Towards the replacement of traffic tickets / by kevin murray

As reported by, it is estimated, "…that somewhere between 25 and 50 million traffic tickets are issued each year. Assuming an average ticket cost of $150.00, the total up front profit from tickets ranges from 3.75 to 7.5 billion dollars."  So most definitely, traffic tickets are a very big business, as well as the fact that a significant amount of traffic tickets also have the consequence of increasing the driver's insurance premium.  So that traffic tickets for anyone, receiving such, can really be a budget breaker, and is in actuality for some people, a trigger point, for becoming indebted to the issuer of the traffic ticket to the extent, that with late penalties, fees, and possible license suspension, this all combined results in very negative consequences, all stemming from one traffic ticket, of which, so many of these traffic tickets issued have gone up in price substantially over recent years.


The fact that traffic tickets are often used as the necessary means to make or meet budgets for various municipal services, such as police officers, the judicial system, city services, and the like, necessitates a policy of police officers having to essentially write a certain amount of tickets each and every day while they are on patrol, and consequently, not too surprisingly, the interest of those officers becomes finding targets to ticket, irrespective of how dangerous or not, a particular driver actually is.  Additionally, the fact that so many people are stopped each day, in which,, states, "Speeding is the most common moving violation in the country, with approximately 100,000 drivers receiving speeding tickets per day,"  essentially means that thousands upon thousands of drivers are subject to being dealt with by a police officer that carries handcuffs, a lethal weapon, and pretty much has the capability to detain or arrest a given driver, apparently based on that officer's perception of the circumstances of the situation.  


In the general scheme of things, pulling over cars for minor and arbitrarily defined traffic violations, and thereupon ticketing those drivers, seems like a waste of what a good officer of the law should actually be concentrating their resources and their time upon.  That is to say, people that are driving erratically, or in a manner that a reasonable person would interpret as being dangerous, is something that would seem worthwhile to pull that vehicle over for; whereas generic stuff, such as speeding slightly over the speed limit or not coming to a full and complete stop, is in almost all cases, not worth stopping and ticketing the driver of that vehicle.


Of course, when it comes to revenue, no municipality wants to give it up, but the answer to that dilemma would be to start charging drivers of vehicles a fee or tax for the miles driven on their car each year; as well as a higher fee or tax rate for those vehicles that are heavier and also for those vehicles that are more expensive.  Obviously, the heavier a vehicle, the more wear and tear that they put on the roads, as well as the more miles driven, the more that driver has used the roads, and for those that buy expensive cars, an appropriate back tax should be imposed on those that can readily afford to pay more.  Now, it could be argued, that the current fuel tax already adequately addresses these things, but it doesn't address the fact that traffic tickets are in so many ways, a regressive form of taxation, that impacts negatively the poor and disadvantage the most, in which, a usage tax would be a more equitable means to receive revenue and to be more fair about it.