Because “no one should have to choose between paying a traffic ticket and feeding their family,” Rich Arp of San Francisco, California has started a new Change.org petition to make it so that people’s traffic fines are based on their income.
For many lower income people a $375 traffic citation could mean a huge chunk of their monthly income, while that same ticket for a wealthier person is laughable. This means the deterrent and fine only affects the poor, undermining one of the most important tenets of our justice system. Let the punishment fit the crime. In many European countries traffic citation are tied to a person’s income. These “day-fines” ensure that every person, whether rich or poor, feels the same punishment in the exact same way.
Arp does have a point. For some people, $375 is a week’s income (or more) these days. Should something as low on the totem pole as a minor traffic infraction leave a person unable to pay their electric bill or feed their children? Who even comes up with these ticket amounts in the first place?
This doesn’t even take into account what happens if the person can’t pay the ticket and winds up in court with added court fees and additional fines.
Travel should be a right (unless we really are all slaves), but more and more travel by personal vehicle is being taxed and fined into oblivion. Once the new “track and tax” systems are in place nationwide, only people who want to be GPS tracked and pay for every mile driven (in addition to licensing fees, inspections, gas and gas taxes, insurance, and whatever fines or tickets the person gets plus the cost of the car itself and its maintenance) will drive. Everyone else will be forced to live in a large urban center where they can rely solely on public transportation… or a bicycle. (By the way, bicycle taxes are likely coming next…)
On the other hand, traffic tickets are just another form of extortion anyway. As Arp points out, “These fines have become ‘taxation by citation,’ sometimes financing 90% of a town’s budget and [incentivising] their police to write specious tickets.”
Hmm. Is that why we see police departments setting up crosswalk traps where a plainclothes officer will walk back and forth across a street multiple times in a row just to catch people not waiting and ticket them?
In Texas, for example, some tickets now magically come with added “surcharges” for “driver responsibility”… extra fines that amount to hundreds of dollars more than the ticket itself paid every year for three years to a private corporation because…? They can. If the person doesn’t pay these extra tacked on fees, they are threatened with having their license suspended and their right to drive taken away completely. One is for not having insurance. If the person couldn’t afford insurance to begin with, how are they going to afford the extra $750 in fees outside of the ticket for not having insurance? By the way, if the person is found to have had insurance at the time of the ticket and can prove they did but just couldn’t find their card at the time of the traffic stop, they still have to pay the $750 surcharge.
So what do you think? Would tying ticket amounts to income at least be a step in the right direction?
Then again considering the way many departments finance themselves largely through ticketing, if this isn’t capped in the other direction, we will likely see a shift to police mostly ticketing the owners of expensive vehicles to get the bigger fines…
Of course, once computer-run “driverless” cars dominate the roads, this will all be a moot point anyway, and a lot of traffic cops will have to find something else to do with their time.
Over 3,000 have signed Arp’s petition so far.
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Contributed by Melissa Dykes of The Daily Sheeple.
Melissa Dykes is a writer, researcher, and analyst for The Daily Sheeple and a co-creator of Truthstream Media with Aaron Dykes, a site that offers teleprompter-free, unscripted analysis of The Matrix we find ourselves living in. Melissa and Aaron also recently launched Revolution of the Method and Informed Dissent. Wake the flock up!