Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Driving in the Commonwealth

For those of you who aren't from VA it is not the state of Virginia but rather the Commonwealth. The Old Dominion if you will. Anyhow, the commonwealth has decided to bring its wrath on reckless drivers. If you drive 20 mph over the speed limit you will be charge $1250. It is fairly exorbitant, though, I suppose I can't be too outraged. I do wonder if this will have something of a perverse effect on speeding. I think while this fee, pigovian tax if you will, will clearly provide a disincentive for reckless driving. However, at the same time the relative cost of simply simply speeding is diminished in comparison to reckless driving. Then there is the question of enforcement. Will police officers be more selective in their enforcement? Instead of pursuing pretty much everybody that comes their way are they going to swing for the fences so to speak, go for the big get? You could see this resulting in a gradual creep up in the average speed of drivers. But probably not.

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