Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Written by John Zipperer at 9:25 AM
I received a ticket this morning for $170 for crossing the street in the middle of the block near the BART station in my neighborhood in San Francisco. (I'll spare you the snarky comments about how we've got a spate of car break-ins and armed robberies in the neighborhood and how that would be a better use of our scarce police resources.) From what I hear, this is an effort by the city to fill a gap in the budget by going after minor infractions that don't usually get enforced. There has also been a sudden appearance of "denver boots" showing up on cars throughout the city (denver boots are clamps put on wheels to render the car immobile, usually done as a result of unpaid traffic tickets) and cars have been ticketed for not turning their wheels toward the curb on even minor inclines. So, I see it as a $170 donation to the city's financial difficulties.
But to expound on this a moment, doesn't it seem a bit silly to ticket people for jaywalking? I mean, if a citizen is too stupid to know not to step in front of a moving vehicle, aren't they likely also too stupid to know how to make decisions on referenda and other complicated voting matters?
Though if we started ticketing people $170 for making stupid choices in the voting booth, it would at least provide some money to undo the damages done by their stupid choices ...