If you are a Virginia resident, you should be aware of this new and ridiculous law beginning July 1, 2007. Please sign the petition to stop this madness before we all go broke in order to "generate revenue" for our state. <http://www.petitiononline.com/va3202/petition.html>
We, the citizens of Virginia, are opposed to the outrageous and unjust traffic fines imposed as "civil remedial fees" in House Bill 3202 for the following reasons:
1. The fines inflict a punishment on drivers that is disproportionate to the degree of the offense they committed.
2. The fines are mandatory, and judges are given no discretion in sentencing.
3. The language of the bill states that the purpose is to "generate revenue" and hence the fines have nothing to do with traffic safety.
4. The bill's sponsor, Del. David Albo (R- 42nd District(R-Fairfax)) is a partner in a law firm that specializes in traffic court cases and stands to benefit personally from this legislation. This type of conflict of interest should not be tolerated.
5. The fines in the bill apply ONLY to Virginia residents, hence unfairly creating different penalties for the same traffic offense based solely on residency.
6. In order to generate additional revenue, points for driving offenses remain on the offender's license for up to 11 years. This will unnecessarily increase the offender's insurance rates for a time frame that is incongruent with the degree of the offense.
Subtitle: Virginia legislator introduces new speeding ticket tax that boosts penalties beyond $3550, driving business to his traffic law firm.
Virginia motorists convicted of minor traffic violations will face a new, multi-year tax beginning July 1. Led by state Delegate David B. Albo (R-Springfield), lawmakers slipped a driver responsibility tax into a larger transportation funding bill signed by Governor Tim Kaine (D) in April. Albo, a senior partner in the Albo & Oblon, LLP traffic law firm, can expect to see a significant increase in business as motorists seek to protect their wallet from traffic tickets that come with assessments of up to $3000 in addition to an annual point tax that tops out at $700 a year for as long as the points remain.
"The purpose of the civil remedial fees imposed in this section is to generate revenue," the new law states. (Virginia Code 46.2-206.1)
Driving as little as 15 MPH over the limit on an interstate highway now brings six license demerit points, a fine of up to $2500, up to one year in jail, and a new mandatory $1050 tax. The law also imposes an additional annual fee of up to $100 if a prior conviction leaves the motorist with a balance of eight demerit points, plus $75 for each additional point (up to $700 a year). The conviction in this example remains on the record for five years.
Other six-point convictions include "failing to give a proper signal," "passing a school bus" or "driving with an obstructed view." The same $1050 assessment applies, but the conviction remains on the record for eleven years.
Although the amount of the tax can add up quickly, the law forbids judges from reducing or suspending it in any way. The tax applies only to Virginia residents, so that out-of-state motorists only need to pay the regular ticket amount. Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Texas also impose a somewhat more modest driver responsibility tax which they apply to out-of-state residents.
The Virginia Supreme Court provides a full explanation of the new penalties for each traffic infraction in the 34k PDF file at the source link below.
Source: Civil Remedial Fees (Executive Secretary, Virginia Supreme Court