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A $290,000 speeding ticket?

Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
(found at MR)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100107/ap_on_fe_st/eu_odd_switzerland_huge_speeding_fine

ST. GALLEN, Switzerland – A Swiss court has slapped a wealthy speeder with a chalet-sized fine — a full $290,000.

Judges at the cantonal court in St. Gallen, in eastern Switzerland, based the record-breaking fine on the speeder's estimated wealth of over $20 million.

A statement on the court's Web site says the driver — a repeat offender — drove up to 35 miles an hour (57 kilometers an hour) faster than the 50-mile-an-hour (80-kilometer-an-hour) limit.

Court clerk Heidi Baumann-Becker said Thursday the unidentified driver can appeal the decision, handed down in November, to the Swiss supreme court.

The Blick daily newspaper in Zurich reported the fine was more than twice the previous Swiss record of about $107,000.


...

Initially, when I heard about this, I thought it was actually a pretty good idea. A $200-300 fine just isn't much of a deterrent to people who have a lot of money, this seems like it (should) change that optimal choice arithmetic.

What do you think of this?

I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me. There's also the issue of scaled-to-income (or net worth) tickets not necessarily hitting people like me, a college student without a job and with a bunch of loans. I wouldn't personally mind getting a $0 ticket, but it's not much of a deterrent. If someone like me does receive a ticket, or someone of even lower capacity to pay, perhaps with a mandatory minimum fine (say of $100-200), it's going to affect that person a lot more than even a $300,000 fine would affect a wealthy person.

There's also the notion that a fine in a certain capacity should equal the expected harm, adjusted for the likelihood of not being caught.

Ugh.

How should fines, let's expand this to traffic and otherwise, work? I've been drifting towards abandoning the idea of fines for lower-income people altogether and going with some other deterrent, but that just throws in additional problems. Is there a theory of optimal fines out there somewhere? Do the Swiss have it?

Loren Michael on
2ezikn6.jpg
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Posts

  • TarantioTarantio Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Heir wrote: »
    I would think this would start a new kind of police profiling where they pull over nice cars for the smallest things.

    Is this worse than police profiling cheap cars because the drivers are less likely to fight the ticket with a lawyer?

    "Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be -- or to be indistinguishable from -- self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time."
    Neal Stephenson
  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Tarantio wrote: »
    Heir wrote: »
    I would think this would start a new kind of police profiling where they pull over nice cars for the smallest things.

    Is this worse than police profiling cheap cars because the drivers are less likely to fight the ticket with a lawyer?

    Does that really happen?

  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    And again, anyone paying a lawyer to fight a traffic ticket is an idiot. There's no way you're saving money, you're just being a dick.

    Or wealthy.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me.

    Don't speed = trap becomes worthless. I hate when people bitch about cops trapping them. If you weren't doing something illegal, you wouldn't be "trapped".

    Speed traps in the sense of enforcing fines as a means to revenue enhancement as opposed to as a means to increasing public safety. Strictly enforcing a 35 MPH zone and fining me for going 38 strikes me as unnecessary and not conducive to public safety.

    Anyone actually doing that is being counterproductive and idiotic. The fine + court costs for a 3mph ticket can't possibly be worth the time and effort involved to ticket, convict, and collect.

    Unless it gets fought in court, it's generally a matter of someone taking the ticket to the court and paying the fine. The administrative costs, I imagine, are pretty damn low.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    And again, anyone paying a lawyer to fight a traffic ticket is an idiot. There's no way you're saving money, you're just being a dick.

    Or wealthy.

    People don't get wealthy by pissing away money. You'd have to do something really egregious for your ticket to be more expensive than a lawyer, in which case you probably need a lawyer.

    Lawyering up for a speeding ticket is only done by idiots.

  • SeolSeol Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'd be happier if they just told him he couldn't drive anymore. Ever. "I'm rich and like driving expensive cars very very fast woo woo!" He's a repeat offender and normal ticket fines aren't adjusting his behavior, this guy is a fatal collision waiting to happen.

    Hopefully a gigantic fine will get the job done just as well.
    A former boyfriend of my sister killed two people on Tuesday when he broadsided a car as he ran a red light. He also earned himself his third DUI at the time. His license at the time was suspended for a year, as he'd gotten his second DUI while driving on a 3 month suspended license from his first DUI. He killed the person driving the other car, and his own brother who was a passenger in his car and was ejected.

