Minor traffic violations hit ‘little people’

May 9, 2012

By John Seiler

Minor traffic fines are a part of life. They’re supposed to warn us not to do something again: park by a fire hydrant, park where the curb is the wrong color, park with an expired meter — or park in the wrong place on streetsweeping day.

Such petty violations aren’t supposed to generate revenue. But nowadays governments have wasted so much money, they’re always eager to filch more. An easy target: these minor violations.

So Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has had refused to make adequate cuts in the city’s immense waste, now wants to increase the fines for these minor traffic violations by $10. The new fine for a streetsweeping offense will be $78 for each infraction. The fines have increased five times during his seven years of misrule. Reported L.A. Observed:

“Parking fines in Los Angeles are already way disproportionate to the crime, but in his desperation to balance his budget Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is planning to ask for the sixth increase in his time in office. Is it a policy move because parking violations are becoming some kind of civic nuisance? Uh, no. The number of tickets being written has been going down. It’s strictly a revenue play: the city wants more money and thinks this a groovy way to get it.”

The $40 million raised supposedly would be used to reduce the $238 million city deficit. But this is another excuse not to go to L.A., or to stay there. If they’re going to treat people so badly, why have anything to do with them?

A $25 file would be a reasonable warning — a kind of friendly reminder.

But $78 is a smack in the head.

It’s especially damaging to poor people trying to eek out a living in an expensive city in an an expensive state. Someone looking for work will be severely hurt.

It’s not going to hurt rich people at all. For example, last year ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was issued a parking ticket (see picture above; video here). What did he care? He’s worth $700 million. (Or half that, pending his divorce from Maria because he was parking in the hay with the family maid, and produced a “love child” with her.)

Also note that Arnold was driving a Mercedes G-Wagon SUV, a vehicle larger than the panzer tanks the German Army rode into Poland in 1939. What about Arnold’s vaunted environmentalism?

The meaning is clear: The Villaraigosa-Schwarzenegger Elite gets to tool around in gigantic cars that use massive quantities of gas, while scoffing at traffic laws.

You ride in an cheap car to the unemployment office — and when you leave, you find a $78 ticket on windshield.



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