The Sneaky War on American Motorists by Ted Rall

Dandelion Salad

by Ted Rall


It was a beautiful afternoon in early autumn, and for an instant I mistook the brightly colored lights flashing in my rearview mirror for streaks of sunlight filtering through gently turning leaves. But only for an instant. Just past a curve on a steady downgrade a sign announced the end of the 55 mile-per-hour state speed limit and the beginning of the town 40. I hit the brakes but it was too late. That’s the purpose of a speed trap. Sixty-two in a 40, the policeman said.

Speeding tickets have always been a pain in the butt. You pay about $150, and if your insurance company chooses to be mean it uses the three fresh points on your license to justify a rate hike. In a recent legal transformation that has quietly gathered steam across the United States, however, getting caught speeding has become far more traumatic.

A year before the incident related above, a state trooper had plucked me out of a cluster of vehicles on the Long Island Expressway, dinging me for 72 in a 55(heavy volume had slowed traffic from its typical average of 80) That earned me a $185 fine plus six points–a point hike up from the long-standing three. A few months later the Department of Motor Vehicles sent me a letter notifying me that I owed an additional $300–bringing the total fine to $485–for a “driver responsibility assessment.” The 2004 law establishing the additional fees was passed in greater secrecy than the USA Patriot Act; even this devourer of three newspapers a day hadn’t heard of it.


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4 thoughts on “The Sneaky War on American Motorists by Ted Rall

  1. First who’s Internal Combustion Engine is a Motor Vehicle ? So how does the Dept. of Motor Vehicle mandate that your Internal Combustion engine fall under their Jurisdiction ?
    The Dept. of Motor Vehicles should only be able to oversee Electric Cars, Golf Carts, Diesel Trains, and other Battery/Generated powered vehicles.

    A speed limit sign should be for the purpose of suggestion, for the limit is not to be always obeyed. How can I assume this position ?
    It is simple.
    During times of inclement weather, the responsible Driver will slow down. They will not be traveling at a higher rate of speed than is safe, and that is not against the LAW, it is common sense. Now someone driving at the posted speed during the inclement weather is a danger to other’s true, but this individual is a danger to themselves also, and does not respect other’s. Why ? That is simple, if you were carring a weapon, and other’s were carrying a weapon people would respect each other.
    Better to be Judged by Twelve than carried by Six.
    Rescind Nuisance Laws, True Freedom

  2. corporate america….all those lovely local politicians that run for office just to pass laws so their law partners can make big bucks…..ever need an attorney?….its not a pretty site….t

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