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Should traffic tickets be scaled to personal income like taxes?

  • Only makes sense!

    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.

  • Equalized stress and suffering

    A parking or speeding ticket is a greater penalty the poorer you are. While both the wealthy and poor committed a crime, The wealthy person receives a much more tolerable punishment relative to his situation. Our laws are supposed to be designed so all people receive equal punishment. For a more wealthy person to feel the same hurt they have to pay more. So in the interest of equal justice and preventing future offenses, Fines should be scaled to income.

  • Yes it should!

    I am a single mother of two and the police along with the parking authority will pull you over or ticket you for almost anything they can think of imaginable and I owe over a thousand dollars in tickets I can't afford to pay I had to use my credit card to hire a lawyer, The government is the biggest gang in America and they prey on the poor.

  • Flat fines are disproportionate punishments.

    The punishment for breaking a law should be the same for each person. If a family that makes a $2000 a month gets a $200 ticket, That would be akin to a family that makes $5000 a month getting a $500 ticket for how it affects their budget for that month and how much more work they will have to do to make up for it.

    In our current system, That is not how it works. The $2000 family pays $200 and the $5000 family pays $200. While they fine is the same, The punishment is much higher on the poorer family who pay's 10% of their monthly income and has to make up for that whereas the more financially stable family is only paying 4% of their monthly income. The wealthier a household is, The less a flat fine effects and therefore punishes them.

    If the purpose of a fine is to discourage violations, It should have an equal impact on everyone. If the purpose of a fine is to generate revenue for a municipality, It would be beneficial to have a rate that every offender can pay so that costly debt collection, Legal processing fees, And even jail costs could be avoided.

    Reasoning that tickets should not be income based because it would create outrageous fines for wealthy households is blatantly disregarding the fact that the present system incites fines that are just as proportionally damaging to a low income household's budget, But of little to no consequence to a high income household. For a household that brings in $20, 000 a month, That $200 ticket is only 1% of their monthly income. This percentage is one tenth of the low income household's, Necessitating that it is one tenth as much of a punishment to that household as it is to the low income household.

  • Eat the rich

    The rich are already ahead on literally everything else that’s biased preferentially toward those with wealth; they can pay for better health, better legal defense, better (and more reliable, and safer!) cars... And since the wealthy are able to use that money to influence legislation it makes perfect sense that the flat ticket fee still exists (since it benefits them). If equality is to truly be the goal, it only makes sense to have ANY fee/ticket scales based on income in order to provide the necessary disincentive. What does a person making $300,000 annually care about a $200 speeding ticket? That’s pennies. The burden disproportionately weighs on the poor, for whom a $200 fee could literally change the course of their lives in the context of bills, rent, food... $200 is huge for most people, and it’s absolutely unfair that (as with everything else) the burden is with the already disadvantaged.

  • Yes, This is an excellent idea!

    Honestly, Most of the "No" Answers are from the same people that oppose taxing the rich more than the poor, which, by the way, is what we do now and it has been shown to be effective in ensuring proper government funding so why should this be any different than that.

  • Enforce infractions equally

    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.

  • Complicated Issue: But what is FAIR punishment for one is not a fair punishment for someone else.

    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.

  • All fines including criminal should work this way

    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!

  • Equal for all

    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.

  • Inequality at its Finest

    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.

  • Doesn't make sense

    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.

  • Not very sensible.

    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.

  • Traffic Tickets are not a tax

    Traffic tickets should not be scaled to income per se because tickets are not a tax. If it was, There are many easier ways to collect that do not invoke due process protections of the court system. For example, Utility taxes (sewage, Water, Property, Etc) go to profit off of services that the municipality provides. Traffic tickets are not to encourage behavior, But discourage it.

    If a judge feels that a particular defendant would not be deterred by a low fine, The judge already has the discretion to increase the fine. Attempts to gain revenue based on the income of the taxed should be relegated to the tax system and not risked in the court system.

  • End fines altogether and modify point system

    A failure to obey traffic laws should have the outcome of a loss of privilege of driving based on the severity of the infraction and the frequency, and a monetary penalty. In a system when a $20 base fine once Administration fees are added on is over $100 it makes low-income unjustified to pay such a high percentage of their income whereas a higher-income errner the fine has no effect on deterrence. The income generated by traffic fines is a huge money-making opportunity for many unscrupulous communities who use these fines to fill their coffers as a money-making scheme rather than a deterrent as intended. It's time to end the fleecing of Americans and go to a system which is equal to all and does not encourage communities to rely on the income generated by traffic stops. Good policing should not have a monetary benefit to the community in which the policing is organized.

  • Enough is enough

    Leave ticket cost as they are. If people with low income keep breaking the law which cost them their license or a night in jail. That's on them. Stop doing it. Not to mention,in 2015 806,000 illegal immigrants were allowed to get Ca. Driver's licenses. So,not only are they illegal & driving. Now you want to give them a break on tickets because they fall in low income category...Bullshit. If anything make stricter laws for these pampered, privileged,punk ass pop stars,actors & actress,children of famous celeberties. They continue to do exactly what these people in the article are doing & worse.....But no repocussion,no jail time,no license suspension. Leave as is to make ( debt riddled ca.) State money and hit the snooty rich kids club of California with bigger fines, suspension & jail time to make even more money. Make them finally pay.

  • What a croc!

    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.

  • Raise more revenue!!

    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 ..

  • Better way to generate more water monry

    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 citizens should not have to pay more because they make more 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-


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