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SB185 Traffic ticket fines based on income

Discussion in 'California' started by Lloyd, May 18, 2017.

  1. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    A new bill that passed the California senate today allows fines for traffic infractions to be based on income.

    Bill Text - SB-185 Crimes: infractions.

    If signed into law, California will be the first state in the US to do this.
     
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  2. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    #2 AudubonB, May 18, 2017
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
    Finland is famous for this;I don't know of any other such locations. I also do not know if the fine is based on income or net wealth. The latter is where thumbscrews truly could be torqued to the "Yowch!" level.

    On edit: I read through your linked text for the .0037 nanoseconds it took for my eyes to glaze over BUT, in that brief time, it appeared to me that the tenor of the bill is to diminish the statutory level of a particular fine given determination that a violator was indigent, and not to apply a super-high fine for a super-wealthy miscreant. Is this a correct reading?
     
  3. chillaban

    chillaban Active Member

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    I read the bill and maybe it’s too late for me to understand legal text, but it seems to only refer to the monthly payments under California’s widely criticized to be regressive “payment plans” for those who can’t afford their fines.
     
  4. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    You are correct. This comes from California's inability to collect its expensive fines. A 10 mph over the limit will cost you about $400. Many are unable to pay. California has 17 billion in uncollectable traffic fines.

    Important for Tesla owners who may get ticketed more under this law!
     
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  5. chillaban

    chillaban Active Member

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    Honestly, California needs more regular enforcement and smaller fines. Humans are very bad at understanding and reasoning about small-chance-high-cost risks.

    I lived in the Midwest before this and getting my speedometer above 70 in a 65 gives me goosebumps because I am seconds or minutes away from a cop trying to clock my speed.

    Around here I’ve driven at much higher speeds when traffic permits for months before a cop even tries to measure my speed. And I have the equipment to know.


    The same goes for carpool violations.


    Otherwise it is less about getting everyone to obey the rules and more about attempting to snag less fortunate people who got caught and get them on a terrible payment plan.
     
  6. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Traffic laws were supposed to be about safety, but they end up being about $$$ going to the state.
     
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  7. HumanGenome

    HumanGenome Member

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    I have no problem with this. Punishment should be equally harsh and part of that would be making it based on income.

    $500 red light ticket doesn't mean much to someone who makes $500k a year.
     
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  8. Chopr147

    Chopr147 Active Member

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    Fines should NEVER be about how much a person makes. It is SUPPOSED to be about safety not generating income. Also an example: I can make 120k a year but am divorced with child payments,alimony etc...... Do we now have the courts going over all our financials to come up with a fine? I own a business,last year made 200k, this year I lost the business. So many variables. This is going down a rabbit hole. One of the great things about this country is all are equal under the law. Figures California wants to go around the constitution
     
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  9. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    It makes California sense. More toll roads, more road taxes, running a stop sign at 55 mph is the same fine as slowing to 1 mph to conserve fuel, H2 gets more funding, etc.

    We are a state where the rich have run things for so long, we have no grip on reality. Truly rich folk often have drivers, so why do they care? Politicians seldom get ticketed, so why do they care?
     
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  10. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    can you say equal protection under the law?
    Equal Protection Clause - Wikipedia
     
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  11. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    If the motive is to induce better legal/regulatory compliance by means-adjusted fines, then it makes perfect sense.
    Swedish driver gets world's largest speeding fine after 180mph chase | Daily Mail Online
    This makes perfect sense to me. Whether fines are the best inducement for compliance or whether the traditional absurdly low US speed limits are at all justifiable are entirely different issues. My personal experience causes me to pay attention to speed limits in France, Germany and most of Europe, for that matter. in the US I rarely pay much attention. In all situations I am very attentive of driving in harmony with traffic, if there is any. Why pay attention more in Europe? Those pesky fines! Beware passing from speed-limitless Autobahn to adjacent countries! Especially when one is forced to disclose proof of financial capacity in order to discharge the citation. Ouch!
     
  12. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    In most of the US, your privilege to drive is based on your driving record. Too many speeding tickets (where I'm at 100+ is double points) and you don't get to drive. And your insurance skyrockets with ticket count. So the fine is a nuisance. The real risk in getting your license pulled and/or paying $4000 a year insurance.

