Stick’em Up

I have long been opposed to municipalities using traffic fines as a method of revenue enhancement. In the beginning, traffic fines were used to dissuade people from committing driving infractions. It is when these fines began to viewed more as a government shakedown that the punishment began to cease fitting the crime and turned into something ridiculous. In 2003 Michigan instituted the Driver Responsibility Fee, which effectively allowed the government to shake you down twice for the same infraction, once in the initial fine and then again when considering driving points. This came as Governor Granholm’s administration was dealing with a budget crisis and workers leaving the state in droves.

Dallas Texas is now an example of another municipalities gone wild. The redlight cameras that were supposed to make driving safer and increase revenue have worked too well. Speeding has gone down because people know the cameras are there. As a result, the number of speeding fines has gone down as well so Dallas has turned the cameras off. How very telling. The cameras and fines never were about saving lives. It is, and always was, nothing but a stickup. This is patently unfair and the only solution I can think of is to do away with monetary fines and bring back flogging. Only when you take away the monetary incentive for the government will the fines go back down to where they fit the offense.

6 Responses to “Stick’em Up”

  1. Phelps says:

    Actually, the lege has taken steps already. Now, IIRC, half of the traffic fines go into a state pool and divided proportionally by pop among the cities. That put a serious dent in the pop 138 speed trap towns on the interstates. They have talked before about doing that with 100% of the fines, which would pretty much end speed traps in Texas.

  2. mexi says:

    That’s a good idea, I didn’t think of that. Whenever there’s a political problem my mind goes right to flogging. I might be Iranian.

  3. R says:

    Shockingly sad that people openly admit it’s more about profits than keeping intersections safer.

    Also, the opponents of cameras who cite increased rear-end collisions have zero argument. For whatever reason a driver in front of you has to slam on their breaks, you have to have sufficient distance between yourself and the driver in front to be able to also stop without hitting them. Intersection cameras don’t cause rear-end collisions: people who don’t know how to drive do.

  4. Duke says:

    I have been a victim, through my son of the Michigan Driver Responsibility Law. Your license is suspended until you pay it; you can’t get to work so you can’t pay it…it’s like a maze lined with razor blades and you have to negotiate it in the dark. I know there are thousands upon thousands of people who find this a ridiculous and flagrant “tax” and wish there was a way to inundate the Michigan congress with enough distress to rescind it. There are now other “fees” for other reasons such as an additional building contracor’s license even if you already have one. I am a one man company and have to have two for my company and one personal as if Michigan doesn’t already have enough taxes. If there is an attorney out there, I would like to know if the Michigan Drivers Responsibility Fee is constitutional; it is definately double dipping and often the fee is more than the original fine. It has cost my son his truck, his tarnished credit, almost his job, and severely limited his life, not to mention mine. I welcome any comment or thought on what to do

  5. Let the floggings commence!

  6. Northe says:

    Pretty pathetic. California is just as bad if not worse when it comes to “creative” ways to make MY money THEIR money. I hate politicians. Fuck em all.

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