For Slight Speeders, State Considers 'Pointless' $150 Warning Tickets

March 9, 2011
Police car

Police car

Verify the speed limit, add a few miles per hour, and set the cruise control. It's a routine that many long-distance drivers are conditioned to, and in most states you're ignored if you're close to the speed limit.

But in South Carolina you could soon be seen as a moving bankroll by cash-strapped local governments.

A new bill proposed in the SC House would enable police to write $150 tickets for those going less than 10 mph over the speed limit—and these special tickets wouldn't be reported to insurance companies, or carry dreaded driving-record points.

'Low-level' speeding tickets: No points but high fine?

Modest speeders would rather pay a higher fine than get the violation on their record, the logic goes. Currently, these so-called low-level speeders are fined lower amounts of $15 to $25 and reported to the DMV—which, in turn, can drive insurance rates up and potentially jeopardize jobs.

The revenues from the tickets would be split between the state and the local municipalities that issue the tickets. So you can bet the local fuzz will be out in full force writing them.

If these violations aren't logged by the state, some are worried that such policies might bring back the days of corrupt local law enforcement officials who would merely pocket the fine amounts. The new bill would also require the reversal of a state law requiring that all tickets be reported to the state, allowing the opportunity for other local-courthouse-loopholes.

Local police in some of the state's counties can already write point-free tickets for careless driving, with fines up to $1,000, but those have to be reported to the state.

These tickets would also, arguably, free up the county courts from low-level speeders contesting their tickets and attempting to keep their records clean.

If you were given the chance to dodge points on your record by paying a higher fine, would you? Do you think that lifting the requirements that local law enforcement report violations to the state is a recipe for corruption and abuse? Let us know what you think.

[The State, via FOX News]

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