    So, "you can't drive any more" works for shit.
    People will always break the law. The more they do it, the more we punish them. This guy should be going to jail for a very long time.

    But yeah, I'd say that IRO the OP, where a fixed-level fine is clearly pointless, revoking the licence is more appropriate than a stupidly scaled fine.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me.

    Don't speed = trap becomes worthless. I hate when people bitch about cops trapping them. If you weren't doing something illegal, you wouldn't be "trapped".

    Speed traps in the sense of enforcing fines as a means to revenue enhancement as opposed to as a means to increasing public safety. Strictly enforcing a 35 MPH zone and fining me for going 38 strikes me as unnecessary and not conducive to public safety.

    Enforcement of the law should not be dependent on how hard up for cash the police department is.

    Additionally, some speed traps are set up in places were the speed limit is poorly posted, or the situation is otherwise ambiguous.

    There used to be a common speed trap between Stanford University and highway 280. Basically, there used to be a place where you'get off of the 65 mph freeway, onto a 45 mph thoroughfare and then suddenly the speed limit dropped to 25 mph with very little warning. The police would pull people over who were slowing down to accommodate the new speed limit but hadn't braked enough to get to 25 by the time the 25 zone started.

    The signage and limits have since been adjusted, but I knew a lot of people who got caught there.

    There's nothing morally wrong with disobeying an unfair law, or an unfair enforcement of the law. It might be a bad strategy for saving money, but it's not wrong.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me.

    Don't speed = trap becomes worthless. I hate when people bitch about cops trapping them. If you weren't doing something illegal, you wouldn't be "trapped".

    Do you know what a speedtrap is and the problems associated with them? But first, can you tell me that you always drive the speed limit and you never go over even five miles an hour? Speed traps are meant to enforce the speed limit as it's posted so it catches people who go a little bit over. Under normal conditions, even in the presence of a police officer (say parked to the side of a highway), this would not be cause for being pulled over and issued a ticket. Enforcement of the speed limit is already inconsistent but speedtraps make it even more so. This isn't even touching on the fact that some speedtraps are set up specifically to fine a bunch of people as a source of revenue. With this in mind it would be extremely difficult to set up a progressive system of traffic fines that worked.
    I'd be happier if they just told him he couldn't drive anymore. Ever. "I'm rich and like driving expensive cars very very fast woo woo!" He's a repeat offender and normal ticket fines aren't adjusting his behavior, this guy is a fatal collision waiting to happen.

    Hopefully a gigantic fine will get the job done just as well.
    A former boyfriend of my sister killed two people on Tuesday when he broadsided a car as he ran a red light. He also earned himself his third DUI at the time. His license at the time was suspended for a year, as he'd gotten his second DUI while driving on a 3 month suspended license from his first DUI. He killed the person driving the other car, and his own brother who was a passenger in his car and was ejected.

    So, "you can't drive any more" works for shit.

    Don't dismiss something with a single anecdote. That is complete nonsense. Your anecdote doesn't matter. Just because a minority of people might not be deterred by the suspension of their license doesn't mean other people aren't deterred and it doesn't mean we should stop suspending licenses. In order to argue for or against this practice actual data needs to be collected and analyzed to see how effective the points system is as a deterrent.

  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited January 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    Tarantio wrote: »
    Heir wrote: »
    I would think this would start a new kind of police profiling where they pull over nice cars for the smallest things.

    Is this worse than police profiling cheap cars because the drivers are less likely to fight the ticket with a lawyer?

    Does that really happen?

    I don't think that's the reason, but coming from a law enforcement family, yes the police do profile shitty looking cars, mainly because people on parole and probation tend to drive shitty looking cars.

    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I've heard arguments for making speeding fines scale with income (as reported on your last income tax statement or whatever) but without changing the current minimums.

    I don't really have a problem with this.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    And again, anyone paying a lawyer to fight a traffic ticket is an idiot. There's no way you're saving money, you're just being a dick.

    That's not necessarily the case, especially with the recent increases in insurance premiums.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me.

    Don't speed = trap becomes worthless. I hate when people bitch about cops trapping them. If you weren't doing something illegal, you wouldn't be "trapped".

