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  1. #1
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    http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories...date=9/28/2004

    This is in my area and on a road I regularly travel on. On the news the little punk barely said he was sorry. He was going 90 mph (144k) when he hit this fellow. Based on the looks of him on tv, if he goes to jail he will be beat up.

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    Pat
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    Well, they are charging the guy with felony manslaughter which is pretty proactive. I don't think throwing the dope into prison will help the unfortunate expired cyclist. I would rather do something creative like sentence him to some form of restitution and compel him to never drive a car again - he can only bicycle and that while wearing a jersey with a bullseye drawn on it.

  3. #3
    Mercrudgeon Bikedud's Avatar
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    Perhaps this thread should be titled:

    Follow Up On A Murdered Cyclist
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    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    There is a profit motive in cities to generate revenue cheaply. By pleading out a speeder to a ticket which generates the same amount of revenue without the expense of prosecuting the accused, they net more money in the coffers. This is a basic problem with the current situation.

    This is also a regressive policy, where a $150 speeding ticket punishes the poor more than it does the rich. Instead, there should be actual punishments for violations of the law. You speed, you do 40 hours of community service. Something that sucks, like picking up trash on the side of the road, weeding public parks, or sweeping glass out of bike lanes. I tell you what, there would be many fewer speeders once they learned that they couldn't buy their way out of it.

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    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanholio
    There is a profit motive in cities to generate revenue cheaply. By pleading out a speeder to a ticket which generates the same amount of revenue without the expense of prosecuting the accused, they net more money in the coffers. This is a basic problem with the current situation.

    This is also a regressive policy, where a $150 speeding ticket punishes the poor more than it does the rich. Instead, there should be actual punishments for violations of the law. You speed, you do 40 hours of community service. Something that sucks, like picking up trash on the side of the road, weeding public parks, or sweeping glass out of bike lanes. I tell you what, there would be many fewer speeders once they learned that they couldn't buy their way out of it.
    I like your idea.
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  6. #6
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanholio
    This is also a regressive policy, where a $150 speeding ticket punishes the poor more than it does the rich. Instead, there should be actual punishments for violations of the law. You speed, you do 40 hours of community service. Something that sucks, like picking up trash on the side of the road, weeding public parks, or sweeping glass out of bike lanes. I tell you what, there would be many fewer speeders once they learned that they couldn't buy their way out of it.
    Simply make it a "points off licence" issue, although raising the fine to a level that punishes virtually all income brackets would help. However, this guy appears to have been so far over the speed limit, that I think a permanent driving ban combined with a car confiscation is what's needed here.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    Simply make it a "points off licence" issue, although raising the fine to a level that punishes virtually all income brackets would help. However, this guy appears to have been so far over the speed limit, that I think a permanent driving ban combined with a car confiscation is what's needed here.
    I disagree. If you raise the fine to the point that *all* income brackets are affected, those with lesser means are affected even more disproportionately.

    If you make this merely a points-off-license issue, people have the impression that they can get away with it because points-off-license expire after some time, and if you don't accumulate enough of them, your insurance goes up a bit, but you're still able to afford it so who cares, right?

    But if you have to clean up garbage on the side of the road, or sweep up debris from a bike lane for fourty hours, you'll think twice before saving a couple minutes by engaging in dangerous actions.

    Now, the punk from the story should have had his license removed after his second offense, assuming that 120 hours (yeah, I'd make the second offense an 80-hour punishment) of wearing an orange vest on the side of the road, he didn't change his mind about speeding.

  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanholio
    If you make this merely a points-off-license issue, people have the impression that they can get away with it because points-off-license expire after some time, and if you don't accumulate enough of them, your insurance goes up a bit, but you're still able to afford it so who cares, right?
    Depends how many points you lose, and how long it takes to expire. If you know that one more point is going to cause your licence to be cancelled for two years, I'm sure you'll think twice about it.
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  9. #9
    Can't ride enough! Da Tinker's Avatar
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    Some Scandinavian country (Finland?) sets traffic tickets at a percentage of your annual gross income. Anyone remember how the president of Nokia got a speeding ticket for something on the order of $465,000? A guy like that, a $150 fine is pocket lint to him. Close to a half mil should have got his attention.
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    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    It was closer to $100,000 but still, something more means based would leave a better impression / serve as more of a deterrent.

    I found the court actions somewhat humorous (not to say there is anything remotely funny about a death). As a resident of NY state, I've been tagged twice for speeding in my 25+ years behind the wheel. In both cases, the judge said it was unfortunate that he had no option but to assign the required points on my license and fine me the prescribed amount. So obviously the system here in NYS isn't even consistent.

    Incarcarating this knuckle-dragging scum is fitting punishment. The problem is that the system which should have deterred his actions and/or removed him from the equation beforehand failed.

