Saturday, August 4, 2012

When the punishment far exceeds the violation

Driving around South Florida is getting dangerous. Not only because people drive like nuts, without a single shred of courtesy or decency. But rather, because all types of costly fines, violations, hidden tolls spring about seemingly every day of the year.

I understand that the only way to make people drive more sensibly, and obey traffic laws, is to make the pocket hurt. However, people's pockets are hurting and they are still driving dangerously, like maniacs.

A fine of US$500 for blocking an intersection in Sunny Isles seems to a tad too much for the violation. Let us face it. Sunny Isles is not a hub of tourist or business activity, any time of the day. The plans for the city didn't quite pan out, and the mammoth buildings that line up the shore remain basically empty. There is no justification for charging such a hefty fine, besides the principle of hooking the careless fish every once in a while.

On the other hand, the levying of such fines do nothing to upgrade the standards of driving in the region. Driving around I95's southermost section is a humbling experience. You feel like Evil Knievel, danger looming in every nook and cranny, with huge SUVs swerving in front of you at 100 mph, motorcycles with helmetless drivers flying at 120 mph, and huge tractor trailers tailgating small cars.

Walking and sticking around town sounds like a good proposition by the hour.

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