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Should the Price of a Speeding Ticket be Based on Your Income?

The main reason most people have a radar detector, or a redlight camera warning system is because the fines associated with a speeding ticket, or for turning right on a redlight can be very expensive. I have met very few people that do not speed occasionally unintentionally, and those redlight cameras are designed to eventually give everyone a ticket. So a radar detector, laser jammer, or camera detector is an investment against the inevitable reality of a ticket and associated insurance premiums.

As more and more cites struggle to make money, in turn there is increased pressure on law enforcement to write more tickets, or for towns to sell their soul to a camera operator. The interesting part of all this is that there are some people that find the financial penalties a bit, well insignificant. So some countries (mostly in Europe) are now scaling the price of the fine based on the income of the driver. In this story, one such person received a $290,000 speeding ticket. He is considered a repeat offender, and is also very wealthy. To him a $200 ticket is a joke.

I wonder how long it will be before you start to hear of this in the US? While I like aspects of this, and scaling a fine to meet a person's income level is perhaps a fair approach, there is room for precedent that could be abused. Also, what would happen if all traffic fines and not just speeding tickets were treated this way? Again it would start fair, but I doubt it will make some of the outrageous fines less for most of us. We will in the end just have to pay more to local city governments because they cannot be financially sound. Many view tickets as easy revenue.

The use of paying fines to modify a person's actions, or to punish poor judgment is a good system. The amount should be enough to actively discourage people, and the risk of a ticket is a good social control mechanism. However, using tickets to make money has allowed the practice to escalate the price of an average speeding ticket to be beyond what many of us are able to pay.

In some states, the ticket for not coming to a complete stop before turning right at a redlight can result in a $450-500 ticket. I recently read on twitter about one person who said they were glad they got around $500 in gifts from their family for Christmas since they need the money to pay for a redlight ticket. With the very deceitful and corrupt practices used by some cities to make money from cameras, I wonder how long it will take for them to base the ticket off of your income? I am rather sure, the price of the tickets will not be less, they are making too much money for that. $20,000 redlight tickets perhaps? And to be clear on this, only a maniac runs a redlight on purpose. Fining them is the least of their problems.

Protecting people from expensive tickets for a lapse in judgment, inanition, or being scammed by a redlight camera vendor is why we are here. We have a large selection of radar detectors, laser jammers, redlight / speed camera warning systems and other protective items. If you have any questions about what is the best radar detector for where you live, or any other questions, give us a call or send an email.

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