A tax bang for fireworks bucks
The tax also rises

Virginia's speeding tax could be very costly

Virginia drivers, beware. If you ignore the state's speed limit signs you could end up owing a $3,550 ticket.

Traffic_stop_drawing_2 That stunning amount comes courtesy of a new law that incorporates a multi-year traffic tax, part of the Old Dominion's "driver responsibility" law aimed at repeat offenders.

Under the law, which took effect July 1, traffic offenses ranging from expired licenses to speeding to driving under the influence will get violators not only a fine and points (that could carry immediate costs as well as increased insurance rates), but also a $350 tax.

Even costlier, the tax -- officially known as a civil remedial fee -- must be paid every year for three years.

Worse, the tax/fee is non-negotiable. Under the law, judges cannot waive or reduce it.

And more infuriating, at least from the perspective of Old Dominion drivers, is that the law applies only to them. Virginia cannot, at least for now, levy the tax on out-of-state motorists.

Responsible for more state money: Virginia joins a handful of other states (New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Texas; details in this MSNMoney story) in enacting driver responsibility programs.

This approach is attractive to lawmakers for a couple of reasons:

  1. Serial traffic offenders constitute most of the cases in many states.
  2. The states need the money that these violators can provide.

Why not just increase fines on every driver, not just repeatedly bad ones? In Virginia's case, the tax gives the state more fiscal flexibility.

Revenue from fines must go to public schools, but the traffic tax money, expected to be around $200 million a year, will be used to improve Virginia's roads.

10 places to slow down: Every driver knows the local speed trap. The place where cops with itchy radar gun trigger fingers are just waiting for the slightest indication that you're over the posted speed limit.

Speed Trap Exchange tracks these hot spots and has published a list of the 10 U.S. cities that you definitely don't want to be racing through.

Reno, Nev., isn't on the list, but here are a couple of my favorite traffic stops by Reno 911! officers Deputy Travis Junior and Deputy Clementine Johnson.

Comments

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anon

While many US authoroties and boards owning the right to impose local speed policies are loudly voicing the horrors of 70mph on an interstate, at the same time our fellow drivers in Europe are driving 120 .. 130 km/h without raising an eybrow. The 120 kmh is roughly 75mph.

Eli Bishop

This has been repealed:

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/22/2294.asp

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