    Speed limits are not adjusted to reflect the actual road conditions under which they occur. This is why speed traps are called as such - they're setup in areas where it is unbelievably safe to go faster then the posted limit, or where it is likely people will cruise 5-10km over the limit (say, along a road with periodic ups and downs where continually breaking is actually more dangerous) for the express purpose that they generate a lot of tickets.

    The general societal pressure is "slow down", yet in something like 60+% of accidents driver fatigue, rather then speed, is the main cause. As a motoring group recently pointed out - accurately - knocking a 110 limit down to 100 will add an hour to an inter-city trip. Does that really make the roads safer?

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    It's a good idea if he's as much of a repeat offender as they seem to imply.

    I mean, as a multi-millionaire, you could potentially afford the fines and just speed all you want, not caring. So you scale up the fines so he can't do that.


    Of course, where I live they just use a point system instead. Big Speeding tickets get you points. Too many points and you lose your license. Drive without a license and shit gets BAD for you.

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    And again, anyone paying a lawyer to fight a traffic ticket is an idiot. There's no way you're saving money, you're just being a dick.

    That's not necessarily the case, especially with the recent increases in insurance premiums.

    Or if you have a firm on retainer.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    It's a good idea if he's as much of a repeat offender as they seem to imply.

    I mean, as a multi-millionaire, you could potentially afford the fines and just speed all you want, not caring. So you scale up the fines so he can't do that.


    Of course, where I live they just use a point system instead. Big Speeding tickets get you points. Too many points and you lose your license. Drive without a license and shit gets BAD for you.

    I think most places have a point system in addition to the fine system, but I still don't see why everyone should pay the same for speeding tickets.

  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    It's a good idea if he's as much of a repeat offender as they seem to imply.

    I mean, as a multi-millionaire, you could potentially afford the fines and just speed all you want, not caring. So you scale up the fines so he can't do that.


    Of course, where I live they just use a point system instead. Big Speeding tickets get you points. Too many points and you lose your license. Drive without a license and shit gets BAD for you.

    That's how it works here in NH as well, and there isn't much that a defense attorney can do to save you in those cases either.

    The millionaire owner of the restaurant chain I worked for a few years ago had to go to the county jail just the same as any other guy - so it seems to work out.

    Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
    Walkers with the sun and morning, we are not afraid of night,
    Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
    Being walkers with the sun and morning.
  • TarantioTarantio Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    And again, anyone paying a lawyer to fight a traffic ticket is an idiot. There's no way you're saving money, you're just being a dick.

    Or wealthy.

    People don't get wealthy by pissing away money. You'd have to do something really egregious for your ticket to be more expensive than a lawyer, in which case you probably need a lawyer.

    Lawyering up for a speeding ticket is only done by idiots.

    Unless this wealthy person does not want to start driving slowly, and does not want to risk eventual further penalties. (Also, I'm not sure how insurance companies deal with tickets where the charges get dropped.)

    But the assertion that wealthy people do not spend more money than is necessary on things is kinda silly.

    "Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be -- or to be indistinguishable from -- self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time."
    Neal Stephenson
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'd be happier if they just told him he couldn't drive anymore. Ever. "I'm rich and like driving expensive cars very very fast woo woo!" He's a repeat offender and normal ticket fines aren't adjusting his behavior, this guy is a fatal collision waiting to happen.

    Hopefully a gigantic fine will get the job done just as well.
    A former boyfriend of my sister killed two people on Tuesday when he broadsided a car as he ran a red light. He also earned himself his third DUI at the time. His license at the time was suspended for a year, as he'd gotten his second DUI while driving on a 3 month suspended license from his first DUI. He killed the person driving the other car, and his own brother who was a passenger in his car and was ejected.

    So, "you can't drive any more" works for shit.

    Don't dismiss something with a single anecdote. That is complete nonsense. Your anecdote doesn't matter. Just because a minority of people might not be deterred by the suspension of their license doesn't mean other people aren't deterred and it doesn't mean we should stop suspending licenses. In order to argue for or against this practice actual data needs to be collected and analyzed to see how effective the points system is as a deterrent.

    I would like to yell about this some more too: the exact same logic works in reverse. If someone had been fined a bunch of money would it have stopped them driving? If you're going down for a DUI after killing two people, the problem was clearly not limited to a lack of a deterrent to breaking the road rules.

    This type of bullshit is why speed limits constantly move down and yet - mysteriously - the roal toll fluctuates essentially randomly year to year, barring notable events usually being widespread car safety features hitting the market.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I mean, if you have an expensive car that's well-insured, the difference between 1 point on your record and 2 points could be several hundred or even 1-2 thousand dollars spread out over three years.

