View Poll Results: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income one makes?

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  • Yes

    40 35.40%
  • no

    64 56.64%
  • maybe/other

    9 7.96%
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Thread: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

  1. #11
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    Re: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    The problem with fines is that for those with enough money to ignore them, they fail to act as a deterrent. However, speeding tickets also lead to license suspension, so I would say that income based fines aren't required.
    I don't think that a suspension of a license is that much a detterent towards billionaires either. All they have to do is hire someone to drive them around.
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    Re: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

    Yes, no ,maybe?

    Europe slapping rich with massive traffic fines


    European countries are increasingly pegging speeding fines to income as a way to punish wealthy scofflaws who would otherwise ignore tickets.

    Advocates say a $290,000 (euro203,180.83) speeding ticket slapped on a millionaire Ferrari driver in Switzerland was a fair and well-deserved example of the trend.

    Germany, France, Austria and the Nordic countries also issue punishments based on a person's wealth. In Germany the maximum fine can be as much as $16 million compared to only $1 million in Switzerland. Only Finland regularly hands out similarly hefty fine to speeding drivers, with the current record believed to be a euro170,000 (then about $190,000) ticket in 2004.

    The Swiss court appeared to set a world record when it levied the fine in November on a man identified in the Swiss media only as "Roland S." Judges in the eastern canton of St. Gallen described him as a "traffic thug" in their verdict, which only recently came to light.

    "As far as we're concerned this is very good," Sabine Jurisch, a road safety campaigner with the Swiss group Road Cross.
    From a constitutional/legal perspective, such a law would never hold up in this country. It would violate the idea of everyone being treated the same under the law.

    But from an economic perspective, what the Europeans are doing actually makes a lot of sense. A millionaire is just not going to be deterred by a $100 ticket in the same way that a poor or middle-class person will be. If the goal is to reduce traffic violations, the rich person will need a much larger fine to have the same deterrent effect.
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    Question Re: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    From a constitutional/legal perspective, such a law would never hold up in this country. It would violate the idea of everyone being treated the same under the law.

    But from an economic perspective, what the Europeans are doing actually makes a lot of sense. A millionaire is just not going to be deterred by a $100 ticket in the same way that a poor or middle-class person will be. If the goal is to reduce traffic violations, the rich person will need a much larger fine to have the same deterrent effect.
    Yeah ok,... and we all know the cops who write these tickets are going to enforce the laws equally under a system where "writing a ticket on a rich guy nets them more money than writing one or a poor one."

    We have problems enough with 'selective enforcement' as it is.

    Don't we?

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    Re: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuz Life View Post
    Yeah ok,... and we all know the cops who write these tickets are going to enforce the laws equally under a system where "writing a ticket on a rich guy nets them more money than writing one or a poor one."

    We have problems enough with 'selective enforcement' as it is.

    Don't we?
    As long as the cop who writes the ticket isn't the one who determined the fine, and isn't rewarded based on the amount of revenue he brings in, I don't see this being a problem. The cop would just issue the ticket and that would be the end of his involvement (assuming the driver doesn't contest it), much as it is now. The cop would have no particular incentive to write tickets for rich guys as opposed to the poor.
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    Exclamation Re: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    As long as the cop who writes the ticket isn't the one who determined the fine, and isn't rewarded based on the amount of revenue he brings in, I don't see this being a problem. The cop would just issue the ticket and that would be the end of his involvement (assuming the driver doesn't contest it), much as it is now. The cop would have no particular incentive to write tickets for rich guys as opposed to the poor.
    Those of us who have cops in our familiers or who have close relationships with them,.. know very well about "non quota,... quotas."

    Consider drug confiscation laws and many departments get to "keep" all the money and toys they find (and confiscate.)

    Should it be that way? No.

    But you can't deny the reality that the temptation is there.

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    Re: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuz Life View Post
    Those of us who have cops in our familiers or who have close relationships with them,.. know very well about "non quota,... quotas."

    Consider drug confiscation laws and many departments get to "keep" all the money and toys they find (and confiscate.)

    Should it be that way? No.

    But you can't deny the reality that the temptation is there.
    Perhaps. That sort of temptation would certainly skew the economics of it. Maybe the countries that are implementing these laws don't have the same sort of problems with police quotas that many US states do. But assuming they don't, then I think these policies might be a good idea.
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    Re: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Perhaps. That sort of temptation would certainly skew the economics of it. Maybe the countries that are implementing these laws don't have the same sort of problems with police quotas that many US states do. But assuming they don't, then I think these policies might be a good idea.
    Maybe.

    But economic hard times and corruption being what it is,...

    I don't see how it wouldn't lead to abuse (selective enforcment).

    That's all.

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    Re: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuz Life View Post
    Those of us who have cops in our familiers or who have close relationships with them,.. know very well about "non quota,... quotas."

    Consider drug confiscation laws and many departments get to "keep" all the money and toys they find (and confiscate.)

    Should it be that way? No.

    But you can't deny the reality that the temptation is there.
    Fun tidbit - many states have rules that money seized in drug busts and handled through the state courts goes to the general state treasury. Because the federal government has a rule that splits the money with state police departments if the case is resolved through federal courts, some state police units deliberately bring big money cases to federal prosecutors in order to get their hands on a chunk of that money.
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    Thumbs up Re: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Fun tidbit - many states have rules that money seized in drug busts and handled through the state courts goes to the general state treasury. Because the federal government has a rule that splits the money with state police departments if the case is resolved through federal courts, some state police units deliberately bring big money cases to federal prosecutors in order to get their hands on a chunk of that money.
    Yes,... I work in the field with these realities on many days.

    In addition, I hear our local chief brag about how the druggies are helping fund his department (and relieving the taxpayers burdens) all the time.

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    Re: Should traffic fines and other fines be based on the income the offender makes?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Fun tidbit - many states have rules that money seized in drug busts and handled through the state courts goes to the general state treasury. Because the federal government has a rule that splits the money with state police departments if the case is resolved through federal courts, some state police units deliberately bring big money cases to federal prosecutors in order to get their hands on a chunk of that money.
    we have a law that means the convicted person has to prove his assets are not ill gotten gains, if he cant they are seized and sold, trials are very costly, why should the taxpayer foot all the cost.

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