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[personal profile] zammis
New "civil fees" go into effect July 1st for Virginia residents

Implemented as a scheme to avoid raising taxes- go Republican General Assembly! *rolls eyes*

The new fees only apply to Virginia residents, as they cannot collect civil fees from out-of-state drivers.

And they call Maryland Communist.

Date: 2007-06-20 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] faireraven.livejournal.com
NJ already does this. It's the "insurance surcharge". Only they don't charge quite so much.

NJ charges $100 for every year that you have points on your license. So since two points fall off every year, if you had a 4 point offense (which the aforementioned example is), it would be $100 each year for two years.

It SUCKS.

Date: 2007-06-20 04:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dorei.livejournal.com
yeah it sucks, but $100 in a year is something you can overcome. some of these fees are astronomical. I have a teenaged driver. She could easily get several thousand dollars in these civil fees just in those first few months just for not stopping long enough at a stop sign, or not being steady enough in her lane ... oy.

Date: 2007-06-20 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squirejoe.livejournal.com
Between the age of 18 and 20, I had 5 moving violations...One I challenged and it got dismissed, but the other 4 would have cost me several thousand dollars.

This law will also overtake the traffic courts as people fight their tickets.

Weeeeee

Date: 2007-06-20 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] faireraven.livejournal.com
This was also $100 a year more than 10 years ago (geez, have I really lived down here for 8 years already?)... It may have gone up somewhat in recent years (although I have no idea how anyone could think to raise them as far as VA is talking)...

Aha, I just looked up the numbers... while it's $100 per year up to 6 points, anything above that is another $25 per point. So still being able to legally drive (up to 12 points) would result in up to $250 per year in surcharges (more if you managed to accumulate a lot of points at one time, so they not only yank your license, they still charge you the fees). And that's just the point values. There's another $100 surcharge if caught driving without a license, another $250 if it's a suspended license, another $250 if you're driving an uninsured vehicle.

HOWEVER, something I also just found out. It doesn't matter if you live in jersey or not, they'll still charge you the fees if you get over 6 points in the state of NJ. So if you drive an uninsured car in the state of VA (which *is* legal, so long as you pay the $500 uninsured motorist charge), and you drive up through jersey, and you get a speeding ticket, you not only get the fees for the speeding ticket, but another $250 for driving an uninsured vehicle, even if it's legal in your own state. And if you don't pay the surcharge, they'll inform YOUR state that your license should be suspended!

I'm not saying what VA is planning isn't a nasty slimebucket way of digging money out of people (they're probably considering it the "bad driver tax"), but it's not the first time it's happened. It's higher than that of other states, yes, but it's not new.

It still sucks. And back when I was young enough that I got two tickets one after another (one of which was debateable, but the judge decided not to listen to the fact that I had proof in photos that the speed limit sign was covered over by ivy), that $100 per year for three years was NOT easy to pay for. According to what the VA laws will be, I would have gotten $300 for rolling through the stop sign, and $1000 for the speeding charge. $433 per year. No, that isn't cheap, by any stretch.

However, in VA, unless it's an accident, it doesn't get reported to your insurance company, correct?

Yes, NJ gave me the $100 fee per year. Tack onto that the $300 increase per year that my insurance went through because of it, and you've got about the same amount of money in fees, only this fee goes straight to the state instead of the insurance companies.

by the time my brother left the state, his insurance cost $2500 PER YEAR.

Mine only got as high as $1200 per year. It would have been $900 but for the two tickets.

Tell me that you're paying that much for your daughter's insurance?

Yes, it sucks, I'm not saying it doesn't. But it's not that different from what Jersey's been buckling under for years.

Date: 2007-06-20 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dorei.livejournal.com
My daughter's insurance tacked on an additional $450 every six months. Sucks to have teen drivers, lemme tell ya.

Date: 2007-06-20 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zammis.livejournal.com
I think the diff is, there are a LOT of things that will get this fee that have NOTHING to do with points. Its just a money grab.

Date: 2007-06-20 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scaleslea.livejournal.com
They probably do think of this as a tax on criminals or bad drivers. But given how much energy the police in NOVA put into delivering traffic citations now, it will be difficult to find a driver on the road whom they won't "criminalize" after his goes into effect.

So much for "To serve and Protect". More like "To Loot and Pillage".

Doc

Date: 2007-06-20 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dorei.livejournal.com
holy fuck. I need to move out of Virginia.

Date: 2007-06-20 04:10 pm (UTC)
ext_298353: (Don'tFUCKwitme)
From: [identity profile] thatliardiego.livejournal.com
Play an R or X rated movie on the van DVD player and if it is seen by someone in another vehicle, a driver can be charged and fined with having an obscene video image seen from outside the car. The civil fee is $300.

I'm sensing a court challenge on this part of the law...

Date: 2007-06-20 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squirejoe.livejournal.com
I want to say that there is already a "Decency Law" on the books for this. Its the same law that wont let you put pictures of naked people or curse words on bumper stickers.

This law just ties it to your VA DMV Record instead of your Civil Record.

Date: 2007-06-20 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zammis.livejournal.com
this law just jacks up the price, really.

Date: 2007-06-20 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mandrakan.livejournal.com
"Civil fees?" Really? If I'm convicted of, say, rolling through a stop sign, and the conviction is attended by a mandatory, $300, cash payment, I would call that a "fine." And I don't really see how they're going to make the distinction stick.

Date: 2007-06-20 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rivendellchild.livejournal.com
Thank the Gods that I'm changing my residency to MD very shortly because I'm tellin' ya I'm not putting up with that crap. Granted I'm a lot more sane of a driver now than I have been before but still, that's ridiculous.

Date: 2007-06-20 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scaleslea.livejournal.com
One wonders what the penalty is for being unwilling (or unable) to pay the fees on the day of the court date. Will "civil fees" get you jail time? They'll pull your driver's license, sure, but that doesn't really stop many people these days...

Doc

Date: 2007-06-20 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mandrakan.livejournal.com
Contempt of court (including incarceration or additional fines) would be a possible remedy. Whether they would use it or not is a nice question.
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