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The title of this diary is really not the main issue, but it's meant to be a local governance exercise

This is a website for national political activism-with a good dose of social interaction that is provides support for those who hang out or are regulars here.  It's part social chat room and part venue for serious political analysis. (with a goodly dose of partisan promotion)  It's taken me eight years to feel somewhat comfortable, to accept that any given diary could be a bust, as in zero comments and a handful of tips.  While another may hit the jackpot, such as the last one that showed that there is a way to engage that hot button forbidden topic of IP, or Israel and Palestine.  What it showed by reading the comments is that individual's self disclosing stories, even in this case by one spent his childhood as a Muslim in the British Mandate of Palestine, would be welcomed by those who have only been adversaries on this website, having different perspectives.

I also know the variables of the written word, how diaries and comments are limited by not being responsive to the vibes of the moment for the reader, and the context of the discussion that is dynamically changing with every comment, and who knows what other variables.  We have rules against "highjacking" diaries, but in effect every meaningful comment does shift the direction of the topic, as that's how group conversations work.  

My city is about to embark on a type of Dailykos project, one that will attempt to bring 10,000 or a multiple of that into a single discussion that will help shape the laws and regulations of the city.  While it is sold/designed (word used depends on degree of cynicism or support of the project-and there is no neutral word) so it is marketed as being a way to allow maximum democracy, yet to participate in this democratic advance you must agree to a 14 page legal personal contract that is referred to as Terms of Agreement (TOS)  

This may seem innocuous, simply "boilerplate" which most of it is.  But within the 16 sections of such "Contracts of Adhesion" are the loopholes for adverse effects of the user- in this case not about discount coupons or such,  but communication system that is attempting to give substance to local representative governance.  

Do not fill out the poll before reading the extended comments!

Now we are going to move on to a test, a type of experiment, of how close the Dailykos format would meet the goals of the new system that our city, Encinitas California, is about to embark on.  I have much more details and references on this subject in this article I wrote for those who interested in the actual details of the proposed commercial product.  But exploring these details are not even necessary, as this particular diary is to see whether this format would work.  So, what follows is a non-issue that could be something the city would want feedback on.
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Subject: Moving violation fines should be based on car value

Pro: Fines are the one type of legal punishment that varies by wealth. Incarceration will have cause a variable about of pain based on the individuals personality, aversion to being confined and other variable, that are not directly correlated to wealth. Fines, on the other hand have a lesser deterrent value to the more wealthy- in this proposal wealth is reflected in the value of the car used during the violation.

Con: This proposal is more for income redistribution than for any equalization the effect of punishment.  A person who drives an expensive car my have sacrificed other amenities for this particular pleasure, and so should not be disproportionately punished.  Penalties of fines are inherently meant to be minor, which this proposal would vitiate for the wealthy
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O.K.  If you want to help me in trying evaluate this aspect of E-Government, go along with making a comment about the above proposal and if possible in your comment give the number of your poll response.  Then, and this is important, check a poll response.

I may be speaking to the council encouraging them to give more thought before going forward with this plan, so this dailykos diary could provide more data to present.

Thanks in advance. And if there is meaningful response I will re-post with a summary.  
------------------------
Postscript on effectiveness as municipal discussion:

This test of a standard format discussion has a different format from Peak Democracy's product, specifically extended comment threads.  This would not be possible on PD's system of a single comment per person per topic forum.  Here we learned that other countries do have this system, Finland.  We also heard a strong argument against this, that value of a car does not represent net worth of an individual, as the Porsche driver may have gone into hock to buy this car.  A completely different angle was presented, that a Porsche has braking and traction characteristics that make faster driving less dangerous, and therefore may deserve a type of discount for this-explained better in one of the comments.

Locking ourselves into one provider with its own biases rather than unleashing the creativity that of hundreds of venues is a serious mistake.

Poll

Moving violation fines should be based on car value

7%7 votes
13%12 votes
2%2 votes
0%0 votes
2%2 votes
14%13 votes
59%52 votes

| 88 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Another "pro" argument: (0+ / 0-)

    ...More expensive vehicles make the driver feel more in control at higher speeds, encouraging drivers to drive more recklessly.  Drivers of more expensive cars take on this risk when they get behind the wheel.

