I've always deplored using traffic enforcement as a way to raise revenues rather than ensuring safety and smooth driving conditions. Unfortunately it happens all the time. Ever noticed how the traffic police seem most active in issuing tickets when traffic volumes are low and driving conditions are good? In other words, when the conditions for driving fast are the safest?
Many of the traffic police either have quotas or financial incentives for issuing more tickets, though they try not to disclose this. That's why there's the "gotcha" mentality that makes me (and I'm guessing a majority of you) think negatively about speed cops.
Now look what these Virginia politicians have done. The Republicans opposed measures like a 1 cent increase in gas taxes to fund state highway projects, and instead pushed for raising revenues through draconian traffic penalties, like charging drivers at least $1,050 for going 20 miles over the limit. The main proponent of this legislation, State Rep. David Albo (R) is the senior partner in a law firm dealing with traffic offenses, which should experience a nice uptick in business.
Oh, and it's not just Republicans to blame. Democrat Governor Tim Kaine fully went along with this idea. Now that the new law took effect on July 1st, there's been a public outcry. There's pressure on lawmakers to call a special session to repeal the new provisions. Tim Kaine is opposing it - so far. All the state lawmakers face elections this fall. If those among them who voted for the new penalties get re-elected, Virginian drivers will lose a lot of my current sympathy for them.