The Truth About Cars » Ticket The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:27:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Ticket Traffic Tickets On A Sliding Scale? Maybe It’s Time Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:21:54 +0000 ferrari_458_italia_supercar_4-wide

In January 2010 a Swiss court handed down a $290,000 fine on a traffic violation. To be sure , the violation in question was a big one and involved speeds approaching 180mph. Police say that, once they rolled in behind the speeding car, it took it nearly a half mile to come to a complete stop. Apparently the driver had avoided earlier detection by radar controlled cameras because his speed was so high that it exceeded the cameras’ ability to measure the car’s velocity. Despite the severity of the offense, it was not the car’s speed that caused the severity of the fine, it was the driver’s income. That’s an idea I think I could get behind.

Think about it. As the gap between the rich and the poor in our society continues to widen, we are setting ourselves up for a situation where the elite can do virtually anything they damn well please. Drive like an ass and that’s a $1000 fine. For you and I that’s quite a bite but to a hedge fund manager making well into the six figures it’s chump change. He can pay that with a smile and go right back to putting the rest of us in danger.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Of course our hypothetical investment banker will eventually score enough points to lose his license, but before that happens he may have other options that will keep him on the road longer than you or I. Higher insurance rates are no bother. The cost of driver retraining and other methods used by state to reform habitual traffic offenders is minor. In some states they even let you choose your own driver’s school, and if the option exists he may end up hooning around on a racetrack as part of an advanced driver safety course rather than spending our Saturday in an overheated classroom with the rest of us budget conscious rejects.

Thank God the rich have enough political influence to stamp out this idea before it can even take root, but let’s ponder an egalitarian society where people are actually expected to redress their wrongs. As my old man used to inform me before he had to do what hurt him more than it hurt me, you aint gonna learn if you don’t feel the burn. Call it “class warfare” if you like, but if I have to feel the heat, why shouldn’t everyone?

Thomas Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He writes for any car website that will have him and enjoys public speaking. According to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.

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Piston Slap: Not my Ticket, Not my Problem? Tue, 22 Jan 2013 12:23:00 +0000 Bryan writes:

A question I’d love to see posed to the Best and Brightest: What to do when you’re sent tickets for a car you’re not liable for?

I just got two tickets this morning, for parking infractions that occurred 9.5 years ago, under a previous owner of a car that I bought 9 years ago. I’m not going to pay them just to quell the payment demands, since I consider this extortion.

So, is it better for me to simply never acknowledge receipt of the tickets, since they’re not my liability? Or will that put a black mark on my credit rating? I’m concerned that trying to rationally explain things to the parking enforcement company will only get me stuck deeper in the problem – they don’t care about the truth, they just want to get paid.

This has happened to my parents twice before, so I think it’s a common problem – but I don’t know what the best thing to do is, and I’d love to see how the Best and Brightest have dealt with it.

Sajeev answers:

When can you ever ignore an infraction from a law enforcement organization?

Well, definitely not here. And it isn’t extortion, it’s a clerical error. Probably. Hopefully.

I had this problem with a car (Fox Body, ‘natch) I once sold, as I never filled out some paperwork with TxDOT that officially released the vehicle from my name. And the kid that bought it? He decided to run it up and down the Sam Houston Tollway with my license plates.  So some official TxDOT paperwork sent to the billing peeps at the Tollway cleared it up.

More important point: depending on the people behind those tickets, yes, it very well could hurt your credit rating via collection agency.  You need to show proof of ownership (title transfer docs, etc.) and discuss it with the parking enforcement people.  If you still think they aren’t playing fair, talk to a lawyer who specializes in ticket dismissal.   Of course, all of this depends on your ability to prove ownership of the vehicle after the tickets were issued.

Get the paperwork, who knows what else happened with this car before you had it!


Send your queries to Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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Massachusetts: Supreme Court Approves Charging Innocent Ticket Recipients Thu, 22 Sep 2011 14:31:25 +0000

Motorists issued a traffic ticket in Massachusetts will have to pay money to the state whether or not they committed the alleged crime. According to a state supreme court ruling handed down yesterday, fees are to be imposed even on those found completely innocent. The high court saw no injustice in collecting $70 from Ralph C. Sullivan after he successfully fought a $100 ticket for failure to stay within a marked lane.

Bay State drivers given speeding tickets and other moving violations have twenty days either to pay up or make a non-refundable $20 payment to appeal to a clerk-magistrate. After that, further challenge to a district court judge can be had for a non-refundable payment of $50. Sullivan argued that motorists were being forced to pay “fees” not assessed on other types of violations, including drug possession. He argued this was a violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause, but the high court justices found this to be reasonable.

“We conclude that there is a rational basis for requiring those cited for a noncriminal motor vehicle infraction alone to pay a filing fee and not requiring a filing fee for those contesting other types of civil violations,” Justice Ralph D. Gants wrote for the court. “Where the legislature provides greater process that imposes greater demands on the resources of the District Court, it is rational for the legislature to impose filing fees, waivable where a litigant is indigent, to offset part of the additional cost of these judicial proceedings.”