    "Democrat" is a noun. "Democratic" is an adjective. "Republican" is an idiot. Illigitimi non carborundum. Regardless of Party.

    by TheOrchid on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:24:12 AM PDT

    •  Would you please (8+ / 0-)

      site the study on which you are basing this comment. Thanks.

      Frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing from angry America. I’m also less than fond of knee-jerk America. And when you combine the two with the Internet, you too often get stupid America, which is really annoying.

      by jsfox on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:30:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Further... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terrybuck, buddabelly, equern

        More expensive cars are more in control at higher speeds. Anyone who has driven a really nice car knows this to be true.

        •  More expensive cars give you the illusion... (0+ / 0-)

          ...you're more in control.  The limiting factor is a driver's ability to handle higher speeds safely, no tthe ability of the car to handle those speeds.

          "Democrat" is a noun. "Democratic" is an adjective. "Republican" is an idiot. Illigitimi non carborundum. Regardless of Party.

          by TheOrchid on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:56:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again (4+ / 0-)

            Please site the study that supports this comment.

            Frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing from angry America. I’m also less than fond of knee-jerk America. And when you combine the two with the Internet, you too often get stupid America, which is really annoying.

            by jsfox on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:02:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You are not telling it as it is . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Victor Ward

            Porsche 911 four wheel drive 964 .
            Built to drive at speeds that are well above 100mph .
            An average driver can drive and be protected by a better car . Another car that is good enough to go 55mph is a death trap at 100mph . Even a great drivers puts themselves in danger driving a bad car that fast .

            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

            by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:08:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're missing the point. (0+ / 0-)

              BECAUSE a Porsche is capable (easily) of going 100mph, a driver is more included to drive closer to those speeds on a freeway than a driver driving the other car you cite.  But the driver, himself, is not necessarily safer at the speeds the Posrche would encourage you to drive.

              Don't forget the original proposal was to fine drivers of expensive cars more than those of less expensive cars.  One common source of fines is speeding.  If a driver feels safer speeding, because they have a more expensive car, they are more likely to speed.

              "Democrat" is a noun. "Democratic" is an adjective. "Republican" is an idiot. Illigitimi non carborundum. Regardless of Party.

              by TheOrchid on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:21:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "a driver is more included to drive closer" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Victor Ward

                Could you re-phrase that in English please?  You are making no sense whatsoever.

                Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

                by bobdevo on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:25:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  inclined. nt (0+ / 0-)

                  Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                  by k9disc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:27:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  "included" should read "encouraged" (0+ / 0-)

                  (k9disc's edit works, too.) Simple typo.  You simply want to believe the rest of my comment makes no sense, and so focus on the one small linguistic error.  Not a problem I'm going to worry about any further.

                  "Democrat" is a noun. "Democratic" is an adjective. "Republican" is an idiot. Illigitimi non carborundum. Regardless of Party.

                  by TheOrchid on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:34:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I have two cars , a VW van and a Porsche 964 . (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Victor Ward, arodb

                I'm not the one missing the point .

                The 964 tops out at around 160mph .
                It is far far safer on the motorway than a claped out deathtrap .

                But the driver, himself, is not necessarily safer at the speeds the Posrche would encourage you to drive.
                Yes the driver is . A driver is more likely to crash the van in an emergency situation , its inherent ability to do things is less . It turns slower , it takes more distance to slow down , etc etc etc . The Porsche 964 is safer at 80 than the clapped out car is at 55 .

                My girlfriend borrowed a car from her friend so that I could drive her to the airport , it was unsafe , I was unhappy to be on the freeway with it . It was a fine "neighborhood" car but doing the legal limit on the freeway was crazy .

                My mother wanted me to drive her into town in her old pinto , we had gone a few hundred yards down the road when I turned to her and asked if she might think about buying a new car . Her pinto was a death trap at any speed .

                "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:42:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Blasphemy. The '66 VW microbus behaved quite (0+ / 0-)

                  nicely in emergency situations. If you  were lucky enough to have experienced passengers on board that new how to shift positions, you could negotiate some superb two wheel corners.

          •  It's more than an illusion, for crying out loud. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Victor Ward, equern

            SOME - not all - more expensive cars handle better, turn quicker, stop faster, and are inherently safer to operate at higher speed.

            Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

            by bobdevo on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:10:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Read my comments again. (0+ / 0-)

              The focus is how safe the DRIVER is, not how safe the car is.  A driver driving past his skill level is not a safer driver just because he's driving a more expensive car.

              "Democrat" is a noun. "Democratic" is an adjective. "Republican" is an idiot. Illigitimi non carborundum. Regardless of Party.

              by TheOrchid on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:22:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A driver - of any skill level - is safer (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Victor Ward, virginislandsguy

                driving in a better handling/steering/stopping car than in a worse handling/steering/stopping car.

                Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

                by bobdevo on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:26:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Drivers ADAPT to a Car's Performance (0+ / 0-)

                It's called learning.

                If you have a more expensive car, your driving habits improve because the car's performance allows you develop better driving skills.

                If you drive a poorer performing car, your driving skills are limited to the car's ability to respond to your driving skills. No matter HOW good a driver you are, if you drive what is essentially a death-trap on wheels, it can't respond properly.

                A better car can.

                What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

                by equern on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:54:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  If i'm driving a (0+ / 0-)

      $600,000 car, i think i might be more careful with it than with a $600 car.

  •  So if my vehical has a zero value (6+ / 0-)

    or even a negative value , then what ?

    When I get a ticket and they place a value on my car
    can I dispute the value , I bought it for $200. and have put a lot of miles on it , so it might be worth $50 now .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:30:12 AM PDT

    •  good point.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc

      this could not be a straight line relationship to cost, but must take factor you describe into final law.

      •  I and my brother have matching cars . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kasoru, k9disc, Victor Ward

        He puts his up against the armco and puts a ding all along the side , he takes it in for repair and the title become "salvage" , the repair costs more than the car is worth , the body is fixed , looks fine . His car is worth far less than mine because his has a salvage title . We go for a drive side by side and we get speeding tickets , I have to pay more because I didn't crash my car before ? His speeding fine is less because he crashed his car in the past ?
        Looks like I'm the fool for not crashing .

        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

        by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:23:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or you are a fool for not just driving a shitty, (0+ / 0-)

          fast car.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:29:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I once read an article about building (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Victor Ward, k9disc

            houses to avoid taxes . They looked at what it would take to build a low tax house . They made a house is such a way to avoid taxes . One of the things I remember was they used tar paper for the outside wall covering . Tax codes encouraged tar paper shacks by taxing them less .  

            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

            by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:48:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If you want to speed and not pay high fines (3+ / 0-)

            do so in the cheapest clapped out death trap you can find .
            Can I get a rusty old 1972 pinto with balding tires over the speed limit ?
            Do I need to find a nice down hill section ?

            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

            by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:51:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hey Hey Watch it (0+ / 0-)
              Can I get a rusty old 1972 pinto with balding tires over the speed limit ?
              I had a yellow one and yes, that baby could go to 80 before shit began to shake. Of course that was 40 years ago. If you find one today, it will probably not perform as well.

              Best car I ever owned in terms of price/performance...no large fires either. 8 Track Stereo + Pure Prairie League, open highway + youth+ Coffee+ smokes= Best ever.  

              “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

              by Dburn on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:36:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Rubbish (10+ / 0-)

    Taxes are an objective computation based upon income itself and therefore easy to stagger into progressive tiers.

    Fines are reactive punitive measure based on the act of transgression.  In theory they should be tied to the potential of harm to the public under the aegis of the Eighth Amendment.

    Speeding tickets are issued to deter drivers from accelerating a personal transportation vehicle to speeds that would endanger others.  This is why we double fines in school areas or near active construction sites.

    To fine an expensive car more is completely arbitrary in this regard.  You'd have a better argument to increase them based on the gross weight of the vehicle.  A small Porsche Boxster going 45 in a 30 is relatively less of a threat then a loaded box truck doing 60 in 45.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:34:19 AM PDT

    •  Should sales taxes be "staggered" into tiers? (0+ / 0-)

      Working class would pay 1%.

      The middle-class would pay no more than 3%.

      While the Buffets and Ellisons would pay over 450% on their purchases.

      It's consistent with what you've laid out.

      As for traffic fines, I recall the case of a Nokia exec (back when Nokia was the #1 handset maker) who faced a US$ 100K speeding ticket.

      Why?  In Finland, traffic fines vary according to annual income.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:39:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the average fine in Finland is $219 (4+ / 0-)

        and they issue less then 250 tickets per year.

