There has been much traffic lately in the topic of recently imposed “Abuser Driver” fees in Virginia and how these fees do not apply for out of state drivers.
It has been interesting to watch how the debate and comments have gone off in different directions such as political, economic, criminal, and class warfare, but usually avoids the road safety aspect of the issue.
Notice how many have used this issue to spin it into a tool to push their agenda and whine how it is not fair for the criminal to pay such a high fee for their actions? It is also interesting to watch how these same people will whine about the fee but yet avoid talking about the “Abuser” who is actually guilty of reckless driving, drunk driving, and other motor vehicle felonies.
There have been those like our local “Liberal Democrats” who have focused on attacking the Republican Delegates and assembly with this issue at every opportunity. As usual they have gotten the outstanding support from the local media and “Guest Columns” from the Left have become familiar. A local vocal, how cool is that phrase, Liberal had himself a “Guest Column” in our local liberal daily where he advocates using a “European fee” system where the offender pays as he is able depending on his prior years income average. Thus the CEO or evil fat Republican will pay a greater fee for we all know that they have too much money that they did not earn and that too is just not fair either. He trots out the Liberal favorite “The Rich need to pay their fair share” on this issue but yet avoids completely the safety issue of this whole thing. What happens to the habitual loser who has been convicted of drunk driving \ reckless driving or the likes in the past but yet only made poverty wages the year before? Will he only pay a $20 fine for that is all he can afford as this “European” scale will dictate? What if he is actually way above poverty level for much of his “Income” comes from cash or even worse, illegal income? And if he cant afford that will the government subsidize his fine and pay it also so to be “fair”? What value does this “European” system put on the lives of the family of four that was run off the highway into a bridge column by the “Lower income” Drunk\reckless driver?
Many have made this a political issue by blaming high fees on the Republican Delegates at every opportunity. With the help of the local Liberal rags they have been blaming this new system on the Republicans whenever possible. Fortunately the truth usually finds it way to sunlight and it has been discovered that the DEMOCRATIC Governor Tim Kaine is the one who actually removed the out of state drivers from this legislation… Surprise, surprise, surprise…
Even the Democratic Party candidates have used this issue as a campaign tool:
“Democrat State Senate Candidate David Cox stated at a recent town hall meeting that “The fees are contradictory. For the state to raise the money expected Virginia drivers must continue to speed on the highways. Should motorists improve their driving habits, then the fee system would prove to be an unreliable funding source” Slick move Dave and we should be so lucky to have a problem like safer highways to deal with. If in fact the revenue slows due to better driving habits lets then look at cutting the waste in Virginia government for additional sources of revenue. You telling me that there is not at least 5-10% of waste in the Virginia budget? And how will you spend our Virginia tax revenues if elected to office in November? And how about your concern for that family of four? Or is this just a campaign issue for you?
This week there was a widely reported story of a VA driver who was caught driving for the fifth time on a suspended license and how this has gone to court because the “Astronomical” (the term favored by the Staunton NewsLeader newspaper to describe these fees) fine\fees are unconstitutional and must be decided in court. There is so much focus on how these high fees are unfair to the driver and how un-fair it is that out of state drivers are excluded but in all of the stories covering this guy nobody ever brought up the fact this is his FIFTH offense for driving on the suspended license!!! How fair is that?
Next time you read about that family of four that was killed on the highway after being forced off the road by a drunk driver, reckless driver, careless driver, or Yes even the family member of the four who was driving the vehicle, who has committed these habitual offenses how much of a high fee is “unfair”… Take a look at the party who has continually turned this into a political issue instead of a safety issue… Think DONKEY or Jack-ass…