    I don't know how much a traffic lawyer costs, but if I were looking at an insurance hike of $1000, I'd at least look into lawyering up.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dman wrote: »
    I think most places have a point system in addition to the fine system, but I still don't see why everyone should pay the same for speeding tickets.

    At least in the US, Section 1 of the 14th Amendment has something to do with it.

  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me.

    Don't speed = trap becomes worthless. I hate when people bitch about cops trapping them. If you weren't doing something illegal, you wouldn't be "trapped".

    Speed traps in the sense of enforcing fines as a means to revenue enhancement as opposed to as a means to increasing public safety. Strictly enforcing a 35 MPH zone and fining me for going 38 strikes me as unnecessary and not conducive to public safety.

    Enforcement of the law should not be dependent on how hard up for cash the police department is.

    But the speed limit is still 35, and you were doing 38. I'm not arguing getting pulled over for an extra 3 miles isn't a hassle, but you still disobeyed the law.

    And of course I've done more than the speed limit, but if I got pulled over, I wouldn't call it BS. I did something wrong, I got punished. Thats what happens if you get caught.

    As for not knowing the speed limit, ignorance is no excuse from the law. If I'm not sure what the speedlimit is, I slow down to the limit I *guess* it is, and speed up when I see what the limit is. It's not that big of a deal.

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  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me.

    Don't speed = trap becomes worthless. I hate when people bitch about cops trapping them. If you weren't doing something illegal, you wouldn't be "trapped".

    Speed limits are not adjusted to reflect the actual road conditions under which they occur. This is why speed traps are called as such - they're setup in areas where it is unbelievably safe to go faster then the posted limit, or where it is likely people will cruise 5-10km over the limit (say, along a road with periodic ups and downs where continually breaking is actually more dangerous) for the express purpose that they generate a lot of tickets.

    The general societal pressure is "slow down", yet in something like 60+% of accidents driver fatigue, rather then speed, is the main cause. As a motoring group recently pointed out - accurately - knocking a 110 limit down to 100 will add an hour to an inter-city trip. Does that really make the roads safer?

    I agree, we should add a shitty roads clause.
    If the road condition are really shitty, you're fine and point penalty is doubled, if the road conditions are perfect it is halved, if neither applies then you get the standard fine.

    We double fines/penalties when passing road workers because of the increased risk, seems like doing the same for poor driving conditions would be reasonable.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    Tarantio wrote: »
    Heir wrote: »
    I would think this would start a new kind of police profiling where they pull over nice cars for the smallest things.

    Is this worse than police profiling cheap cars because the drivers are less likely to fight the ticket with a lawyer?

    Does that really happen?

    I don't think that's the reason, but coming from a law enforcement family, yes the police do profile shitty looking cars, mainly because people on parole and probation tend to drive shitty looking cars.

    What about minorities driving expensive cars? Or is that just in movies?

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dman wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    It's a good idea if he's as much of a repeat offender as they seem to imply.

    I mean, as a multi-millionaire, you could potentially afford the fines and just speed all you want, not caring. So you scale up the fines so he can't do that.


    Of course, where I live they just use a point system instead. Big Speeding tickets get you points. Too many points and you lose your license. Drive without a license and shit gets BAD for you.

    I think most places have a point system in addition to the fine system, but I still don't see why everyone should pay the same for speeding tickets.
    Equality under the law. If the punishment for a certain crime is X, you shouldn't be treated differently under the law because you're poor, rich or whatever.

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  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dman wrote: »
    We double fines/penalties when passing road workers because of the increased risk, seems like doing the same for poor driving conditions would be reasonable.

    I know in Virginia, road and weather conditions affect the threshold for what can be considered Reckless Driving.

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Dman wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    It's a good idea if he's as much of a repeat offender as they seem to imply.

    I mean, as a multi-millionaire, you could potentially afford the fines and just speed all you want, not caring. So you scale up the fines so he can't do that.


    Of course, where I live they just use a point system instead. Big Speeding tickets get you points. Too many points and you lose your license. Drive without a license and shit gets BAD for you.

    I think most places have a point system in addition to the fine system, but I still don't see why everyone should pay the same for speeding tickets.
    Equality under the law. If the punishment for a certain crime is X, you shouldn't be treated differently under the law because you're poor, rich or whatever.

