Wednesday, January 13

How much was your last speeding ticket?

So i guess it's now somewhat normal in europe to peg speeding tickets to income. This is the story of a guy who got a 290,000 dollar ticket. He's so rich they figured a normal speeding ticket wouldn't mean anything to him, so they had to multiply it by 130. This post is highly critical of idea, suggesting this is just another step towards communism. I don't think it's necessarily that bad. The question is what is the purpose of the fine. If the purpose is to prevent someone from speeding, than obviously a fine is meaningless to a millionaire. So if you're goal is prevent crime through financial disincentives then you have to have a sliding scale. But if that's what you want to do, it has to go both ways. Someone like plexico burress, or michael vick were vastly over punished. Because beyond a standard jail sentence (i actually believe they got more than a standard jail sentence, but lets presume it was standard) they are missing out on making millions of dollars. And they can't make that money later on, vick lost out on a 100,000,000 dollar contract. So similarly his punishment should be scaled way back because he is already being punished a 100 times worse than anyone else ever convicted of dog fighting. Of course those who advocate higher speeding tickets for the rich, would never advocate less jail time for someone who stands to lose a lot of money. Even a small jail term can be a great punishment to someone who works in a white collar industry because they might never get a similar job again. So a short jail sentence for such a person, could easily be more of punishment than a long jail sentence for someone who is unemployed, or a drug dealer. They can go back to doing what they were doing before, they lose nothing but time. But once again nobody calling for larger speeding tickets would call for shorter prison terms for well educated highly paid people just because they are already receiving a massive punishment just by having a conviction to their name.

The other obvious problem with this is that falls apart in any practical way. Cash strapped cities will start telling officers to target expensive cars. Don't bother pulling over a beat up car, that's just going to be 100 bucks. Wait for the Mercedes going 20 over so we can make the city 100,000 dollars. Cities all over the US are already installing speed cameras with the express purpose of raising revenue. So you will end up doing less to stop speeding, by not bothering with people driving crummy cars (of which there are a lot more of than really expensive cars.) Giving them the power to then give out ultra fines would lead to no end of trouble. The real solution is just to have some other punishment, docking points against your license that is equally harmful to people of any income level. And the reasonably safe conclusion is that the government's real interest is not in preventing rich people from speeding, just like they don't have any real interest in stopping people from smoking. They just want to make money off them. And that i cannot condone. Just another excuse to redistribute wealth.


Blogger Liepa said...

research indicates that speed limits have no correlation with safety unless they are established according to the 85th percentile of free flowing traffic. raising or lowering speed limits has practically no effect on actual travel speeds, and speed alone is rarely the cause of accidents, in fact, those drivier slower than the prevailing speed ar 6 times more likely to be in an accident

9:37 AM  
Blogger Aras said...

i got out of my last one.

it's all bullshit.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Trashcan said...

While i'm not in favor of lower speed limits, the fact that people who drive slower than the speed limit is not in anyway evidence that lower speeds is bad. What kind of a person drives at 10 miles under the speed limit, someone who has very little confidence in themselves. Probably because they are inexperienced, inpared, or possibly so old they feel their reflexes aren't that good, or their car is super crummy. In all those cases those people would be more likely to get into an accident regardless of speed. you are incorrectly inferring causation, when all we know is correlation.

1:32 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home