Improvements in Virginia brought to you by new fines on speeders

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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