    Unless said fine is "x% of income". There's no difference in treatment, there.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    Speed traps in the sense of enforcing fines as a means to revenue enhancement as opposed to as a means to increasing public safety. Strictly enforcing a 35 MPH zone and fining me for going 38 strikes me as unnecessary and not conducive to public safety.

    Enforcement of the law should not be dependent on how hard up for cash the police department is.

    But the speed limit is still 35, and you were doing 38. I'm not arguing getting pulled over for an extra 3 miles isn't a hassle, but you still disobeyed the law.

    And of course I've done more than the speed limit, but if I got pulled over, I wouldn't call it BS. I did something wrong, I got punished. Thats what happens if you get caught.

    As for not knowing the speed limit, ignorance is no excuse from the law. If I'm not sure what the speedlimit is, I slow down to the limit I *guess* it is, and speed up when I see what the limit is. It's not that big of a deal.

    Others have pointed out the problems of speed traps far more completely than me.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dman wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me.

    Don't speed = trap becomes worthless. I hate when people bitch about cops trapping them. If you weren't doing something illegal, you wouldn't be "trapped".

    Speed limits are not adjusted to reflect the actual road conditions under which they occur. This is why speed traps are called as such - they're setup in areas where it is unbelievably safe to go faster then the posted limit, or where it is likely people will cruise 5-10km over the limit (say, along a road with periodic ups and downs where continually breaking is actually more dangerous) for the express purpose that they generate a lot of tickets.

    The general societal pressure is "slow down", yet in something like 60+% of accidents driver fatigue, rather then speed, is the main cause. As a motoring group recently pointed out - accurately - knocking a 110 limit down to 100 will add an hour to an inter-city trip. Does that really make the roads safer?

    I agree, we should add a shitty roads clause.
    If the road condition are really shitty, you're fine and point penalty is doubled, if the road conditions are perfect it is halved, if neither applies then you get the standard fine.

    We double fines/penalties when passing road workers because of the increased risk, seems like doing the same for poor driving conditions would be reasonable.

    Which is not at all the point I was making. Speed limits seem to bring out the worst in the "well it's the law!" crowd. Is 38 over 35mph going to make a difference? What about 40? There's an alarming lack of evidence cited when speed limits are changed - and like I said - the road toll doesn't reflect what is said. It goes up, it goes down - there's no trend, just random noise and usually the ever-present reality that certain roads are just innately dangerous and speed has nothing to do with it.

    Can the citizen fine the government for not updating the infrastructure? Why not?

  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me.

    Don't speed = trap becomes worthless. I hate when people bitch about cops trapping them. If you weren't doing something illegal, you wouldn't be "trapped".

    Speed traps in the sense of enforcing fines as a means to revenue enhancement as opposed to as a means to increasing public safety. Strictly enforcing a 35 MPH zone and fining me for going 38 strikes me as unnecessary and not conducive to public safety.

    Enforcement of the law should not be dependent on how hard up for cash the police department is.

    But the speed limit is still 35, and you were doing 38. I'm not arguing getting pulled over for an extra 3 miles isn't a hassle, but you still disobeyed the law.

    And of course I've done more than the speed limit, but if I got pulled over, I wouldn't call it BS. I did something wrong, I got punished. Thats what happens if you get caught.

    As for not knowing the speed limit, ignorance is no excuse from the law. If I'm not sure what the speedlimit is, I slow down to the limit I *guess* it is, and speed up when I see what the limit is. It's not that big of a deal.

    I really can't believe this still has to be repeated, but here goes: just because something is the law doesn't mean it's just. And I don't get how you don't mind disobeying the law. Is everything made right when you're given a ticket? What happens if you're not caught? You weren't punished for breaking the law. Do you turn yourself in? Don't you think the right thing to do when someone breaks the law is that they turn themselves in?

    As for ignorance, this isn't about ignorance, this is about local law enforcement taking advantage of ignorance for their own gain. If I don't know the speed limit I will make a guess but that guess will be based on the conditions of the road. This could still land me with a ticket from an overzealous police officer. When you make a guess what do you base it on?

  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    Speed traps in the sense of enforcing fines as a means to revenue enhancement as opposed to as a means to increasing public safety. Strictly enforcing a 35 MPH zone and fining me for going 38 strikes me as unnecessary and not conducive to public safety.

