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Percentage based speeding fine system

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by pringa8, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. Dont know if this has come up before, but I think the idea of a percentage based speeding fine system would be a good one. I've always thought that the current <15, 15-30, 30-45 & 45> (I think that's it) does not represent the nature of the situation. I think doing 20 kms over the speed limit in a school zone or residential area (like 60 in a 40 zone) is a lot more dangerous than doing 20 kms over the limit on an expressway or highway (like 120 in a 100). I know the maths would do the average police officers head in, but surely those clever little speeding fine machines could calculate the figures! Question is, what percentages would you use?

    Thoughts anyone?
  2. Trouble is, it's ridiculously easy to do 20 percent over in a 40 zone compared to 20 percent over on a freeway.
    I'm not talking about school zones and shopping strips (where it actually means something), I mean those "this whole suburb is a 40 zone" type areas. You only have to sneeze and you'd be doing 50+ for long enough to lose your licence, FFS.
    At first I thought you meant tying the fine to a person's income level {like they do in Europe). Now THAT I would agree with.
  3. As long as those percentages aren't linked to my taxable income, I don't really care. A fine's a fine's a fine.

    For Victoria, doing 109 in a 100 zone is 9% over. Doing 69 in a 60 zone is 8.6% over, if I did the calcs right. Both attract the same fine. So, really for here, there isn't much difference. And as you've pointed out it may merely complicate how they're calculated.

    As for the cop working out what to apply it's easy enough to have a laminated sheet with a table printed on it for him to look up.
  4. Did calcs wrong. 69 in a 60 zone is 15% over :p
  5. Yes it should be proportional. 140km/hr isn't that dangerous on a freeway but 90 in a 60 zone may well be very dangerous.
  6. As long as those percentages aren't linked to my taxable income, I don't really care. A fine's a fine's a fine.[/quote]
    Earning too much, are we?

    I think you might need one, matey, Go and do the maths again. 69 in a 60 zone is 11.5% over. :p

    Edit: Oh sh!t. Me too. 15%.
  7. That just plain silly. Anyone with a good accountant, in business for themselves, makes nothing on paper! I could get booked all the time and pay nothing :grin:
  8. Yeah that's what I'm talking about. Percentage is just an idea as a way to work out proportion.
  9. Heck, no. Never earn "too much".

    Aha! So it's not just me...

    Yeah, I divided it incorrectly....

  10. Good point.
    I was going to suggest value of assts but that would be just as easy to get around.
    Still, there's an inherent unfairness in someone earning $400 a week getting the same fine as someone on $4,000.
  11. Agreed.
  12. Why would that be exactly?
    Isn't the fine for commiting an offence?
    how is that offence any worse if someone well off commits it?
    The pedestrian is going to be just as injured when they get run over by
    the poor guy as by the millionare.
  13. From the victim's point of view there is no difference. From the point of view of the offender, a low income earner is going to take a lot more pain from the fine than someone to whom it represents an hour's work.
    The point being that the fine isn't going to deter wealthier people in any significant way. I'm not arguing against the penalty, just that it's inherently inequitable. But hey, that's life.
    Now point, that's another matter...
  14. Sorry, I'm a bit bored. :roll:
  15. yeh. penalise the rich, they don't deserve it. I bet they just brownnosed their way to the top and never worked a day to get rich. :roll:

    as you might work out, this attitude bugs me. somehow people seem to attribute 'rich' with ' undeserving prick, good only for money handouts'. Why should someone who forgos a private life and works their ass off 7 days a week to get ahead be ostracised and penalised simply because they had a good work ethic? hell they already lose 50% in tax (not that the tax bracket is a good indicator of rich).
    sure you could point out that not all low income earners are lazy and not all rich people work very hard. But why set a precendent of penalising people simply because they are 'rich'.

    and what is rich? high income? what happens if high income is matched by similarly high morgage? Or the low income earner who has no morgage or kids vs the morgaged with 3 kids high income earner.
  16. The "rich" or anyone who earns more than $80k or thereabouts as classified by one government some time ago and latched onto by the media, isn't rich at all. A PAYE earner on that sort of dough pays a lot of tax. He also is ineligble for various Centrelink benefits. When buying a house pays the same stamp duty as someone on half the wage.

    Is penalised with a regressive tax regime. Earn more, pay more tax and be denied more services. Pay less tax because you earn less but be entitled to more services.

    Now, I'll admit that I earn enough that makes my tax bill look like someone's annual salary. My daughter and son-in-law both work. Their total salary is probably a few grand less than mine. BUT, their total take home pay exceeds mine, because they are on a lower tax rate.

    When she stops work soon to have a baby, she'll get a baby bonus and may qualify for other Centrelink benefits. Exactly what, I don't know. But things like the Medicare surcharge won't be a problem if they drop private health cover, for example.

    Finally, it seems that it's either the left leaning socialists or low income earners who seem to be in favor of a means tested or income related fine regime. But remember this - both ends of the socio-economic scale cop the same amount of demerit points. So, while a "rich" motorist can afford more fines he'll still lose his licence after accruing 12 points.
  17. The point of a fine is as a deterent to commit the offence again, a punishment. How much deterent is there to the guy who earns $4k a week when he gets a $120 speeding fine? Very little, therefor the exercise has been unsuccesful as a deterent to offending again. On the other hand how much of a deterent is the same fine to a guy on apprentice wages? Much bigger.

    If you can come up with a different deterent to apply across the board, feel free to share it with the rest of us.

    Perhaps instead of a monetary fine they should have to do community service?
  18. Can you make a means tested financial penalty actually work to punish people? I seriously doubt it. The majority of the super rich have no assets or income on paper. The majority of the ultra poor cant pay the fine anyway, so whatever it is its not going to deter them. The only really equivalent thing you can impose is loss of license - not being able to legally drive is something we all will equally care about. From this perspective everyones demerit points have equal value.
  19. $80k income earners have had some very significant tax concessions since Howard took Government, particularly last year and this year coming - tax brackets and rates have changed significantly to give more money to those earning $50k+. And regarding Centrelink, hit about $30k and you're eligible for about the same as an $80k income earner.
    Actually, it's a progressive tax system, in that you pay a higher percentage of tax for a higher income. That said, overall, we DO have a regressive tax system, which taxes low income earners a greater percentage of their income than high income earners. This is mostly due to the GST, but also due to a number of Government excises and duties on everyday goods and services. Political views aside, I'm not convinced creating a greater divide between wealthy and poor is a good idea.
    Truth be known, while she will get the baby bonus (I don't think this has an income requirement of any kind) it's very unlikely she'll get any other payments from Centrelink, on account of the fact she's married to someone with a high income. It is expected that her partner supports her (and has consequences for Centrelink payments from as little as $30k).
    I can't really see the point a means-tested fine system either - it's too complex and not worth the hassle. As you say, we've all got the same amount of demerit points we can accrue before losing a license, so it shouldn't have a big impact. That said, a case can be made for the financially well off being able to adequately defend themselves in court to reduce/negate any points accrued.... but that's an entirely different can of worms!

    It's also worth pointing out that for low income earners that a court appearance can reduce or enable a payment scheme for any particular fine one may receive. While accepting responsibility for the fine (speeding, jaywalking, whatever), you can apply to have the fine reduced on account of financial difficulties, or arrange a suitable payment scheme (of say $5 per week).