Automobiles

Don't Pick on the Drivers

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If there's one thing that gets people really angry, it's governments picking on drivers. But that hasn't stopped Virginia from introducing astronomical fines for speeding—some as high as $2500.

The injustice has spurred the masses to action, and congressmen all over the state are getting earfuls from furious constituents threatening to vote them out unless they repeal the fines. Drivers are particularly angry since the rise in fines is a simple money-raising matter.

"Criminal and civil penalties shouldn't be created for raising money," Mr. Marshall said, adding that constituents had stopped him on the street and even in the post office and called his office to voice frustration with the new fines. "You don't want to turn our police into gun-toting tax collectors. They're supposed to be officers of the peace, nothing else."

Clay Morad, a driver in Arlington who signed the petition [against the fines], said: "There are other ways to get these road projects done. I'd be more than willing to pay an extra dollar per year in taxes to avoid having to worry about getting a $2,500 fine for going above the speed limit."

The petition is probably one of the best recent examples of mass action against the state, which says it only introduced the fines because raising taxes was too politically difficult. Maybe they should take a hint.

A couple of weeks ago, Radley Balko looked at the dubious delegate behind the fines.