    Enforcement of the law should not be dependent on how hard up for cash the police department is.

    But the speed limit is still 35, and you were doing 38. I'm not arguing getting pulled over for an extra 3 miles isn't a hassle, but you still disobeyed the law.

    And of course I've done more than the speed limit, but if I got pulled over, I wouldn't call it BS. I did something wrong, I got punished. Thats what happens if you get caught.

    As for not knowing the speed limit, ignorance is no excuse from the law. If I'm not sure what the speedlimit is, I slow down to the limit I *guess* it is, and speed up when I see what the limit is. It's not that big of a deal.

    Others have pointed out the problems of speed traps far more completely than me.

    I saw and thought I addressed that, sort of. But none of those points make it ok to go above the speed limit. They point out why people dont like them, not how cops are making them go faster than the speed limit, thus trapping them.

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  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I really can't believe this still has to be repeated, but here goes: just because something is the law doesn't mean it's just. And I don't get how you don't mind disobeying the law. Is everything made right when you're given a ticket? What happens if you're not caught? You weren't punished for breaking the law. Do you turn yourself in? Don't you think the right thing to do when someone breaks the law is that they turn themselves in?

    As for ignorance, this isn't about ignorance, this is about local law enforcement taking advantage of ignorance for their own gain. If I don't know the speed limit I will make a guess but that guess will be based on the conditions of the road. This could still land me with a ticket from an overzealous police officer. When you make a guess what do you base it on?

    This is actually what pisses me off about "civil disobedience".

    You're breaking the law. It may be for a moral cause, but you're still breaking the law. Don't get all butthurt when you suffer the consequences.

    You're supposed to accept those consequences, and stand on your principles despite them.

    I'm gonna get all shouty now >.<

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    Speed traps in the sense of enforcing fines as a means to revenue enhancement as opposed to as a means to increasing public safety. Strictly enforcing a 35 MPH zone and fining me for going 38 strikes me as unnecessary and not conducive to public safety.

    Enforcement of the law should not be dependent on how hard up for cash the police department is.

    But the speed limit is still 35, and you were doing 38. I'm not arguing getting pulled over for an extra 3 miles isn't a hassle, but you still disobeyed the law.

    And of course I've done more than the speed limit, but if I got pulled over, I wouldn't call it BS. I did something wrong, I got punished. Thats what happens if you get caught.

    As for not knowing the speed limit, ignorance is no excuse from the law. If I'm not sure what the speedlimit is, I slow down to the limit I *guess* it is, and speed up when I see what the limit is. It's not that big of a deal.

    Others have pointed out the problems of speed traps far more completely than me.

    I saw and thought I addressed that, sort of. But none of those points make it ok to go above the speed limit. They point out why people dont like them, not how cops are making them go faster than the speed limit, thus trapping them.

    Really, isn't it rather well documented that the vast majority of tickets are written for 10+ MPH above the limit, and that state police generally provide a 7MPHish "grace"?
    Chanus wrote: »
    This is actually what pisses me off about "civil disobedience".

    You're breaking the law. It may be for a moral cause, but you're still breaking the law. Don't get all butthurt when you suffer the consequences.

    You're supposed to accept those consequences, and stand on your principles despite them.

    I'm gonna get all shouty now >.<

    You really don't understand "Civil Disobedience" very well.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dman wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me.

    Don't speed = trap becomes worthless. I hate when people bitch about cops trapping them. If you weren't doing something illegal, you wouldn't be "trapped".

    Speed limits are not adjusted to reflect the actual road conditions under which they occur. This is why speed traps are called as such - they're setup in areas where it is unbelievably safe to go faster then the posted limit, or where it is likely people will cruise 5-10km over the limit (say, along a road with periodic ups and downs where continually breaking is actually more dangerous) for the express purpose that they generate a lot of tickets.

    The general societal pressure is "slow down", yet in something like 60+% of accidents driver fatigue, rather then speed, is the main cause. As a motoring group recently pointed out - accurately - knocking a 110 limit down to 100 will add an hour to an inter-city trip. Does that really make the roads safer?

    I agree, we should add a shitty roads clause.
    If the road condition are really shitty, you're fine and point penalty is doubled, if the road conditions are perfect it is halved, if neither applies then you get the standard fine.

