City solicitor’s office to engage in traffic diversion program

By Dean Wright -

GALLIPOLIS — This week Gallipolis City Commissioners approved a measure which would allow Gallipolis City Solicitor Adam Salisbury to engage a traffic diversion class aimed at providing an option for low-level traffic offenders to avoid getting points on their licenses.

“I need a voice vote to approve a prosecutor’s diversion program,” said Salisbury. “I am empowered through the Ohio Revised Code to set up a prosecutor’s diversion for the cases through municipal court. I’m going to do this for low-level traffic offenses.”

Salisbury serves as the misdemeanor crimes prosecutor for Gallia County while also serving as the City of Gallipolis legal counsel.

Salisbury said he would like to contract with a software company which also contracts with Franklin County and Licking County with some of their diversion programs.

“This would allow people to take a class and have their case dismissed,” said Salisbury. “Speeding tickets, stop sign tickets and things like that where there is no traffic crash and they are not repeat offenders. So if there is no property damage and they are not a repeat offender, this is a way for a person to resolve their case without having points on a license.”

Salisbury said the municipal court would still receive its court costs “so the court budget” would not be shorted. The solicitor’s office would also collect an administrative fee. The company which would set up the class would also take a fee.

“Altogether, it’s less than what we would normally resolve cases for,” said Salisbury. “I think its a win for everyone if we do it this way. I have reviewed the online courses they have and it’s about two hours online.”

Participants would pay for the course up front and take the course at their own pace. As a part of each web page in the course, there would be a timer set that a participant would have to spend a designated amount of time on the page so as to not rush through the program. Pages would also be unable to be minimized so a user could not watch things like “Youtube” said Salisbury. Videos, text, diagrams and games can be played to show that a participant has accessed the material. At the end of each section of the class, there would be a test. Assuming the participant passes the test, their case is resolved and the fees paid for the class would take care of any financial obligation owed to the municipal court.

The fee for the class would be $175.

Commissioners voted in favor of the measure.

By Dean Wright