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Speeding Ticket By Income November 15, 2006

Posted by jojoe in Politico.

Do you think it would be fair for the price of a speeding ticket to vary by income? The argument “for” is that the concept behind a speeding ticket is to deter future speeding and it will only make an impression on the rich if the amount is significant. The argument “against” is that the act of speeding is prohibited because it is dangerous, and the danger is the same whether a rich person does it or a poor person does it.  For you philsophers, the “for” argument is essentially utilitarian and the “against” Kantian.

I must say in this case that I think a graduated speeding ticket makes some sense. For practical considerations, you could graduate the fine according to the blue book value of the car. The value of the car being a proxy for a persons “wealth”.




1. pete - November 15, 2006

I think that idea that speeding tickets costs should vary by the wealth of the offender sucks.

2. pete - November 15, 2006

I believe the comment should have been worded:

I think the idea, speeding tickets should vary by the wealth of the offender, sucks.

3. Chris - November 15, 2006

Doesn’t insurance go up if you get a speeding ticket (assuming you are no longer eligible for defensive driving). If so, then it is graduated based on the cost of insurance which is somewhat based on the value of your car because your insurance should go up a similar % if you have a ford taurus or a cadillac.

4. Petie - November 15, 2006

Well, I have a definite issue with using the blue book value of the car because our particular car doesn’t really adequately explain our current financial situation. I am sensitive to the model of car I drive because after my accident I overhead the lady I hit talking on her cell phone. She said, “she drives a LEXUS.” My insurance was slammed with fees for her to have chiropractic work done. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Her car had minor bumper injury.

The car I drive doesn’t indicate anything about our current economic situation. We bought that car when we had double income, no kids. (aka, “DINK”) I just think if you’re going to charge the wealthy more then you need a better indicator of wealth, and, well, what would that be?

I do agree with adding a tax on gasoline. I think those that drive more and waste more energy should be paying the price. I also agree with tolls because, again, if you’re using the roads more – you should pay more for them.

5. Maria - November 15, 2006

Makes more sense to me to vary the fine by “possible damage caused” as opposed to wealth… The argument we were talking about before: The fact that trucks, SUVs, and bigger vehicles in general cause a lot more damage in an accident than a smaller vehicle.

Speed kills. If you ‘re speeding on a big truck, whether you can afford it or not, whether you’re leasing it, or not, whether your financial situation has changed since you bought the car, I would be perfectly ok with those people paying more for a speeding ticket, because they are truly a bigger hazard for everybody else on the road.

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