Every city in North America suffers from this problem. The logic is simple:
1 - It takes policemen to catch criminals. Hire more policemen.
2 - Policemen have salaries. Paying them costs money.
3 - It's not nice to make good people pay for the crimes of the criminals.
4 - Let's fine the criminals to pay the policemen.
5 - Hmmm... Unless those fines are enormous we don't have enough criminals.
6 - We need more criminals. Let's make squinting a criminal act.
7 - Oh wow! We've got so many criminals that we're making a profit!
8 - go back to 1...
The honest truth is that most municipalities of any size are so dependent
upon the profits gained by taxing the "criminals" in their cities that they
would go bankrupt if they lost the income. They fight to get prisons in some
states. Witness the most potent weapon the police have when negotiating
their contracts. As soon as the police stop issuing tickets, the city must
cave in. They cannot survive without the revenue. Making criminals out of
the general population is one of the largest industries in North America. In
Montreal when the parking people stopped collecting the city lost many many
millions. I know from internal info that the revenue multiplier is $5 of
fines for every $1 of coins in the parking metres. The multiplier is worse
for licensing fees versus moving violations tickets.
We have highways in Montreal with some dead straight 4-lane (each way)
sections that are set to 45 mph. The police sit up on the entry ramps and
collect a brisk trade from people just crusing along alone at 60 mph.
I certainly respect policemen when they uphold law and order and protect the
citizenry from violence. I am not sure what to think when I know that most
of their time is spent indirectly working for the taxation bureau.
From: Bob Rochlin [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2002 5:34 PM
Subject: speeding tickets
Last summer I was given a ticket for going 35mph in a 25 zone. When I
it in the daylight it was a 30mph zone. In Massachusetts you insurance
premium reflects you driving record, so that ticket would cost me increased
premiums for 3 years as well as the fine.
I took a day off from work to contest the ticket. The court officer who
herd the case told me he was going to dismiss it even before my butt hit the
seat. I don't know I was one of many who had gotten the faulty tickets or if
there was some other reason for the quick dismissal, but it cost me a day
P.S. I was driving the TR6 and there were many times that night I could
have been stopped for speeding, that moment didn' t happen to be one of
72' TR 6
Ain't noth'en faster then a borrowed car...
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