By on September 5, 2010

Would you pre-pay $25 in order to drive at ninety for twenty-four hours on Nevada’s highway’s? Nonpartisan Nevada gubernatorial candidate Eugene “Gino” DiSimone thinks so. According to his projections, his so called “free (fee?) limit plan” would generate $1.3 billion per year, helping solve Nevada’s budget crisis. The math seems a little sketchy, but here it is:

The cornerstone of his Nevada Three Step Recovery Plan (#2 is to deport all illegal aliens) is to get enrolled in the program, have a vehicle safety check, purchase a transponder, and pay for the privilege of speeding via your cell phone. And just how did Gino cpme up with that number? (from his website):


By questioning numerous NV Highway Patrol Officers, I asked this question:


If there was a law that allowed people to purchase the privilege to drive fast, say up to 90 mph for $25 a day, on any given day, what percentage of drivers would do it?


About 30 – 40%

That is about 3 or 4 out of 10 drivers! WOW! However, let us be much more conservative and lower the estimate to 10% of the drivers. (Conversely that says 90% will not be interested.) Based on my lower estimate (1 out of 10), here is the math:

10% of 1.7 Million drivers = 170,000 drivers

On any given day, at 25$ this comes to: $25 times 170,000 = $4.25 Million per day

Assume only 6 days per week we get: $25.5 Million per week

Each year this comes to: $1.3 Billion per year!!!

Call me a skeptic, but I wonder…Nevada’s current limit is 75. If Nevada enforcement is like in the rest of the West, ten miles over the limit is the grace window, or 85. That’s five miles under ninety. Will there be a grace for that too? And how many cops are there on the mostly remote stretches of  Nevada’s highways?

According to a Fox News story: “The Nevada Highway Patrol isn’t keen on the idea, saying it would lead to increased injuries and traffic deaths.”

Anyway, how about a graduated plan? $50 for one hundred mph? $75 for one-ten? How about a fee to just turn the clock back to 1973, when Nevada didn’t have a posted speed limit. How much would you pay for that?

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42 Comments on “(Pre)Pay-To-Speed: Nevada Candidate’s Proposal To Fill State Coffers...”

  • avatar

    This just proves that speed limits are not made for safety, but for the ability to issue speeding tickets (or sell speeding license). Same way red-light cameras don’t increase safety, but revenue.

    And if those legal speeders hit my car, will the state use that revenue to reimburse me for their pimped-out speeding track on public roads?
    How about a fee to get away with murder and child molestation? I mean, budgets are tight….

    DEA could sell some of the seized drugs on the market to pay for Police expenses.

    • 0 avatar

      This just proves that Mr. DiSimone is guilty of plagiarism. The Catholic Church did the math more than 500 years ago and came up with the bright idea of selling indulgences.

    • 0 avatar

      “This just proves that speed limits are not made for safety, but for the ability to issue speeding tickets (or sell speeding license). Same way red-light cameras don’t increase safety, but revenue.”
      Hmm…With this logic then doing 80 mph in a school zone should be allowed as your speed has nothing to do with safety.  This may also imply that skill of the driver has nothing to do with safety either, or weather or the type of car they drive or…  You may want to caveat such a general statement.
      So speeding or running red lights are not actions to be deterred or punished when caught or…what?

    • 0 avatar

      @jaje, good point about school zones.  I almost completely agree with you- almost.  It annoys me when a high school, full of nearly grown kids who do or will soon drive and vote, located at a traffic light, with crosswalks and walk signals, somehow rates the same 20mph speed zone as a primary school full of curious and unpredictable young’uns.
      My high school was on a busy street but it didn’t have a speed zone.  One day kid jaywalked half a block from the traffic light by bolting through four busy lanes of fast traffic.  He almost caused a bad accident when a pickup slammed its brakes on to avoid killing him.  Luckily he only bounced off the truck, picked himself off the ground, and ran away.  The only damage were bruises on his body and his dignity.  Know what?  The stupid idiot got what he deserved!  Out front of a different high school in a different time the pickup driver might lose his license.  Where’s the justice in that?
      Another thing that really incenses me is seeing crossing paid guards block traffic so an empty schoolbus can pull out of the school parking lot instead of just waiting for the traffic light…

      Where’s my coffee, that’ll calm me down! :)

  • avatar

    Next thing you know they’ll be legalizing prostitution so they can collect taxes on it!

