have your Alaska car rentals, and it isn’t exactly the season for biking, you should also know that riding a bike on the sidewalk in downtown Anchorage would cause weightier fines under the new proposal. This law applies to skateboards, roller skates, and bicycles on a sidewalk or pedestrian path and will incur a $100 fine if the Berkowitz proposal passes. Currently the fine is only $60.

If you are caught operating a vehicle in violation of a provisional license, currently the fine is only $50. Under the new regulations, the fine will be doubled to $100. Again, this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about in your Alaska car rentals, as long as only those who are in the rental contract are driving your vehicle.

The point of the proposal

The Berkowitz administration is estimating that the revenue just from the speeding fines under the new proposal will generate approximately $1.1 million. This will allow the administration to hire 20 more staff members in the police department as well as 10 more staff in the city’s fire departments, which means an increase in funding for police and fire academies. The budget as a whole is supposed to increase the budget by $5 million in 2016.

The budget is mainly aimed at increasing the overall security for residents and visitors of Anchorage. This means, however, that the Anchorage library system will lose some of its services, as will the Parks and Recreation Department.

Parts of the budget are certainly contentious but others could help out the city drastically. Keep to the rules of the road when taking your Alaska car rentals around town and you’ll be able to avoid trouble. To get your vacation started off on the right foot, reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis today.