‘Woodley Park – Watching Traffic – 12-15-08’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’
Mayor Fenty this morning announced the wholesale increase in traffic violation fines, including some that have double, tripled, or in one case, dectupled. The move will generate approximately $7M in additional revenue for the cash-strapped city government before the end of the fiscal year in October. The Examiner has a handy list of the new fines, but the ones that went up the most are:
Passing a Schoolbus with its red blinkers on: Now $500 (from $50)
Failing to secure loads: Now $250 (from $50)
“Coasting”: Now $75 (from $15)
Failure to Yield: Now $100 (from $25)
Speeding (11-15mph): Now $125 (from $50)
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The fix for most of us is easy: Don’t Drive Like an Idiot, Don’t Get Fined. This is not rocket surgery.
We law enforcement has a financial incentive to issue citations, the basis for the citations will become more an more questionable. Citations should be issued because traffic laws have been violated, not because the government needs more money. Otherwise, traffic enforcement becomes a racket with tickets being issued without legitimate cause.
Will this cause people to drive safer? Questionable. Its not the fine that creates the incentive – its the points on your license which drive up your insurance. People already have a significant incentive to keep their insurance rates low.
End result, people who drive like idiots will continue to drive like idiots. People who drive gently will get tickets even when they did nothing wrong.