    We double fines/penalties when passing road workers because of the increased risk, seems like doing the same for poor driving conditions would be reasonable.

    Which is not at all the point I was making. Speed limits seem to bring out the worst in the "well it's the law!" crowd. Is 38 over 35mph going to make a difference? What about 40?

    That's a really dumb line of reasoning.

    Look, the line has to be drawn somewhere. 40KPH is ok. 100KPH is way to fast. At some point in between, you've got to just set a firm number and say "This fast, no faster.".

    And the truth is (at least in Canada), nobody will pull you over for going 10KPH over the limit. And ever when they do pull you over for doing like 20KPH+ over the limit, they'll often give you a lesser ticket then you deserve if you aren't a dick to them.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    Speed traps in the sense of enforcing fines as a means to revenue enhancement as opposed to as a means to increasing public safety. Strictly enforcing a 35 MPH zone and fining me for going 38 strikes me as unnecessary and not conducive to public safety.

    Enforcement of the law should not be dependent on how hard up for cash the police department is.

    But the speed limit is still 35, and you were doing 38. I'm not arguing getting pulled over for an extra 3 miles isn't a hassle, but you still disobeyed the law.

    And of course I've done more than the speed limit, but if I got pulled over, I wouldn't call it BS. I did something wrong, I got punished. Thats what happens if you get caught.

    As for not knowing the speed limit, ignorance is no excuse from the law. If I'm not sure what the speedlimit is, I slow down to the limit I *guess* it is, and speed up when I see what the limit is. It's not that big of a deal.

    Others have pointed out the problems of speed traps far more completely than me.

    I saw and thought I addressed that, sort of. But none of those points make it ok to go above the speed limit. They point out why people dont like them, not how cops are making them go faster than the speed limit, thus trapping them.

    There are roads where the speed limit changes 6-8 times in a 1-2km stretch. It is actually dangerous to breaking hard between most of these speed limit changes, which is what you'd have to do to strictly obey them. And no, you can't pick a level and cruise at it, because speed limits generally don't work like that - the idea is supposed to be that once it changes you can reasonable expect to accelerate up to it and have stopping distance and notification in order to adjust to a slower one.

  • ChanusChanus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    This is actually what pisses me off about "civil disobedience".

    You're breaking the law. It may be for a moral cause, but you're still breaking the law. Don't get all butthurt when you suffer the consequences.

    You're supposed to accept those consequences, and stand on your principles despite them.

    I'm gonna get all shouty now >.<

    You really don't understand "Civil Disobedience" very well.

    I don't recall Martin Luther King Jr. shouting "Waah! Don't taser me bro!"

    There used to be dignity.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    shryke wrote: »
    Dman wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me.

    Don't speed = trap becomes worthless. I hate when people bitch about cops trapping them. If you weren't doing something illegal, you wouldn't be "trapped".

    Speed limits are not adjusted to reflect the actual road conditions under which they occur. This is why speed traps are called as such - they're setup in areas where it is unbelievably safe to go faster then the posted limit, or where it is likely people will cruise 5-10km over the limit (say, along a road with periodic ups and downs where continually breaking is actually more dangerous) for the express purpose that they generate a lot of tickets.

    The general societal pressure is "slow down", yet in something like 60+% of accidents driver fatigue, rather then speed, is the main cause. As a motoring group recently pointed out - accurately - knocking a 110 limit down to 100 will add an hour to an inter-city trip. Does that really make the roads safer?

    I agree, we should add a shitty roads clause.
    If the road condition are really shitty, you're fine and point penalty is doubled, if the road conditions are perfect it is halved, if neither applies then you get the standard fine.

    We double fines/penalties when passing road workers because of the increased risk, seems like doing the same for poor driving conditions would be reasonable.

    Which is not at all the point I was making. Speed limits seem to bring out the worst in the "well it's the law!" crowd. Is 38 over 35mph going to make a difference? What about 40?

    That's a really dumb line of reasoning.

    Look, the line has to be drawn somewhere. 40KPH is ok. 100KPH is way to fast. At some point in between, you've got to just set a firm number and say "This fast, no faster.".

    And the truth is (at least in Canada), nobody will pull you over for going 10KPH over the limit. And ever when they do pull you over for doing like 20KPH+ over the limit, they'll often give you a lesser ticket then you deserve if you aren't a dick to them.

