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.

  • 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.

  • Exploits the poor, Enables the rich.

    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.

  • This is common senses

    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.

  • Wealth + Flat fine = Undeterred.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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