View Full Version : A modest proposal: kinetic-energy based traffic fines

05-11-2006, 08:35 AM
I agree that cyclists need to obey the laws of the road. Issuing tickets is the only hammer the police have. Let's give them a more flexible hammer:

Why not have traffic citation amounts be varied proportional to the GVW (gross vehicle weight) of the vehicle in question.

Coming from a cyclist, this may sound like a weasely way of reducing penalties...however I'm also a motorist. And it makes sense: the fine is proportional to the amount of damage you could cause by violating the law.

Even better might be to make it proportional to the kinetic energy of the vehicle in question - mass times velocity squared. An SUV going eighty is going to do a lot more damage than a bike going 25. The penalties should be different.

05-11-2006, 12:57 PM

Matt P.
05-12-2006, 12:54 PM
Even basing the fines on "class" of vehicle would be a better way than what we currently have.

For example: the $242 fine for running a stop sign / stop light. How about this?

Bikes: $50
Cars / SUVs / Lt. Trucks (4 cylinder): $200
Cars / SUVs / Lt. Trucks (6 cylinder): $300
Cars / SUVs / Lt. Trucks (8+ cylinder): $500
Commercial Trucks (no CDL required): $750
Commercial Trucks and Busses (CDL required): $1,000

Larger engines tend to mean greater vehicle mass - this would allow an easy fine structure (i.e. without having to use a calculator to figure out what you owe)

-Matt P.