Hey, did you hear about this? California wants to charge different prices for speeding tickets. Low-income people will pay less for a speeding ticket. Depending on your income level, you will pay a different charge. You make more money, you pay a bigger fine. You are probably wondering how that is fair. Well, they haven’t quite figured that out yet. That’s just some news from California.
Here in the great state of South Carolina, we have an absolute speed law. If the posted speed limit is 60 and you are going 61 you are speeding. Some people think that is not fair either. It’s still the law. It does make for some interesting stories about how your speedometer is not working properly or you just got new tires. You’re still speeding though.
You probably heard the story of the guy stopped for going 36 in a 35 zone. He was so mad that he spilled his crown and coke. He told the patrolman that he was just trying to get the kids to school. The patrolman should have realized that he was driving the school bus.
Back in California, they are still discussing how all this tiered fine system would work. Would it make people speed more because they would pay a lesser fine because of their income level? Would it cause people to try to change their tax returns if they did a lot of driving and got lots of tickets? What would happen if you really made a lot of money? How high would a fine go just because you had a big income?
Would this cause a new job opportunity for low-income people to get jobs as drivers. They could be speeding all over town and not have to pay a big fine. A high-income person could hire a low-income person to be their driver. They could speed all over and the fine would not cost much because the driver had a low income. Now would that be fair?
How would the patrolman know what your income was? Should you put on some bummy clothes and drive an old car? If you filled the back seat with clothes you could say you were living in your car and maybe not have to pay a fine at all.
Of course you could drive slowly and pretend you were rich. Who knows if any of this will work?
California will have to work on this for awhile before it can be implemented. However there are some other states where speeding fines are charged by the amount you are over the speed limit.
My friend Dave is a magician and thinks about things in a strange way like I do. He says that in Virginia they post the amount of the fine. He was driving along and saw a work zone with the amount of the fine for speeding. He thought to himself that he could afford that fine so he sped up. In a little while a car passed him. He got mad and passed the car. “I wasn’t going to let him think I was poor.” The other car got even faster. Soon they were both driving 90 miles an hour and throwing $20 bills out of the window. Peer pressure is tough for everybody. Let’s just hope all this California nonsense doesn’t make it over here.