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Latino Daily News

Friday October 28, 2011

U.S. Drivers Owe Ciudad Juarez $10 Million for Unpaid Traffic Citations

U.S. Drivers Owe Ciudad Juarez $10 Million for Unpaid Traffic Citations

Photo: U.S. Drivers Owe Ciudad Juarez $10 Million for Unpaid Traffic Citations

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The northern Mexico town of Ciudad Juarez is looking to collect from U.S. drivers, as more than $10 million dollars worth of tickets remain unpaid by U.S. drivers alone.

Since Juarez is so close to the border, vehicles with U.S. plates are regularly passing through. To date, the city says more than 74,000 U.S. license plates and drivers’ licenses that have been seized sit in numerous government warehouse, where they sit remain until drivers retrieve them. Many will never be picked up, however, as fines need to be paid before they are released.

An employee of the city’s traffic department told the Associated Press that there are so many licenses and plates that the government is thinking about destroying any taken before 2007.

Many U.S. drivers who have their plates confiscated simply go get replacements which cost just $7 in Texas. For those looking for a new license, it’s just $11. Paying for replacements is a much cheaper and less time-consuming fix for drivers than paying their fines. Running a red light is roughly a $45 ticket, while speeding is $40.

When passing back into the U.S., drivers are allowed to re-enter without license plates as long as they can prove to U.S. Customs and Border Protecion officers that they own the vehicle.

With $10 million worth of fines on the line, Ciudad Juarez has said it is considering hiring a collection agency, though it would still be hard to collect, as Mexico has no legal standing to collect on debts it is owed by those living in the U.S.