  11. #11
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Yep, Nokia's Mr. Vanjoki (not the president, by the way) received a ticket for more than 110 000 from the police, but the fine was later dropped to about 6 000 in court. Traffic tickets in Finland are based on your tax records from the latest tax year (which the police can check on the spot). If your income has for some reason been exceptionally high that year, you can appeal and have the fine cut to a more reasonable level.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da Tinker
    Some Scandinavian country (Finland?) sets traffic tickets at a percentage of your annual gross income. Anyone remember how the president of Nokia got a speeding ticket for something on the order of $465,000? A guy like that, a $150 fine is pocket lint to him. Close to a half mil should have got his attention.
    Unfortunately, I think that this leads to unequal protection under the law, as the cops will be more likely to pursue a speeder in a luxury automobile than one in a beater, as the beater will provide the city with less revenue. I also don't like punishing people more (more $$$ is more punishment, regardless of ability to pay) just because they make more money. I like the idea of all people being subject to the same consequences for their actions. While this is an imperfect world, and there is no such thing as equality, fairness, or usually justice, we should do the best we can.

    This is why I think that labor will work. The highly-compensated Nokia employee probably doesn't like cleaning up trash on the side of the road wearing brilliant-orange vest and a dorky helmet. The same for some joe-schmoe in the same situation. Both get the same punishment, and it sucks equally for both of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    Depends how many points you lose, and how long it takes to expire. If you know that one more point is going to cause your licence to be cancelled for two years, I'm sure you'll think twice about it.
    Yes, but they'll think about it even more when they had to work the side of the road for fourty hours. I think they will consider it much more carefully than they will the abstract notion of points.

  13. #13
    Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    Simply make it a "points off licence" issue, although raising the fine to a level that punishes virtually all income brackets would help. However, this guy appears to have been so far over the speed limit, that I think a permanent driving ban combined with a car confiscation is what's needed here.

    I approve of the basic idea, but I don't think it would work in practice.

    I was at a ride a few months back and got to talking to a guy. He was an ex policeman. He used to make money whilst off duty by serving summons and that sort of stuff. Well, this one rich guy was trying to avoid being served. The guy saw the policeman coming and jumped into his care and started in preparation for a fast getaway. The policeman stuck the summons under a windshield and shouted at the guy that that constituted legal service. The guy decided to get even and intentionally ran down the officer injuring him pretty seriously (severely broken leg if I recall properly). As I recall, the rich guy served no jail time and had no felony conviction. He had to pay up a pile of money but apparantly he was happy to do so and showed absolutely no remorse. Personally, I would have liked to see him horsewhipped, then serve as a galley slave for a few years and then maybe do something really unpleasant to him. Treating someone like that just because you have cash is pretty evil.

    So if there are many people out there like this guy, well high fines would not be a real deterrent.

    I have also known people who get speeding tickets all the time and they regard them sort of like tolls. They view driving at say 80-90 mph as a necessity.

  14. #14
    Rider in the Storm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    Depends how many points you lose, and how long it takes to expire. If you know that one more point is going to cause your licence to be cancelled for two years, I'm sure you'll think twice about it.
    Again, this doesn't concern many because they'll continue to drive regardless of license validity. I like the idea of mandatory pushishment that will take time away from someone -- and perhaps inject a bit of humility. I think the community service idea is quite good.

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    Senior Member JoeTown244GL's Avatar
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    Here is your irony. In a thead about a fallen cyclist - it could have been any of us - the Gooooooglebot offeres these fine selections:


    Quote Originally Posted by Goooooogle
    Ads by Goooooogle
    Been Caught Speeding
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    Fight your Ticket / DUI
    Find help beating your speeding or DUI/DWI violation.
    www.DMV.org
    Speeding Ticket ?
    Go To School at your Leisure - 24/7 No Points on your License/Insurance
    www.online-traffic-schools.com
    Traffic Attorneys $1/Day
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    As a person who is one of 3 medical caregivers to a parent that is a partial quad due to a drugged driver's actions I feel the need to tell the world I think the selfish as@holes that would offer or use such services need to crap in a bag for the rest of their lives. I understand why Joe uses the Gooooooglebots and I know I need to find the $25 for a donation and quit my *****ing, but I just found it crazy to see those ads in this thread.

  16. #16
    The 'net ruined cycling ajkloss42's Avatar
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    How about rather than a percert of incoming, fine speeders a percent of the value of the vehicle or perhaps the more fair, a fine based on weight of vehicle and other safety considerations, the idea being it's safer for someone to be speeding in a 2000 pound commo-box with anti-lock brakes than to be speeding in a 4500 pound SUV.