        Also, Finland has no Eighth Amendment which would nullify a six-digit fine for traffic offenses.

        By basing this purely on income you are pushing this directly into the area where the rich can most afford it while a middle-class person living paycheck to paycheck will be utterly derailed by a huge fine in her brand new minivan.

        And no, to your first point, Sales Tax is not tied to Income (like Income Tax) it is tied to the transaction and should therefore be calculated on the amount of the sale, not an assessment of the buyer.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:46:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Traffic fines aren't punishments. Most traffic (0+ / 0-)

          violations are considered civil violations. So the 8th Amendment doesn't apply.

          •  Still applies (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Victor Ward

            Austin v. United States (my bolding)

            (a) The determinative question is not, as the Government would have it, whether forfeiture under §§881(a)(4) and (a)(7) is civil or criminal. The Eighth Amendment's text is not expressly limited to criminal cases, and its history does not require such a limitation. Rather, the crucial question is whether the forfeiture is monetary punishment, with which the Excessive Fines Clause is particularly concerned. Because sanctions frequently serve more than one purpose, the fact that a forfeiture serves remedial goals will not exclude it from the Clause's purview, so long as it can only beexplained as serving in part to punish. See United States v. Halper, 490 U.S. 435, 448. Thus, consideration must be given to whether, at the time the Eighth Amendment was ratified, forfeiture was understood at least in part as punishment and whether forfeiture under §881(a)(4) and (a)(7) should be so understood today. Pp. 3-8.

            Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

            by Wisper on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:18:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  In Finland (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arodb

          it is GENERALLY based on income, but it CAN be based on circumstances as well...the idea is that most speeding or other traffic infractions are not intentional and that the driver is not per se "bad".  As such, income determines fine which determines (hopefully) deterrent.  But, for really egregious driving, it can be based on conduct.

          However, other points to note:  in Finland, it's really hard to get a driver's license.  It's a 3 part test, and if you get your license in the summer it can be 4 parts (another driving test in the winter on the frozen lake).  for the first year you have a license, or if you are under a certain age (student drivers), or if you are a repeat offender, you get a sticker ("80") to put in your back window...which means you can't drive over that speed in KM.  So, others on the road know what to expect.  Everyone uses snow tires in the winter, drives a manual and while it's a noted drinking culture, virtually no one drinks and drives.  Leading cause of accidents?  Striking elk in the roadway.  

          Finland like most of its neighbors in the Nordics, is a society that values the "we" over the "me" in most things.  Meaning in the balance between equality and individuality, equal wins (unlike here).  Off topic, but if you ever studied the abortion "debate" there (really wasn't much of one), the rationale for legalization came down to this: rich or better off women will always have the right somewhere as they can travel, pay a doctor, etc. Poorer women don't.  so equality means everyone has the right by law.  

          Largest fine ever:  to my friend and NHL legend Teemu Selanne. I think it was over $250,000 (income based) and it was for racing his car on the back roads near his summer home.  

          And having driven on the Autobahn on many occasions, I am of the camp that believes it is less about the car than the driver...but better made "speed" cars are, well, better all around.  

    •  Yebbut.... (0+ / 0-)

      Fines for traffic infractions are pretty meaningless for Rich Fucks, and they do pretty much what they want til they bump up against state license agencies....

            "My Maserati does 185....I lost my license, now I don't drive...."
      Mebbe some sorta sliding scale on fines might work?

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:42:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You think only rich people speed? (5+ / 0-)

        I lost my license twice when I was younger... all due to excessive speeding.  Maryland revokes licenses at 15 points but the points don't hit until the conviction, so technically I got to 24 before the revocation hit and then I get busted twice for driving on a revoked license.

        And this "rich fuck" was a 21 year old dumb-ass driving a SATURN SL1.  ...Looking back, I'd say I was much more of a public menace then some attorney commuting to work everyday in his BMW 745 and should have been punished accordingly.

        My point is that wealth is not an indicator of moving violations.  Once could even argue that the person driving their brand new Maserati would be conscientious of anything happening to it while the person in the "beater car" has less disincentive to not do things like tailgate, roll through stop signs, speed, etc

        The indicators of speeding, as any insurance will tell you, are age, gender and past history.