  • avatar

    “I’ll but THAT for a dollar!”

  • avatar
    Jerry Sutherland

    Interesting concept-Jim touched on this subject a few weeks ago.

  • avatar

    I have my doubts, just because of the 75mph limit and the grace for 10mph. I remember doing 90 routinely in utah where it was probably 75. there just wasn’t any traffic, and you could see quite far ahead.

    • 0 avatar

      Pre-pay to speed makes about as much sense as:
      1) A Pickup truck with a rear wing
      2) A lift-kit on a Prius
      3) <fill in the blank>
      …and the residents of Nevada wonder why their state finances are in such dire straits…

  • avatar

    up it to 100. And I’ll pay

  • avatar

    I’ve always thought that this should be an included in the price of tolls roads. If I’m paying to drive on this thing I want to drive as fast as I damn well please. Its never happened to me, but I can’t imagine how angry I would be to get a speeding ticket on a road that I specifically paid to drive on because it was faster than the free surface-streets.

    • 0 avatar

      Not as angry as I’d be if I paid to drive on the same road and some numbnut who thinks he’s Don Garlits rear-ended me doing 130 in his Toyota Sienna.

    • 0 avatar

      Simple- every driver in the country learns something called “lane discipline.”  Slower traffic keep right and pass on the left.  Yeah… simple… um, let me get back on that one.

      Was it Dale Earnhardt or Don Garlits?  I suspect that in each’s respective driving career, the former rear-ended a lot more people than the latter.  (The automatic email had your original comment.)

    • 0 avatar

      ‘Lane Discipline’ is strictly observed in Germany and the reason German cars have excellent binders. In that country, someone pulling a ‘left-lane bandit’ will very quickly find a Mercedes or BMW in their rear view mirror with flashing headlights, inches from the LLB’s rear bumper.

      Likewise, if the LLB tries to pull some of that smartass tapping the brakes or slowing down sh!t, they’ll also quickly find themselves with a traffic citation. I’ve read that it’s quite legal to inform the German highway patrol of someone violating traffic laws and they’ll actually issue a ticket based on that basis, alone.

    • 0 avatar

      ‘Lane Discipline’ is strictly observed in Germany and the reason German cars have excellent binders. In that country, someone pulling a ‘left-lane bandit’ will very quickly find a Mercedes or BMW in their rear view mirror with flashing headlights, inches from the LLB’s rear bumper


      The problem is that North American law enforcement isn’t built around the idea of consistent enforcement; it’s built around the blitz.  You don’t keep order, you keep people on their toes.  Ask any parent: consistent enforcement, even of lax rules, gets you well-behaved children; spot checks get you constant envelope-pushing.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I know what I’d do if I won only $25 dollars at the casino.  Actually about 90% of the West should have  a speed limit of 90mph.  (And I say that having lived in NM for the past decade.)

  • avatar

    125 mph and $75 a month will do it for me.

  • avatar

    you’d pay all that money only to come up on a prius in the fast lane doing only 60 in a 75

  • avatar

    Presuming he’s elected, would I spend an extra $25 to spend less time in a state run by that bozo?  Yes, it’s worth considering.

  • avatar

    I’d vote for any politician that promised to torture, then kill, left lane bandits.
    Seriously.  Do it on prime time tv.

  • avatar

    If this proposal passes muster in Nevada, I would not be suprised to see the 10 mph grace window with the current 75 mph go out the window; go 76 mph and get nailed big time by the Nevada highway Patrol.  Also creating what is essentially a two-tier system would create all sorts of problems-like maintaining lane discipline for one-keeping all the slower traffic in the right lane
    would be a major hassle.  What about driving skill,logically one would think that some type of
    driving test above that required for a regular driving license would be required as well.  At least it doesn’t seem as onerous as those automated ticketing machine.

