Recorder’s Court of Chatham County seeing ‘off the charts absenteeism’ for traffic violations

Recorder’s Court of Chatham County seeing ‘off the charts absenteeism’ for traffic violations

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - If you’re facing a traffic ticket in Savannah, here’s a message for you. Starting this month, fines for not showing up for your court date are back.

Cases of contempt of court for missing court dates was an issue Savannah Mayor Van Johnson even took time to address during Tuesday’s news briefing at City Hall.

And Wednesday, the Recorder’s Court Chief Judge confirmed, there’s a problem.

“Off the charts absenteeism. The failure to appears are on average higher than 50-percent," said Recorder’s Court Chief Judge Tammy Stokes.

Judge Stokes says since March, the court has been lenient with those facing traffic tickets. That included not imposing the $100 fines for missing a court date or not sending a notice of of a failure to appear to the Division of Driver Services, which could result in a license suspension.

That leniency extended until the courts could return to normal.

“We’re there," said Judge Stokes. "So people need to show up. For anyone who’s worried, we do safe distance in the courtroom. We have more dockets, more frequent dockets so that we can have fewer people in the courtroom.”

Judge Stokes added masks are required, and seating in the courtroom is spaced out.

If you prefer to pay your traffic citation online, you need to do so at least ten days before your scheduled court appearance.

If you miss your court date, and are fined $100, you’ll have 30 days to pay the fees before the contempt notice is sent to DDS.

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