        This is just an attempt to target people that own expensive cars in an attempt to squeeze more money out of them.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:51:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who said I thot only rich people speed? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc

          What a ridiculous response to what I said!

          There's lots of regularized fines in California, and they gleefully warn us on the signs: "Minimum Fine $422" etc....

          So the minimum fine for running a red light or driving in the diamond lane is $422, eh?

          I'll let our aging rocker continue....

             "....I got accountants to pay for it all...."
          $422 means a lot to me, to some Rich Fuck, or even a Silicon Valley Sorta-Rich Fuck, it means NOTHING.

          The purpose of fines is to deter, and Rich Fucks and Corporations are essentially immune to such deterrance, see NC's fine of $99,000 against Duke Energy for leaking coal residue into the river....

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:09:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  GAWD! A $99,000 would absolutely destroy our (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftykook

            business. I don't know if we'd ever recover or not, surely could not pay it right away.

            And that's the point, isn't it?

            Duke Energy should be forced with that decision. The fines for the shit that went down in coal country the last little bit should be triple annual profits, or 30-50% of their market cap.

            Fines for extremely negligent or nefarious shit like this and LIBOR-esque financial shenanigans should threaten the corporation's livelihoods.

            It should be even odds, at best, whether the firm makes it or not. Heads should roll, departments should roll, the ship of profit should be dry-docked, refitted, restaffed and then sent back out to sea.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:41:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  "My Maserati" . . . yebbut . . . Walsh never (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward, leftykook

        actually had a Maserati, nor did he actually drive it 185.

        Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

        by bobdevo on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:11:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Details...details... n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Victor Ward, bobdevo

          "I'm not left wing because i'm ideological, or passionate, or angry. I'm left wing because I'm informed." - Mikesco

          by newfie on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:49:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hey I'm just takin' at his word.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobdevo

          He's the one who made the assertions...

          I presume he was poking fun at other rockers who were out of control-precisely because the fines they were given were meaningless to them, a trifling expense on the order of Keith Moon's hotel teevee replacement bill for a tour...

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 02:40:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'd prefer speed governed cars (0+ / 0-)

        eliminates speeding - eliminates the needless deaths due to speed.

        Allows Police to go after criminals rather than set up revenue generating speed traps.

        The technology exists....but Government doesn't care about safety - they care about ticket revenue.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:00:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, fines should be progressed base on GVWR (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo

      Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the max gross weight a vehicle is rated to move safely.  It includes the vehicle base weight, occupants, cargo, fuel and anything  that can be attached or placed inside.  It does not include trailer or tow capacity (towing should increase fines too)

      A small Porsche Boxster going 45 in a 30 is relatively less of a threat then a loaded box truck doing 60 in 45
      People drive SUV's like they were Porsches and I feel as if most people do not understand that speed increases both the distance needed to stop, or slow down, and more importantly, speed increases the distance one travels as they sit there frozen trying to decide what to do as they barrel into an impending accident.

      My personal feeling is that drivers of vehicles over the 4,000lb GVWR should receive a higher fine for speeding.

      Weight should also come into play when registering or licensing these vehicles.  The more rolling weight, the more wear on the roads.  Why should someone with a Smart Car pay for these infrastructure moochers driving their 6,000lb SUV's to work and back.

      •  I concur - that is a more rational scheme. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostserene1

        In fact, I would go one additional step and have Masters Level drivers licenses that would allow a higher speed if certain criteria of expertise is demonstrated.  

        This would only apply to speed/conditions situations. Running red lights or stop signs would not be affected.

        I have a feeling Jeff Gordon driving 10 over is less of a threat than a teenager texting his buddies.

        Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

        by bobdevo on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:08:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You mention Texting..... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Santa Susanna Kid, bobdevo

          if a driver is texting or using a cell phone with his/her hands, the ticket should be double.  This, and not the value of the car, is what causes accidents.

          •  I'd be fine if we treated texting and driving (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Santa Susanna Kid, bobdevo

            the same as a DWI. I don't think it's any safer, and if I had the choice of being in a car driven by someone who's BAC was .08 or someone who's texting the entire time, I'll take the drunk.

            "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

            by yg17 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:10:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  What if the driver (0+ / 0-)

            was only eating?  or drinking a soda?  or reading a map?  or fiddling with a radio?  or simply having a conversation? or looking at the person in the car next to them?

