It only makes sense to scale traffic tickets to a percent of one's monthly income. Why? Well a $350 red light camera violation will consume half of some people's monthly income. Now this person can't eat, pay the rent, utilities, etc. The punishment disproportionately hurts low income people. What does the Dr. In a Porsche care about a paltry $350? It doesn't hurt him nearly as much. Because it doesn't hurt as much, that fine doesn't do much to deter bad driving. All fines should be scaled and set to an X% of one's monthly income.
The end goal should be to dissuade the sort of driving that earns a citation. He with less is certainly dissuaded monetarily, but he with more is not. For example: aside from matters of procedure, why issue a one-size-fits-all $500 ticket at all, to someone who has the cash to blow his nose on $500? What deterrent is $500 to him? Equally, why issue the same $500 citation to someone to whom $500 would be ruinous? Moreover, what lessons are gleaned from this paradigm? ...
1) Poor man learns if he errs once, it is to his ruin.
2) Rich man learns he is simply above the law (monetarily).
Income-based ticketing reinforces deterrent for both sides.
Drew Carey had a short comedy routine based on the fact that he became wealthy. He stated something like: "Now? I can run stop signs and when I get pulled over, I can tell the cop, go F*$! Yourself!" Meaning, the fine means nothing to him, and the rich.
But the same fine to one of the working poor? Could mean a week's wages.
So is not a punishment based on income/wealth doing what we want: deterring bad behavior?
And if you do not think get away with murder because of their wealth, you need to read about OJ, Chappaquiddick, and many, many other homocides where people have literally walked away because they could hire the best tram of lawyers in the world.
I see far too many wealthy people get away with murder because they can afford there fines with pocket change. It is absolutely not fair. I have seen in gated communities litter fine $50 even though the police can patrol in it, yet $250-500 in the town..Stop letting rich people get away easy!
What incentive does a rich person has for not speeding? A rich guy with the wrong morals would just say. F*ck you I'm speeding. Not only that, but maybe he has to get to a meeting fast. Where he would know that the speeding ticket is much lower than the money he loses by being late. Thus giving incentive to speed instead of deterring.
If a low income person commits a traffic violation. The violation will affect their ability to feed themselves and their children and not being able to pay will lead to additional fees and issues with being able to pay other bills. A traffic violation for a low income person will affect them for a much longer span of time than someone with greater income. Higher income individuals could pay the fine instantly and be on their way without any issues. Therefore they can continue bad driving habits because they really don't have much to worry about, its just a slap on the hand. Same with major crimes, the rich get away with far more because they can buy better lawyers, while a low income person is far more likely to be spending time in jail for the same crimes. That is not justice.
Right now it is biased towards the poor because most of them cannot afford the fines incurring more fines and in turn they get more profit. They have no motivation to pull over rich people. Moreover, you cannot tel someone is rich based on their car. It is easier to tell if a driver is poor or of a minority than it is for people to tell that they are rich. So the argument that people have where the rich would be discriminated against is bullshit. Besides, they are NEVER discriminated against, So I think it would be okay if a cop wants to pull over a Lamborghini more than a 1992 Dodge. They are entitled and privileged in every possible sense. I am poor and in college. A $200 fine is two weeks of pay for me, so I not only have to pay a fine, but I cannot eat for two weeks. It is not fair when someone has $200,000,000 paying that same fine and be barely nudged. To put it in perspective if I payed proportionally a fine that scaled down for my income it would equal 2 pennies. I could afford that EASILY. I'd be speeding all the time because who cares! Follow laws or pay 2 pennies? I choose two pennies! That is why it is a failed system.
A penalty is a deterrent. Deterrence is tied to one's means. If you have a lot anything is a slap on the wrist--chump change.
The poor are crippled by fines and taxes because pay out of what is necessary for survival. The rich pay out of a surfeit. It's Unfair. Period.
For everyone saying that the poor would have the bad tickets, no. The tickets would be based off the income so for example a person that makes only around 30,000 a year won't be getting a thousand dollar ticket, instead it will probably only be the normal price of the ticket that it already is. As for wealthy people they can no longer just forget about the law because if they get pulled over and get a ticket it will probably be just as you make in one year. I see that as fair.
