Commentary by Bob Karp
More details on SB1669: $15 fine for speeds less than 10 miles over posted speed limit. No criminal prosecution for speeding less than 20 miles over the posted speed limit. Authorities would be prohibited from reporting violations to insurance companies.
Well, I certainly have done a bit of stomping on the gas pedal when driving around Arizona. What intrigues me about all of this is that Senator Gowan is a staunch law & order sort of guy, but apparently only when it is not inconvenient. The reality of this change in law would be to encourage speeding because the consequences are now very minor. The biggest change is that it potentially would not affect your insurance coverage. I can see this for minor infractions, that time when you go 5 miles over the speed limit and get nailed.
Here's a few things to consider:
- What does this say to drivers who obey the speed limit, particularly younger drivers?
- We already have a problem with tailgating drivers. So now going the speed limit in the left lane on I-10 is really not an option?
- How will insurance companies in Arizona react to this? Will they just raise premiums for everybody?
- Are we ok with a defacto 95 mile an hour speed on major highways?
- How much revenue will state and local government lose with the reduced fines? (I don't think financial consequences should ever be justification for an unfair fine structure)
This bill seems to be a nice election-year pandering for a very small segment of the population. It may be a solution to a problem that really doesn't exist. I'm not ready to support this concept in its current form.