• Jun 27th 2007 at 10:34AM
  • 40

So they're not out to break a speeder's bank like Indiana, but Virginia has created a host of civil fines for speeders that will pay for the state's new annual $1 billion transportation package. That means that after July 1, not only will you get a bill from the judge for speeding, you will then get a much larger bill from the state. Fr'instance, drive without a license, pay $75 to the court and $900 to VA. Do 20 mph over the limit, pay $200 to the court, pay $1,050 to VA. We really love this one: if you have eight points on your license and get a speeding ticket, you'll pay an additional $75 for every point above eight, and another $100 for simply having more than eight points. That smacks of double jeopardy to us, but what do we know?

For the record, almost no one -- and not just speeders -- likes it. Court clerks are expecting to face the anger when people find out about the new fees at the courthouse window. Defense attorneys are getting ready for legal challenges. Judges are expecting people to start pleading not guilty to avoid paying the fees. Which means prosecutors will face more trials.

The "abuser fees" are only for "major" infractions, and only paid by Virginia residents. The new revenue will pay for building roads, snow removal, pothole repair, and grass mowing. David Albo, one of the legislative sponsors of the bill, took New Jersey's similar fee system as a template, and called it "a voluntary tax." After all, "if you don't commit a crime ... you don't pay anything."

Thanks for the tip, Josh

[Source: Washington Post]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Time to keep a good lawyer on retainer.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is giving up control of tax rates to the highway administration, no? Budget not so balanced this year? No problem, just lower the speed limits by 10mph, enforce it more, collect a few more hundred or thousand dollars from each motorist.... sha-bang, budget balanced!
      • 8 Years Ago
      that sucks!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I assume by these comments that "not speeding" is an alternative. To bad, as a sane person would consider that the logical choice.
        • 8 Years Ago
        The ticket game is a real racket. I refuse to play, so I do my best not to get caught up in it. As the previous poster suggested, not speeding is my most often-used tactic.

        But it's damned hard at times. Most people have an incredibly inflated view of their own abilities. If you're speeding and tailgating, you're a dangerous driver, period.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Virginia motorists convicted of minor traffic violations will face a new, multi-year tax beginning July 1. Led by state Delegate David B. Albo (R-Springfield), lawmakers slipped a driver responsibility tax into a larger transportation funding bill signed by Governor Tim Kaine (D) in April. Albo, a senior partner in the Albo & Oblon, LLP traffic law firm, can expect to see a significant increase in business as motorists seek to protect their wallet from traffic tickets that come with assessments of up to $3000 in addition to an annual point tax that tops out at $700 a year for as long as the points remain."

      (source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/18/1818.asp)

      It is down right criminal. Fed lawmakers probe big oil for price hikes but state lawmakers can raise fees by 10 times overnight and it is OK.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Do illegals have to pay these 'fees'?
      • 8 Years Ago
      yes these new rulings are scandalous. the washington post had made a pretty big fuss about them, and it will be a big stink at first. but what will the virginians be able to do? the politicians will say "we're fining people with bad driving records to keep our roads safe" or some crock like that...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Note to self:

      Don't vacation in Virginia this Summer?

      They'll lose two dollars in tourism for every dollar in fines.

      Very short sighted.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Tourism (and business and trucking...) is probably why the new ta..err, fees, are only for VA residents. Tourists won't pay the ta...err, fees.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Guess another reason not to live or drive in VA.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I am a habitual speeder, I've had a ticket at least every other year since I've had a license. Although I NEVER want to have to pay one of these exorbitant fines, I have to agree with the simple fact: if you don't speed, you will not get a ticket...it's as simple as that! If you have a reason to be speeding 20 over the limit, go to court, and you'll probably get off. If you are simply pissed off because you will continue to speed regardless & do not want to pay the ticket, good luck! Better get yourself a great radar detector (illegal in Va - ha) & set your cruise control!!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Whenever I go up North via I-95, I think the speed limit on most stretches in Virginia must be at most, 65.

      People regularly do 90-95 (in fact, if you're not doing so, you better move over to the right... and if you're not doing at least 80-85, expect to get run over by a big rig).

      So, hmm... let's think about this...
      • 8 Years Ago
      And remember--whether leaving the state permanently or just passing through VA--don't get caught using a radar detector!
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