The purpose of traffic fines/tickets is deterrence. They should deter people equally, and having it scaled to income serves that purpose. Having a fine that is a percentage of income deters people equally, whereas a flat fee deters those who can't afford to pay it and still pay rent/electricity/put food on the table, but not. How does it make sense that for some people getting caught speeding means they have to sacrifice 40% of that month's income, but for others it's more like 1%? Drivers with higher incomes often think of a ticket as an annoyance, but not enough of one to avoid speeding/beating red lights/driving recklessly. I know plenty of more wealthy people who speed like it's their business, and while they get annoyed about a ticket, they just pay it and continue illegal behavior.
The logic behind this doesn't make sense. A fine applies for everyone. People are aware of the financial consequences of a fine. If you don't want to get fined, don't do anything fine-worthy. That's just fair. Under this standard of operation, a rich person could theoretically get fined more for driving without a seat belt than a poor person would for speeding.
The fact that one person pulled over is richer then another, does not change the grievousness of the crime. The founding documents of this country state that people should not be treated differently under the law; if you commit a crime, you take the punishment. Would you also say younger people should spend more time in prison then older for equivalent crimes because they have more life to spare? What nonsense.
The reason we have traffic penalties is because the driver in question is endangering the lives and property of other people. A rich person driving recklessly is not any more likely to kill someone than a poor person driving recklessly. Additionally, if we were to implement this nonsensical law, why wouldn't we apply it to any fine or punishment? Why not just arrest all rich people right now and get it over with? We forget that the rich are rich for a reason. With few exceptions, wealthy people have obtained their wealth through providing goods or services other people need. To discriminate against the wealthy is to discriminate against vital pieces in a modern economy.
If you break the law you break the law! Why should someone who happens to have more money pay more than someone with exactly the same infringement? This seems to be a form of discrimination. No incentive to do well or have a good job these days. Might just go on the dole.
You have to ask yourself how does this benefit the community??
I'm not Rich but I think this is it fair, I think like all governments they make it sound fair but all they have done is the calculations to understand how they can generate more money. It doesn't make the roads safer or educate anyone more, it will always come down to higher taxes and poor government spending which what the less wealthy don't realize ends up effecting them because they are made to believe they are fighting for something just when all it is is a better way for governments to earn more wasteful money ..
You have to ask yourself how does this benefit the community?
I'm not Rich but I think this is not fair, I think like all governments they make it sound fair but all they have done is the calculations to understand how they can generate more money. It doesn't make the roads safer or educate anyone more, it will always come down to higher taxes and poor government spending which what the less wealthy don't realize ends up effecting them because they are made to believe they are fighting for something just when all it is is a better way for governments to earn more wasteful money ..
No, it should not be based on income. Every citizen should have the same consequences wealthy or poor. In my opinion, the richer citizens may have worked harder for their money. Maybe they got a good education which led to a good paying career. Why should the government target higher payed citizens. All citizens should have the same rights. The government shouldn't make higher payed citizens pay more that's almost just like they want more money because their wealthy. I hope people can see how this isn't right. - Paris Comegys-
If there is a Ferrari driving 65 in a 60 next to a Honda Accord driving 75 in a 60. What option provides more for the government and the police? The person who pays more. That's what happens. It's upsetting that's how it works but it is. Technically, 65 in a 60 is still illegal and they would have the right to pull them over. However, it would cause more discrimination towards the rich with a law like this.
Why pull over a low income person going 15mph over the speed limit when you can pull over a rich person for going 5mph over the speed limit and bring 20-50 thousand MORE dollars in return.
It's expensive to be poor, always has been, always will be - which is one very good reason why upward mobility exists.
Taking this "hefty fines for the rich" approach a step further, maybe you'd agree that rich people should pay a LOT more for potable water (to encourage less consumption, and besides, they can afford it)? Or trash collection (to penalize waste)?
Continue down this road to the logical destination and you take a lot of the fun out of being rich. Which only means that the rich (and the bureaucrats) will figure out how to game the system - as happens wherever such "progressive" ideas take root.
There are plenty of ways to penalize scofflaws. A repeat offender might think twice about using the bus lanes or taxi lanes, or parking in the fire lane if his Bentley were impounded for a second or third offense.
But to tie fines to income won't work. It will just create a different class of scofflaws - the ones who have learned the political or administrative ways around the enforcement.