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Los Angeles
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Pro: Traffic Fines Proportional To Income

If you have ever driven a car, chances are you have committed a traffic violation. The majority of drivers have. It just so happens that we don’t get caught every single time.

It can be something trivial, like forgetting to signal in a turn lane with a green-lit arrow, or it can be something reckless, such as speeding.

Depending on the caliber of the crime, you will most likely be cited and sent on your way if you get caught. However, the price tag might as well be written on an etch-a-sketch.

According to the California DMV website, “A traffic ticket with a $36 base fine may actually cost you $146…”

California adds a 20 percent surcharge to all traffic tickets, so with this in mind it’s possible to calculate a theoretical situation.

If you received a ticket for $200, barring any additional fees, that ticket will cost $240 once the state surcharge is added. That’s roughly three days pay at minimum wage.

That’s an insane amount of time to be spent for what can be chalked up to as an honest mistake on some occasions.

As with most facilitations of the law, this affects the low-income class the most. Sure, the citation may very well be deserved, but what some would consider a minor annoyance could mean someone else sacrificing dinner in order be in good standing with the law.

This isn’t an issue regarding the law, and it also doesn’t concern equality. This is about equity and the absurd lengths municipal institutions will go to in order to further line their pockets.

All cities are paid for on the backs of the taxpayers and are supplemented by those who disobey the law and were subjected to financial restitutions.

Community service is an ideal option for those who simply can’t afford to shell out the money but are still willing to take responsibility for their actions.

The best solution is to have the fines be proportional to one’s income. A wealthy person would truly feel Uncle Sam’s pinch at our pocketbooks and a pauperized person could not have to worry about a parking ticket ruining their lives.

Victor Rodriguez
Editor-in-Chief Spring 2017 Managing Editor Fall 2016 Managing Editor Spring 2016 Opinions Editor Fall 2015

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