            We, human drivers have found many ways to distract ourselves while driving throughout the history of the automobile.  I don't know if cell phones can be blamed for that.  In 1980, there were 7.3 million more motor vehicle accidents than in 2007.  And as best I can tell there is something along the line of 100 million more registered vehicles in the US now as compared to 1980.  It would seem that the advent of cell phones did not affect the ratio of accidents per year.

            "I'm not left wing because i'm ideological, or passionate, or angry. I'm left wing because I'm informed." - Mikesco

            by newfie on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:15:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Nothing like that could ever work (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Santa Susanna Kid, bobdevo

          until people learn to get the fuck out of the left lane if they aren't passing people. Otherwise, you have Master Driver legally doing 75 down the highway in the left lane until he has to slam on his brakes because of Dumbfuck Driver doing 60 in the left lane oblivious to the world around him.

          I've always wished America had an Autobahn, but our drivers are generally too fucking stupid for it to work safely.

          "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

          by yg17 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:45:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I fear you are correct about the intelligence of (0+ / 0-)

            our drivers.  Fact is, the way cars are built now, we could safely drive 100 mph in the fast lane . . . . e.g., the Cannonball Runs . . . but driving well requires concentration(!). And that is sadly lacking . . . .

            Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

            by bobdevo on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 01:51:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The Smart Car is going to use a lot less fuel (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward

        than the 6,000lb SUV. Drivers of heavier cars are going to be paying more in fuel tax.

        "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

        by yg17 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:01:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Apparently in some countries traffic fines are (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arodb, PatriciaVa, k9disc

      scaled by income. The issue is deterrant value. A relatively small fine is sufficient to determine low income people from violating traffic rules. It takes a proportionately higher fine to deter high income violators.

    •  How do you figure, oh apologist for the plutocracy (0+ / 0-)

      The purpose of all punitive fines is just that: Punishment, with an eye to deterrence. It isn't some sort of libertarian system of public sector torts.

      To fine an expensive car for being parked where we don't want people to park isn't "completely" arbitrary, in this regard or any other. It is based on an inference that the owner of an expensive car likely has more money than a person with a cheap car, and that said owner would need to be fined at a higher rate in order to discourage the antisocial behavior.

      And no, it isn't a counterargument to point out that some rich people are so pathologically miserly that they fear losing $10 more than a wage-earner fears losing $20. I'm not sure if there's a name for that particular brand of fallacious reasoning, but it pops up all the time in right wing arguments against just about anything that would increase the overall level of socioeconomic justice at the expense of a rather small fraction of the population.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 03:11:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Uh ? (5+ / 0-)
    Drivers of a Porsche should pay higher traffic fines than a Chevy
    Clapped Porsche 924 vs 67 Camaro ?

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:35:13 AM PDT

  •  Could devolve into "uppity minority" tax... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb, Mostserene1

    Black man in Cadillac, White grandma in Civic

    There's a disparate impact issue here.  In theory, the wealthy pay traffic fines that hit them in the pocket.  It is "fair" because one is fined based on what they can afford.

    In practice, the black man driving a $60K Cadillac Escalade runs a stop sign.  So does the white grandma in her old Civic, value $10K.

    Who is more likely to get pulled over?  Based on stats, it's the black man who is going to get pulled over.  

    Now black man goes to court, saying another driver wasn't stopped for the same violation.  Cop explains the traffic stop had nothing to do with the driver being black.  But given a choice between stopping a $10K vehicle, or a $60K vehicle, it served the public better for the officer to pull over the more expensive vehicle.

    Taking this example to an extreme, and if this ordinance were enacted, I could see it ending up being used as an "uppity minority" tax.  Very problematic.

    Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

    by cks175 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:55:58 AM PDT

  •  It's the force at impact you want to deter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid

    Force equals mass times the square of the velocity. Therefore you want a fine that goes up linearly with the weight of the vehicle and exponentially with the speed in excess of the posted limit. It is then simply a matter of figuring out the factors that statistically work within the proper standard deviation.

    Full disclosure: I am a lobbyist for Gravity.