    Wow. It's totally a good thing we don't have speed cameras all over the place, added because they net huge revenues to state governments, and which have recently had their tolerances adjusted from +5kph over the limit to +3kph over the limit. Yeah I'm glad that's not happening at all instead of upgrading inter-state highway to dual carriage way instead of setting an 80kph speed limit on a two lane road without even concrete dividers and traffic going in both directions separated by double white painted lines.

    It's totally protecting the public.

  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    I said I "initially" thought this was a good idea because I then changed my mind. I started thinking about traffic fines and fines in general, and then I started considering: in America at least (not sure about the situation in other countries) there is a certain problem of police setting up speed traps as a revenue stream, which seems like a messed-up incentive to me.

    Don't speed = trap becomes worthless. I hate when people bitch about cops trapping them. If you weren't doing something illegal, you wouldn't be "trapped".

    Speed traps in the sense of enforcing fines as a means to revenue enhancement as opposed to as a means to increasing public safety. Strictly enforcing a 35 MPH zone and fining me for going 38 strikes me as unnecessary and not conducive to public safety.

    Enforcement of the law should not be dependent on how hard up for cash the police department is.

    But the speed limit is still 35, and you were doing 38. I'm not arguing getting pulled over for an extra 3 miles isn't a hassle, but you still disobeyed the law.

    And of course I've done more than the speed limit, but if I got pulled over, I wouldn't call it BS. I did something wrong, I got punished. Thats what happens if you get caught.

    As for not knowing the speed limit, ignorance is no excuse from the law. If I'm not sure what the speedlimit is, I slow down to the limit I *guess* it is, and speed up when I see what the limit is. It's not that big of a deal.

    I really can't believe this still has to be repeated, but here goes: just because something is the law doesn't mean it's just. And I don't get how you don't mind disobeying the law. Is everything made right when you're given a ticket? What happens if you're not caught? You weren't punished for breaking the law. Do you turn yourself in? Don't you think the right thing to do when someone breaks the law is that they turn themselves in?

    As for ignorance, this isn't about ignorance, this is about local law enforcement taking advantage of ignorance for their own gain. If I don't know the speed limit I will make a guess but that guess will be based on the conditions of the road. This could still land me with a ticket from an overzealous police officer. When you make a guess what do you base it on?

    Usually my familiariztion with the local laws. But in a strange place, I usually travel about 5-10 less than the average person. 5-10 over is usually what most people find to be acceptable. If I'm wrong, I get a ticket. Big deal.

    And what does "just" have to do with a speed limit? This isn't murder, it's just the maximum speed you're legally allowed travel at.

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  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    This is actually what pisses me off about "civil disobedience".

    You're breaking the law. It may be for a moral cause, but you're still breaking the law. Don't get all butthurt when you suffer the consequences.

    You're supposed to accept those consequences, and stand on your principles despite them.

    I'm gonna get all shouty now >.<

    You really don't understand "Civil Disobedience" very well.

    I don't recall Martin Luther King Jr. shouting "Waah! Don't taser me bro!"

    There used to be dignity.

    We don't want your dignity.

    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Chanus wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I really can't believe this still has to be repeated, but here goes: just because something is the law doesn't mean it's just. And I don't get how you don't mind disobeying the law. Is everything made right when you're given a ticket? What happens if you're not caught? You weren't punished for breaking the law. Do you turn yourself in? Don't you think the right thing to do when someone breaks the law is that they turn themselves in?

    As for ignorance, this isn't about ignorance, this is about local law enforcement taking advantage of ignorance for their own gain. If I don't know the speed limit I will make a guess but that guess will be based on the conditions of the road. This could still land me with a ticket from an overzealous police officer. When you make a guess what do you base it on?

    This is actually what pisses me off about "civil disobedience".

    You're breaking the law. It may be for a moral cause, but you're still breaking the law. Don't get all butthurt when you suffer the consequences.

    You're supposed to accept those consequences, and stand on your principles despite them.

    I'm gonna get all shouty now >.<

    What do you mean by "accept those consequences"? Do you mean pay the fine? Or do you mean accept that the law is the law, you shouldn't change it or try? I am talking about the latter, what are you talking about? I don't care whether someone decides to pay the fine just to end the hassle, but they shouldn't accept a law just because it's a law, and it being a law shouldn't prevent them from trying to change it. Laws are not sacred. They are meant to be shaped or thrown out if necessary.

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