Cumberland County DA restoring thousands of driver's licenses revoked due to unpaid traffic fines

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Thousands of Cumberland County residents will be able to get back on the road after a new effort will forgive court debt on minor traffic offenses.

The new effort is led by District Attorney Billy West.

Fayetteville criminal justice activist Demetria Murphy said the economic treadmill is exactly what stops people from getting their licenses again after traffic tickets and other fees pile up.

"Someone who goes from making $8 or $9 who now can go and work for a distribution center and have their regular driver's license back and then get their CDL license, so it puts them in a position to actually win now," Murphy said.

District Attorney Billy West and his office have led the effort to get fines thrown out for more than 7,000 Cumberland County residents. West said those who have done their sentence should not be punished further due to financial hardships.

"It's someone whose license has been suspended for at least 5 years due to unpaid fees on a minor traffic offense that has already been adjudicated such as a stop sign offense, speeding ticket, expired registration," West said.

West said this will also help the community as a whole by having more legal and insured drivers on the road.

"When you provide someone with a second chance opportunity and you open up doors for them. You, in turn, can weigh the positive impacts on that in their home," West said.

To be eligible, residents must have had their licenses suspended for a period of at least five years. Charges such as driving while impaired, speeding while fleeing arrest, hit-and-run or accidents with injury are exempted from the program.

See breaking news? Tell us about it here.

Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.