As many states and local municipalities struggle to balance budgets and find funding for services like police protection, it seems like many are turning to alternative means of raising revenues. Since politicians are invariably loathe to actually raise taxes to pay for the services that people expect, speed traps are becoming increasingly popular. According to Detroit News columnist John McCormick, not only are more speed traps being used, the fines are getting increasingly punitive. Drivers in Virginia might want to be particularly watchful of speed limits. Surpassing the limit by 15 mph will now cost you $1,250 plus court costs. Topping 80 mph will cost you double that and possibly jail time. All this seems pretty extreme, especially if a driver isn't driving recklessly or the speed limit is set artificially low. Speeding in a residential area is unacceptable, but going 80 on a wide open highway in clear conditions is not necessarily dangerous.

[Source: Detroit News]