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Audit says driver diversion programs illegal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A new report from Minnesota's auditor says local governments should not be setting their own driving regulations.

Auditor Rebecca Otto is referring specifically to driver diversion programs which allow motorists the option of paying a ticket for a traffic violation or enrolling in a safe driving class.

The classes generally cost less than a ticket and the violation doesn't go on your driving record. Otto says there's nothing in state law authorizing local governments to set their own driving laws. Minnesota Public Radio News says Attorney General Lori Swanson agrees with the audit's assessment.

Local police and sheriff's officials disagree. Buffalo Police Chief Mitch Weinzetl says evaluations of the program class done by violators are nearly all positive. More than 35 communities in Minnesota operate driver diversion programs.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.