Thursday, May 27, 2010

Instant justice part II

I wrote a few blogs ago about instant on the road justice. I got some comments and emails about how unfair I was to the NOB justice system. Here is an example of the what I am talking about the over reaction and over "getting into your pocket" the NOB system has evolved into.
The big new laws where needed to be enacted is keyed for the cellphone user. Yep, I have seen it my self, someone zooming past you in their car carrying on a conversation while holding on to the wheel with one hand and holding the cellphone to their ear with another.
Just from a safety issue that shouldn't be...let alone from a distraction issue.....just think if your state of mind in you happen to be talking to your attorney......or perhaps your exwife.......
You get my drift?
Many states have cellphone laws, and California got theirs about 2 years ago....everyone knows that California is broke, so here is how the ticket fees get you.
You get pulled over and the cop says it’s going to cost $20 plus fees. Well that's not too bad, $20 plus fees. How much could fees be? A lot, it turns out.

An official of the court system of Sonoma County court system, gave this breakdown:

–$20 is the base fine for using that cell phone illegally.

Then there are the fees, all approved by the Legislature:

–A 20 percent surcharge: Add $4.

–State and county penalty assessments at $17 for every $10 of the base fine ($10 for the state, $7 for the county). Add $34.

–Court facilities construction fund at $3 for every $10 of the base fine. Add $6.

–State court construction penalty at $2 for every $10. Add $4.

–State DNA program assessment at $1 for every $10. Add $2.

–Additional DNA assessment at $1 for every $10. Add $2.

–Night court fee at $1 per ticket. Add $1.

–Emergency medical services assessment at $2 for every $10. Add $4.

–Courthouse security fee at $30 per ticket. Add $30.

–Criminal conviction assessment of $30 for a felony or misdemeanor and $35 for an infraction, which the cell phone violation is. Add $35.

Total cost of your ticket: $142

Now, if you get ticketed a second time for cell phone use, the base fine is $50 and the total cost, after all of the fees and assessments, is $256.

There’s legislation, SB1475, pending in the state Senate that would double the cell phone base fines to $50 for the first violation and $100 for subsequent violations. That $100 would cost you $446 after all of the fees and such are added.

So how much of the ticket cost goes to the Sonoma County city where you got the ticket? 85 percent of the base fine goes to the city and 15 percent goes to the county. (If you get ticketed by the CHP, 100 percent of the base fine goes to the county. The CHP gets nothing.) So for that $20 base fine, a city would get $17 and the county $3.

If you don't believe me you can go to the web page of most of the municipalities and be surprised of exactly how much getting stopped will cost you.

The good news is that the court system takes credit cards and e-checks and you can pay online.

As I said before, I would rather settle the ticket on the spot, then drive to my destination while talking on my cell phone.

You can without any hassle when you have a earphone or least for now. And besides the cops down here would laugh at anyone who said they could ticket for cell phone use.


Felipe said...

Speakers or earphones may be kinda okay, but using the cell phone you must physically manhandle should be a crime punishable by firing squad. It is clearly not something you mix with driving. Studies have shown it´s akin to driving drunk.

Tancho said...

If we should use the firing squad for this, what would we use for drivers toss garbage out the window? Perhaps shoot off a finger at a time...?
The problem in the US seems to be kids who have cars given to them and are essentially on the phone, at least down here the teen population is not as well endowed with autos yet. Or for that as many cell phones. I use mine about 4 times a month, some people I see can not live without them..sad, truly sad. But that's another topic.