Jul 16, 2007
Late last month, a bill snuck through the Virginia general assembly that adds considerable fees onto even trivial traffic violation tickets. If you are convicted of a driving misdemeanor (say, driving ten miles over the speed limit, which if you don't do in northern Virginia you run the risk of being rear-ended by a bored commuter) the bill can add up to one thousand dollars onto the fee. If you get nailed for something really egregious, such as driving while intoxicated, you may as well sell your car because the civil remediation fees alone will be over $2kus, never mind losing your license, jail time, and other fines. A guy named Dan Wilson has broken things down, and it's kind of scary. I'd discount it if I didn't know people in my neighborhood who've gotten hit with the "driving with a tail light out" fine already.
(One thing that doesn't even amuse me about that is the fact that to get your tail light fixed, you have to drive with your tail light out. Try explaining that to a traffic cop.)
The fines have to be paid within twenty-six (26) months of assessment: One third up front, the rest before fourteen and twenty-six months, respectively. Not quite so bad, but still a real kick between wind and water.
If you're a Virginia resident, I urge that you add your signature to this petition as soon as possible.