Each year in United States approximately 30,000 new laws go into effect each year. A large portion of those laws are deemed for the public safety. A smaller portion deals directly with motor vehicles and traffic regulations. Laws like no tailgating, aggressive driving, passing on the right, and construction zone seed limits are apparent in their interest of public safety.
Nothing causes anxiety like the sound of a siren and the appearance of police lights in your rear view mirror. Sometimes you know exactly why he is pulling you over like for speeding other times it could be for an equipment violation like a broken tail light. While most people would agree with the need for public safety on the roads and that others should receive tickets when it is you it seems unfair. The other guy is always worse.
When you do receive a ticket your choices are plead guilty, not guilty or fight it on a technicality. Knowing that traffic court is less innocent until proven guilty and more like the British guilty until you proven innocence most opt to pay the fine and move on.
Towns and cities know this and combined with the pressure for more revenue (spending money) public safety has become a revenue generator. About 65 speeding tickets are issued in America per minute generating 5 billion in revenue. (http://www.joetaxpayer.com/26-surprising-facts-about-speeding-tickets/ )This also has resulted in police being issued unwritten ticket quotas. To maximize this revenue stream red light cameras have proliferated across the nation cutting out the need to pay for police middle men to actually write tickets and collection by mail makes them especially profitable.
Since there is less resistance to fines than tax increases more municipalities have begun to rely on them to pay their bills. Most states have even added fees to the fines to collect even more off public safety. Pennsylvania adds the cost of computers, California DNA collection, New Jersey bullet proof vests, Ohio aid to crime victims, West Virginia maintaining and running the jails. Almost all have additional fees to run the courts which convict you. Vermont even makes you pay a 15% restitution “fee” for your crimes. Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Texas keep you paying years after your offence with the over six point driver responsibility program surcharges.
One county in New York, Suffolk County has taken this revenue stream to the next level. Not content with just reducing the length of yellow lights to increase red light tickets the Democrats and Working Family Party (ACORN) created their own Suffolk County Traffic Violations & Parking Agency (SCTVPA). In addition to a new stream of patronage jobs they can now access 30% more of the red light ticket stream. To insure the brand new unionized voting block was paid for, they need a conviction rate of 95% and figured both guilty and innocent should foot the bill.
That means that if you get a ticket in Suffolk county and loose you will pay the highest fines in the state. (http://nytrafficticket.com/highest-fines-in-new-york-suffolk-county-traffic-violations-parking-agency/) If you win and prove your innocence you still have to pay the court “fees”. (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/11/19/ticket-dismissed-in-suffolk-county-youll-have-to-pay-anyway/) This is reminiscent of the Chinese practice of billing families for the bullets to execute political dissenters.
All these new laws and fees administered by new bureaucracies just go to prove politicians are unsafe at any speed. There should be public safety laws regarding speeding to raise taxes, unsafe passing of bills, no standing for the righteous while lining their pockets. Possibly even red light cameras to stop bills from passage unless equal or greater dollars are cut from existing programs to pay for the new. All these laws would be in the name of public safety from greedy politicians.