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@drumz I just fail to see the difference between getting a ticket from a police officer vs. a camera and why one deserves a higher fine over the other. Because in that case why not argue to keep fines where they are but increase them if an MPD officer pulls you over?

There are at least three valid reasons for camera fines to be lower than when a cop pulls you over.

1. The cost of enforcement is less. Fines should ideally cover the cost to society of the infraction being enforced, and one of those costs is the cost of enforcement. If it costs $50 to issue a speedling ticket (the loaded cost of police officer's time and equipent) at $2 for a camera ticket, then the fine should logically be $48 less for the camera ticket--even if the probability of getting caught is the same.

2. Again, fines should cover the cost of the illegal activity being enforced. So if the police are only 10% as likely to catch you as a camera, it would be reasonable for the fine from a cop to be 10 times as great (in addition to the enforcement cost). A $1000 fine would be politically unacceptable, however. (But note: A speeding ticket can easily cost $500-1000 in higher insurance rates.)

3. The nature of the crime. A camera ticket is ultimately an in rem action against the owner of the car, because there is proof that the car committed the crime but no proof about who was driving. So the camera ticket is more like a civil fine while a speeding violation in traffic court is a crime.

by JimT on Nov 20, 2012 9:01 am • linkreport

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