    • 0 avatar

      It would generate really, really strict enforcement for the first few months. After that, apathy would win out–as it always does. I grew up in Nevada. When the 75 MPH speed limit first came back the NHP didn’t much like it and you would get nailed for 78mph. After a few months it went back to the normal enforcement.

  • avatar

    If I lived in a western and wide open state and this was on offer I would not be interested at only a 90 limit. as has been said most states out West will not bother you at 0 over on their interstates and boondocks roads
    I lived in the west in the 70s and and drove a M-benz 250SL over 250,000 miles when I was out there and in the boondocks much of the time at 120mph or so and never got a ticket I visit my sister in New Mexico each spring driving my 2004 MINI Cooper S out there from Maine and again out in the boondocks it has been safe to drive at speed that is comfortable for the road and the conditions… this year I drove on an arrow straight state highway from Santa Fe down to the Carlsbad area early one morning and saw no other vehicles for over 120 miles
    All that said if they were to offer a no limit transponder with car and driver inspection required at a given fee per 24 hours I think I would byte but I would hope that it required some sort of advanced driver qualification

  • avatar

    Would I be interested?  Yes, but the lane discipline issue is paramount.  Come to think of it, it is critical even without such a plan.  Almost every day I encounter some self righteous idiot driving 55 in the left lane.  And contrary to popular belief, it is rarely a Prius hogging the left lane.  A Camry or Taurus driven by an older male is the typical offender.  The hazard created by these selfish a-holes is amazing.

    • 0 avatar

      Once you get around an LLB, spray them with your windshield washers.  It’s not really dangerous but it’ll make you feel better.  Either way they won’t understand but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of having annoyed them back. :)

    • 0 avatar

      Driving at or below the speed limit in the left lane is bad enough, but what’s really aggravating is when an LLB sees a cop lurking on the side of the road, they’ll slam on their brakes and slow down even more. It’s also quite dangerous in a heavy traffic situation and more than a few accidents (some serious) have been caused by this kind of moronic behavior.

      And why is Cheech Marin running for governor of Nevada?

  • avatar

    My boss and I took the GT to SLC down I-84  for the Ute-OSU game a while back. Must have driven 85-90 on I-84 for at least 3-4 hours. At speed, you can really “feel” the condition of the freeway surface. With all the crazy ass surface treatments (concrete with grooves, chip seal, asphalt, old concrete sections overlayed with asphalt, old concrete), I’m not sure there are many highway sections worthy of speed, particularly where the freeze/thaw cycles are at play.

  • avatar
    Richard B

    I don’t think it’s a good idea and people will not pay $175 a week for this. They may pony up for a couple of weekends a year, but that’s it.

  • avatar

    Driving over 70 mph will create a loud howling sound on a section of I-15 between the California state line and Las Vegas. It must the interaction between the texture on the concrete surface and the tires. The howling is loud enough to cause the driver to slow down.

  • avatar

    Quite right, not every stretch of road is built for speed simply because its remote and straight.  Should such a law be passed, I think the biggest concern for the State of Nevada would be being sued by the family of some Bo and Luke Duke wannabe who launched his car off the road doing a buck ten.

  • avatar

    I think the idea is lame and not well thought out.  In Nevada, there are only 2 interstates, I-80 and I-15, and both are mainly oriented east-west.  There are no north-south interstates or other expressways, mainly just 2 lane roads with conventional intersections.  As many have pointed out, the interstate speed limits are mostly 75 mph, with the usual grace amount for going a little faster.  The 2-lane roads in most rural areas are posted at 70 mph, higher than in almost any other state, which is plenty fast given the terrain, pavement condition (mostly good in my experience), and relative lack of traffic.

  • avatar

    Raise the limit from 90 to 150 and I’ll pay.  It’d still be far cheaper than the $1000 or so I pay regularly between flights and car rental fees to drive on the Autobahn.  But, as many have commented before, lane discipline would have to be very strictly enforced.

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