  17. #17
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanholio
    Yes, but they'll think about it even more when they had to work the side of the road for fourty hours. I think they will consider it much more carefully than they will the abstract notion of points.
    Agreed. Give them both. However, in this day and age "community service" rarely means digging a ditch for 40 hours in blazing hot sunshine. More than likely he'll probably just end up going to a school somewhere and lecturing kids on "the dangers of riding a bike", and he should know -- after all, he ran over a bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChezJfrey
    Again, this doesn't concern many because they'll continue to drive regardless of license validity. .
    In that case, the penalties for driving unlicenced need to be increased too. I suggest a mandatory car confiscation on the first offence.
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  18. #18
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanholio
    Unfortunately, I think that this leads to unequal protection under the law, as the cops will be more likely to pursue a speeder in a luxury automobile than one in a beater, as the beater will provide the city with less revenue. I also don't like punishing people more (more $$$ is more punishment, regardless of ability to pay) just because they make more money.
    I have to disagree. 1st, law enforcement funding is not based on fines. Cops do not get bonuses depending on how much they fine each month. From their point of view a speeder is a speeder is a speeder, regardless of what make or model the speeder's car is. 2nd, I don't understand your argument about "more $$$ is more punishment, regardless of ability to pay". Nominal value of the fine will have different meanings to people, depending on how wealthy they are. Their mileage, so to speak, will vary. This system at least tries to take that into account.

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    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  19. #19
    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha
    I have to disagree. 1st, law enforcement funding is not based on fines. Cops do not get bonuses depending on how much they fine each month. From their point of view a speeder is a speeder is a speeder, regardless of what make or model the speeder's car is. 2nd, I don't understand your argument about "more $$$ is more punishment, regardless of ability to pay". Nominal value of the fine will have different meanings to people, depending on how wealthy they are. Their mileage, so to speak, will vary. This system at least tries to take that into account.

    --J
    Let me ellucidate. If you charge one man $10 for speeding, it is unjust to charge the richer man $1000 for the same crime. It violates the equal protection principle of civilized law. Rich people are not "more guitly" than poor people.

    Now, if you sentence them both to 40 hours of cleaning up trash on the side of the road, each of them is equally punished, and equally feels the punishment.

    Cops are representatives of the local government. They receive orders from that government. Many local governments will ask for jurisdiction over a nearby interstate to increase revenues. There are several in the US who went bankrupt when the federal speed limit laws in the US changed, due to lower traffic citation revenues. Those same governments will steer officers in the direction of greater revenue.
    Last edited by Seanholio; 10-04-04 at 10:57 AM.

  20. #20
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    Wrong, even though you give both of them 40 hours (I like that idea instead of fine by the way...).

    The rich guy can afford to not work and do these hours. I doubt a guy living on paycheck to paycheck and working weekends to make ends meet will be hurting less than the rich guy.

    Again, disporportionate.

  21. #21
    Rider in the Storm
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    Well, of course there will always be some disparity, but time is a fairly equitable punishment for everyone. And the fact that no matter what, that wealthy person must still attend and pay penance, just like any other person, is bound to be more a deterrant than mere fines or points that are easily paid and easily forgotten.

    Plus, there are so many convicted speeders, my city could do away with motorized street sweepers -- the hordes of infractors could manually sweep debris from the road for me daily.

    Generally, traffic fines mean nothing to most people, not just the wealthy. But a few stints on the side of the road (and not just the occasional litter patrol on the highways -- there will be enough people this could be expanded to become useful) in the sun/rain/snow will undoubtedly make someone who values their time and dignity think a bit more about their future driving behavior. And, fine 'em too.

    The sting of strong enforcement and punishment will likely deter quite a few people, though admittedly the hardcore cases wouldn't care. These obviously require confiscations of priveleges and property and even then, you can't stop 'em until they're in jail.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Wrong, even though you give both of them 40 hours (I like that idea instead of fine by the way...).

    The rich guy can afford to not work and do these hours. I doubt a guy living on paycheck to paycheck and working weekends to make ends meet will be hurting less than the rich guy.

    Again, disporportionate.
    Oh really? The government considers me to be one of the rich, even though I make just enough to get by in a high-cost-of-living area. I could ill-afford to spend 40 hours doing community service. Likewise, most others who are considered to be rich have little time to sweep up trash because they broke the law. The picture you paint above is of some ultra-rich guy who doesn't work for his money, and a poor laborer who must work every day to put food on the table. These are ridiculous extremes.

    Time is a precious commodity of which no one has excess.

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    Here's a follow-up article on a ride in his memory. I was unable to attend due to a prior commitment:

    http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories...ate=10/10/2004

  24. #24
    Still Newbie way124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanholio
    I could ill-afford to spend 40 hours doing community service.
    Great, then we won't see you speed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Seanholio
    Likewise, most others who are considered to be rich have little time to sweep up trash because they broke the law.
    It's not just about time, it's humility. Can you imagine little G. Bushie sweeping up the bike lanes because he broke the law? It's a good enough punishment to make an excellent deterrent.

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    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanholio
    There is a profit motive in cities to generate revenue cheaply. By pleading out a speeder to a ticket which generates the same amount of revenue without the expense of prosecuting the accused, they net more money in the coffers. This is a basic problem with the current situation.

    This is also a regressive policy, where a $150 speeding ticket punishes the poor more than it does the rich. Instead, there should be actual punishments for violations of the law. You speed, you do 40 hours of community service. Something that sucks, like picking up trash on the side of the road, weeding public parks, or sweeping glass out of bike lanes. I tell you what, there would be many fewer speeders once they learned that they couldn't buy their way out of it.
    Picking up trash in the Burbank District, at night?

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