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Geneva eyes own seat-belt law

April 4, 2012

Rob Johnson

    The town of Geneva is looking into a seatbelt ordinance that would generate more money for the town.
    At Tuesday's meeting of the Geneva Town Council, Marshall Rob Johnson said that as it currently stands, when a town police officer issues a $25 ticket to a driver for violating the seatbelt law under the state ordinance, "$21 goes to the state and $4 goes to the town."
    If a town ordinance is in place, a police officer could choose to ticket a driver either under the local ordinance or the state ordinance. Johnson pointed out that if a driver is ticketed under the town ordinance for a seatbelt violation, the money from that ticket would go directly to the town and the driver would not receive points against his driving record.
    Geneva Clerk-Treasurer Bill Warren said, "It doesn't mean we're looking to write more tickets, but to keep the money local [from the tickets that are written]."
    No motions or decisions were made regarding the matter.
    Council members also discussed the possibility of a snow ordinance that would limit parking on busy town streets during periods of heavy snowfall to make it less difficult and less time consuming for snow plows to clear the streets.
    Town Attorney David Baumgartner agreed to draft an ordinance and bring it to the council for review.
    Additionally, an ordinance amending parking on Winchester Road was approved on its first of three readings. The ordinance would prohibit vehicles, including emergency vehicles, from parking on either side of Winchester Road, from State Route 116 to Butcher Street. The ordinance would also prohibit parking on the east side of Winchester Road from Butcher Street to Spring Street.
    According to the ordinance, the current parking situation "creates an unsafe traffic situation." NO PARKING signs are expected to be erected on Winchester Road.
    If the ordinance is accepted on the third and final reading, violators of the ordinance will be fined $50 for a first offense, $75 for a second offense and $100 for a third offense. It was also noted that the ordinance came about as a result of complaints about the parking situation on Winchester Road.

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