By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times
All minor traffic tickets received before 2011 have been pardoned and “offer a new day” for many residents across the city, said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin at City Hall on Tuesday.
It’s part of an initiative the city has named “Stop and Go”, which stands for “Suspend Traffic Obligations Permanently and Grant Opportunities,”
The mayor’s pardon went into effect on Tuesday, March 22.
The fees associated with those 756,531 citations amount to approximately $35 million, according to the city.
“For many Birmingham residents, this looming debt has been a hardship and economic roadblock from moving forward with employment, education and the ability to drive. I hope to clear a path toward economic empowerment,” he said.
If someone has a traffic or parking ticket dated before Jan. 1, 2011, they don’t need to do anything. Their ticket has been pardoned and Birmingham Police officers and the Birmingham Municipal Court are aware of the pardons, which do not include misdemeanors, felonies or serious driving offenses like DUIs.
Many of those with these outstanding tickets, which date as far back as 1958, have dealt with severe financial hardship and some who received tickets have experienced homelessness or are homeless and “some cannot even read their parking or traffic tickets because of illiteracy, or some who have been incarcerated for a significant amount of time,” said the mayor.
Others with outstanding tickets are afraid to walk in City Hall or go down to municipal court, he said.
“They are afraid to do business or even call the Birmingham Police Department if they actually need help, because of warrants that exists from not paying these funds, and I just think it’s time that we do something about that,” Woodfin said, who added city officials will take most of the year to update records and no action will be taken against residents with old tickets.
For more information about the Stop and Go initiative, go to https://birminghamal.gov/stopandgo. If you have questions, email them to email@example.com or call 205-254-2702 during the hours of 12-2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.