Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ticket to Ride Ticket to Ride

John J. Miller at The Corner at NRO: Ticket to Ride:
Pulled over for driving 78 mph on a 55 mph road? In Virginia, it will soon cost more than $1,000. This isn't because Virginians are especially reckless drivers who require draconian disincentives in the name of public safety—it's a Richmond money grab. The state legislature wants to increase revenue but doesn't want to be accused of raising taxes. It's being called a "civil remedial fee." And thus our state troopers will become glorified tax collectors. Brilliant.
What he is possibly ignoring is the corrupting effect of traffic tickets on law enforcement. If the police see any of the money resulting from this, they are going to become even more zealous about enforcing speeding tickets. We see this time and time again, where the primary goal of a police force becomes revenue generation through the use of police power. So, instead of cracking down on petty crimes and low grade felonies, they spend their time cracking down on speeders, letting the more important stuff slide.

It gets even better:
John, It seems the legislator who introduced the higher fines, which the article you cite says will lead to an influx of business to law firms specializing in traffic cases is, you guessed it, co-founder and partner in a firm specializing in traffic/criminal law cases. His government position is part time, so the rest of his time, he can work on the cases his legislation generates. Gotta love Virginia politics.

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