    The USA and the rest of the world face a dangerous enemy that not only threatens our freedom but our very existence. This enemy is deeply embedded within society and is actively working towards our annihilation. That enemy is ignorance.

    by Ex Con on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:18:05 AM PDT

  •  I prefer cars have decals.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid, Dburn

    displaying the drivers' political affiliation.  And cars with GOP stickers pay twice the fine of Democrats.  Libertarians pay triple, as a tax on naivety.   Tea Party drivers forfeit their cars, as they do not recognize the state's right to build the roads they use.

  •  I would much rather see a positive reinforcement (0+ / 0-)

    angle than this cobbled together sliding scale, progressive fine.

    Subject: Create a lottery for driving the speed limit

    Do the pro and con out of that.

    Your method still leaves cops busting people and all the profit driven and authority driven crap that goes along with that.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:32:08 AM PDT

  •  ARODB lays ot a Progressive proposal.... (0+ / 0-)

    ..to increase funding in a way that would not increase inequality.

    And so many of you reject it.

    Yet, when a misguided Dem proposes Regressive Cap and Trade or a Carbon Tax, so many of you support these Income Inequality-Exacerbating taxes

    With inequality as bad as it's been since 1929, the Dems should be 30 points on top of the GOP.

    But we're not.

    And we're not because too many Dems continue to support fiscal policies which would make inequality worse, not better.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

    by PatriciaVa on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:34:43 AM PDT

    •  I think the value of the car is a problem. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatriciaVa, Victor Ward

      Income would be better, IMO.

      A percentage of income would be so much better than price of car.

      Price of car is a terrible metric. It's just not realistic and makes it sound like hater-ism.

      Base it on percentage of income and I'm a probably #1. The car, I chose unsure-both sides.

      I think based on income and a sensible discussion about what punishment is and what ineffective punishments do to behavior, and I think most sensible people would be #1 or #2.

      Fair is fair. Punishment is punishment. The end.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:51:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am in complete agreement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward

        There are some people who are going to spend every last penny they make on a Porsche that they financed for 6 years with $0 down, then you have Warren Buffet who drives around in a Cadillac DTS that cost around $42,000 when it was new in 2006.

        "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

        by yg17 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:06:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Chauffeurs and Self-driving cars (0+ / 0-)

    This would seem to fall particularly heavily on the former, and would eventually be rendered moot by the latter.

    Lack of deterrence for the rich by fines is a relatively minor matter outside of the realm of business.  Rich people are already heavily deterred by jail time, having if anything more to lose than the poor.

    The wealthy are a small percentage of the population who commit a disproportionately small amount of crime even given their scarcity.

  •  IMO, the issue with speeding tickets (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob

    (and other fines) is that when they fund a city's budget, the floodgates are opened to corruption. That's why you hear about these small town police departments who get a reputation for parking a cop car with a radar gun at the bottom of a hill, pulling people over for doing 43 in a 40 because traffic fines make up an overwhelming portion of their revenue.

    The solution is fines from tickets go to charity, not the city or police department. And just to help prevent corruption from a charity giving the police kickbacks under the table, it's a charity of your choice. Any 501c3. You make the donation for at least the amount of the fine and submit the receipt to the police as proof you paid your ticket. Simple as that. You still pay the fine, but it goes to a good cause.

    "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

    by yg17 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:56:22 AM PDT

  •  Although I can see some merit (0+ / 0-)

    on both sides at bottom I don't think this is wise policy. After all it is the driver that is being fined, not the vehicle.

    Suppose the Porsche is 30 years old and is the driver's sole vehicle and their sole valuable asset, while the Chevy is being driven by someone who owns five other cars and lives in a McMansion.

    To top things off, as I was crossing the street this morning on my coffee break I saw a Chevy Tahoe. Couldn't help thinking that the damned thing was nearly as big as a Hummer.

    If fine's are going to be based on the characteristics of the vehicle, perhaps they should be based on the vehicle's environmental impact?

    If I'm not mistaken, some European nations base their traffic infraction fines on the value of the vehicle.

  •  I have noticed firsthand here in SoCal (0+ / 0-)

    how the more wealth a person has, the worse they drive. Crosswalks are a good place to observe this hypothesis in real time. Try crossing the street in Laguna without having a Jaguar hood ornament becoming part of you.
      It seems the Porsche drivers etal. just figure traffic fines into the cost of ownership. Sort of like texting and driving. The piddling fines just get rolled up into the family wireless plan and off we go. Although to be fair, albeit off topic a bit, this realm of stupidity seems to span the economic spectrum.
      So I would be quite interested how this experiment turns out, what with the monied interests doing everything they can at the federal level to ensure that courts have no judges.
      As for the poll, put me down for #2. Because the rare times I see a Beem pulled over I know the driver is more pissed off about having to sit there than any fine they'll have to pay.

