Bedford judge collides with ethics board

If you got a traffic ticket in Bedford for speeding or not wearing your seat belt in 2006 and 2007, you may have gotten gouged by the town court.

My colleague Sean Gorman wrote this story today about a Bedford judge over-fining bad drivers and getting admonished for it by the state’s judicial ethics commission. Bedford, one of the busiest town traffic courts in the state, was handing out $51 to $200 fines for seat-belt violations; the maximum fine was $50. Other drivers were hit with $200 and $300 fines for speeding, when the maximum fine was $150.

The judge apologized, saying he didn’t know there were limits to traffic fines. But the town’s coffers got an extra $11,000 as a result, all of which must be paid back.