Courts: Traffic Jam

There are 102 million drivers in the U.S., and 30 million of them will be charged with one traffic offense or an other this year. For most, the summons to appear in traffic court will provide their only direct contact with the trap pings and workings of formal U.S. justice. Few are likely to come away impressed. Says James Economos, director of the American Bar Association's traffic-court program: "Our traffic courts are the disaster area of the judiciary."

The courts are arbitrary and hasty, often indifferent to individual rights, and on all too many occasions actually inimical to them....

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