The court insisted that allowing a hearing before a clerk-magistrate instead of an assistant clerk, as well as allowing a de novo hearing before a judge constituted benefits that justified the cost. Last year, the fees for the clerk-magistrate hearings generated $3,678,620 in revenue for the courts. Although Sullivan raised the issue of due process during oral argument, the court would not rule on the merits of that issue.

“I am disappointed that the SJC did not consider my due process argument,” Sullivan told TheNewspaper. “I suppose that some other driver who gets charged with a moving violation will need to consider doing that. At least this decision will give them a blueprint for a focused due process argument.”

Sullivan, an attorney, is not planning on further appeal to the US Supreme Court.

“While the decision did not go my way, I am safe in the knowledge that I gave it my best shot,” Sullivan said. “I took on this case because I felt that it was the right thing to do.”

Source: Salem Police Department v. Sullivan (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 9/21/2011)


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Denver Boot Still Sees Action In Namesake City Wed, 18 May 2011 18:00:21 +0000
Invented by a Denver Symphony Orchestra violinist in the 1950s, the Denver Boot now immobilizes parking scofflaws worldwide. While not used as frequently as, say, parking-ticket-revenue-obsessed San Francisco, the Boot still makes regular appearances in the city that gave its name to the device.

The owner of this Tahoe was probably feeling carefree on a beautiful Colorado spring day… until he or she saw this.

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UK to Impose Tax on Speeding and Parking Tickets Fri, 08 Jan 2010 15:42:28 +0000 (

British officials are making plans to impose a tax on speeding and parking citations this year in an effort to raise money to cover a growing budget deficit. Secretary of State for Justice Claire Ward announced the plan in a written answer to a question posed by Member of Parliament Greg Knight. The new revenue would be labeled as a “victims’ surcharge.”

“It is Government policy that, where possible, offenders should contribute to victims’ services as part of their reparation. Provisions were therefore included in the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 providing for a surcharge to be payable on criminal convictions, penalty notices for disorder and on fixed penalty notices for road traffic offenses where the offenses are persistent and serious,” Ward said. “We intend to add the surcharge to other disposals as soon as it becomes feasible to do so.”

The tax, which currently stands at £15 (US $24), would be imposed on all forms of speeding and parking tickets. Given that there were 1,462,235 speed camera citations issued in 2007, the plan would generate an extra £21,933,525 (US $35,020,571) from the increase in the cost of a ticket from £60 (US $96) to £75 ($120). Expanding the fee to cover parking tickets and other non-moving violations would more than double that figure.

The victims’ surcharge was first created in April 2007 as a means of forcing violent criminals to compensate their victims. The fee would now be imposed on motorists whose technical violations — overstaying at a parking meter, forgetting to wear a seatbelt or driving a few MPH over the limit — have no victims.

The UK move follows a global trend. Last week, Georgia became the latest US state to turn toward speeding ticket surcharges as a means of balancing the budget. Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Texas have similar programs.

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Georgia Enacts Speeding Ticket Tax Wed, 06 Jan 2010 14:45:22 +0000 The fourth or fifth oldest profession (

Drivers in Georgia were hit for the first time last Friday with a new tax on speeding tickets designed to raise between $25 and $30 million in annual revenue for the general fund. The plan was modeled on the driver responsibility taxes in states like Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Texas. A similar plan in Virginia was so unpopular that legislators repealed the tax within six months and refunded all of the money that had been collected under the program.

Governor Sonny Perdue sold the plan as a tax that only hits “Super Speeders.” The levy first proposed by state officials, however, would have been imposed upon anyone who receives a citation that carries license points — no matter how minor — as is the practice in the states with so-called driver responsibility fees. For now, the legislature decided to limit the tax to those accused of driving over 85 MPH anywhere in Georgia or over 75 MPH on a two-lane road.

Those accused of such “super speeding” offenses will pay a hefty fine to the jurisdiction where the violation occurred. Within thirty days, the state’s motor vehicle department will mail a bill demanding a separate $200 payment. This secondary punishment must be paid within ninety days of conviction, as those who cannot afford the fee will have their license automatically suspended. Those who fail to receive the bill or suspension notice in the mail are out of luck because the new law does not require any effort on the part of the state to ensure the letter is actually received.

“No other notice shall be required to make the driver’s license suspension effective,” Georgia Code Section 40-6-189 states.

License suspension under the new law become even more lucrative by imposing a $100 “restoration fee” for license reinstatement. The bill also ups the reinstatement fee for other offenses to as much as $400. In Texas, for example, the speeding ticket tax generated over 1.5 million suspended licenses. Lawmakers in the Lone Star state were disappointed, however, by the amount of revenue this generated. It turns out that only about one-third of fee recipients were able to pay to regain their licenses. The remainder simply drove without a license or insurance.

View a copy of the law in a 75k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File House Bill 160 (Georgia House of Representatives, 5/5/2009)

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