    "I sometimes lose my train of thought while engaging myself in meaningful conversation" - DN13

    by Devout Nonbeliever on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:22:45 AM PDT

  •  Some Corvettes are worth more than some (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid

    Porches, so that might throw a wrench into the general premise that this diary is based on.

  •  Also, maybe if speed enforcement was actually (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wisper

    about safety rather than revenue enhancement, this might resonate more.

    The whole system is deeply, deeply rotten so nitpicking over details like this is a tad arcane.

  •  Oh please... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ObamOcala, Wisper, pdkesq

    IMHO, some of the comments here are good fodder for supporting GOP complaints that Democrats just hate rich people.

    If you really want to make fines real and help generate more income for the state, there's really only ONE valid way to do that:

    Recurrence.

    I drive a nice car. I don't do much highway driving anyway, and try to stay within the traffic pack, but after going YEARS without a ticket of any kind, got nabbed for speeding in the Grapevine (where cops just sit and wait to entrap people).

    I have a nice car, but a very modest income. To penalize me just because I can afford a slice of luxury is inherently unfair, and could easily be claimed to be "wealth envy" though what you'd be envious of (in my case) certainly wouldn't be wealth.

    But say someone speeds on a more regular basis? Then heck yeah, they should be fined more heavily for that.

    Has anyone in Encinitas brought up that proposal?

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:18:43 AM PDT

  •  I voted 6 ... I'd be opposed to this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UntimelyRippd

    Part of my opposition has to do with just having observed an idiot in a late '90s/early '00s Chevy pickup towing a small enclosed (U-Haul style) trailer speeding, tailgating (starting with me), passing in no passing zones and driving recklessly in a construction zone.

    I've seen a lot of idiots in Porsches, Ferraris and Jaguars. But I've seen just as many in Chevys, Accords and Camrys. A speeder/reckless driver is dangerous no matter what he's driving.

    I would tend to be a bit more supportive of income-based fines because of the lack of deterrent effect a $200 fine would have on someone making $200,000 a year.

    But basing it on the value of the car makes no sense to me, if for no other reason than the fact that car value is highly variable, even among identical models. Should the driver of a 2010 PT Cruiser with 50,000 miles on the clock, a sunroof, leather interior and automatic transmission pay a higher fine than the driver of a 2001 base model PT Cruiser with 200,000 miles on the odometer and no options? The two cars are essentially identical. How would it be rational to impose a different fine on their drivers for the same violation?

    How about a guy who rents a 2014 Ford Fusion Titanium (value about $30,000) for a weekend road trip because he doesn't trust the old beater Ford he usually drives on a long trip. If he speeds in the rented Fusion, should he have to pay more than he would if he speeds in his old beater?

    I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

    by ObamOcala on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 11:33:31 AM PDT

  •  Meanwhile over at Redstate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    they are debating if a person who makes more money should have votes worth more than the person who makes less.

    This proposal is a very bad government idea if in fact we believe in equal treatment under the law and a very slippery slope.

  •  I think the various notes about the value of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb

    the car not necessarily being a valid indicator of wealth may be valid. A better scheme indexes the fines to some combination of the violator's income and wealth. I know that Finland has laws in which various fines are pegged to income, and that's great. They've had some millionaires pay "staggering" speeding tickets.

    I strongly disagree with the notion that "fines are supposed to be small". In my mind, fines are supposed to be large enough to deter the unwanted behavior. Years ago, I read an interview with Victoria Principal (yeah, yeah, I was probably in a doctor's office or something) in which she said that when she went to her hairdressers, she just parked in a no-parking zone and paid the fine. No-Parking zones are not supposed to function as "reserved for people wealthy enough to pay for them parking spots". I would literally not have a problem with charging Bill Gates a million dollars for a parking violation. It's still a smaller fraction of his overall wealth than I would pay.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 03:04:25 PM PDT

    •  So, I just voted for "Agree", because I prefer a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arodb

      system indexed to actual income/wealth, rather than specifically to the value of one's car .

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 03:12:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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