    We also have double jeopardy in California. The court can take your license for the same offense that the Dept of Motor Vehicles can. So if you go >100 mph, the judge can decide to pull your license, but the DMV does not react quick after the sentencing. So the bench suspension ends, then DMV suspends your license again if you exceeded their point count.
     
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  13. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    As a part of this bill, the courts are restricted in suspending an offenders license.

    I believe their thinking is: if they can't earn, then they can't pat the fine. Again away from safety and looking only at the dollars!
     
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  14. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    Absolutely true. In the specific case I gave I had a non-US license. The US motivation is certainly "points" based, but an advantage of a Tesla is that they seem to fly "under the radar" quite often.
     
  15. Galve2000

    Galve2000 Member

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    how many "points" do u get for such an infraction? is there such a system in place in CA?

    come to think of it, the penalties in NY state are not much different. I've never heard of anyone getting pulled over for "10 over" on a highway but it can happen on local roads.

    The fines may be nominal, but once you tack on "administrative fees" the fee is often in excess of $300 -- that's for "15 over" -- but again, the fine is besides the point (no pun intended) its the points where they get you and the skyrocketing insurance premiums that follow that really bring the pain.
     
  16. SMAlset

    SMAlset Member

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    I just happened upon this thread and will admit upfront not yet having read the info on the bill. However just on it's face I have to say I'm sorry but I think this is unbelievable and I come from a place of never having had a speeding or other traffic ticket. Speeding, unsafe lane changes, driving under the influence, parking in a handicap spot when your not handicapped, etc. are all within one's control to do or not do. How breaking the law entitles you to pay less of a fine/penalty than the next person who is also in control of his actions is beyond me. They increased fines overtime to discourage people from these behaviors (and yes it generates money as well...which to be honest I'm not even sure where that money goes and gets spent on). I don't think we are talking about the super rich here in California getting tickets. Even to people who make a good income in this expensive state where everything seems heavily taxed, $500 is $500. I don't think anyone I know is flippant about money like that even if they are in the tech industry for example. Generally their living expenses are in proportion to what they make. What are people now being required to show their last few years of tax returns when they come to court? In general I do think some non-safety tickets by the time you factor in court costs etc have gotten ridiculously high. If being unable to pay a drunk driving fee gets you jail time, probably all for the better if you have been endangering lives out there with your car.

    When I get more time I will come back and read the bill's info and might change my mind. But the simple answer is for people to drive in a manner that they don't get ticketed.
     
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  17. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    So you've never even had a fender bender, ever exceeded the speed limit by 1 mph, stopped completely-waited-then-proceeded at all empty residential intersections with stop signs, always used your turn signals including to both enter and leave your driveway every time, always allowed at least 2 seconds distance to all vehicles whenever entering traffic (nobody ever had to touch their brakes), etc, etc, your entire life?

    I'll admit I'm amazed. I've never meet anyone like that, and I know a lot of people. A perfect flawless driver who has never so much as touched a painted line accidently.

    Congrats! Wish everybody was like you.
     
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  18. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    So here's the result IMO: If this is enacted, someone driving a "beater" may get a pass from getting pulled over and ticketed as there is no or minimal penalty for the driver, and the state won't be able to collect a fine. Someone driving a nice car, has the funds and will pay the full fine is more likely to see the red light in the rear view mirror. This is not equal under the law!!
     
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  19. Chopr147

    Chopr147 Active Member

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    He said never had a ticket. Far different than whether or not he is a perfect driver.

    This is what I was getting at before. Going down that rabbit hole , when does it stop?
    Don't bother with the beater doing 40 over the limit, he'll only be able to pay $50 anyway.
    This is just more of a gov't money grab.

    Here on Long Island: last year we had speed cameras in front of schools. You know how SLOW 15mph is? Go 25 and get a summons in the mail. Thank God there was such a public outcry the pols had to cancel the program.
    Not a kid in sight and i'm driving 15mph. It just pissed me off to no end. Luckily I was not alone
     
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  20. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    No, I don't think this how the fines would be assessed the car being driven is not the basis for the level of penalties.
    the government will link your income derived from tax returns to your drivers license and that the courts will fine you accordingly
     

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