Increasing fines could help on Highway 82
December 3, 2008
An article in the Tuesday, Dec. 2, Aspen Times (“State patrol warns against speeding in Glenwood Canyon”) encouraged me to write to you regarding the growing epidemic of aggressive driving in the Roaring Fork Valley and Glenwood Canyon.
I am outraged by daily speeders, red light runners and overall aggressive drivers on State Highway 82. From RFTA buses to construction trucks, parents driving their kids to school and our youth, the self-indulgent behavior one takes on when they get behind the wheel is frightening.
I strongly urge Colorado State Patrol to take this issue to the highest level possible in Colorado. I feel that only by increasing traffic penalties will motorists reconsider their aggressive behavior. Many states have instituted higher penalties, including Virginia.
There, the civil penalty for going 20 mph over the speed limit is $1,050, plus $61 in court costs and a fine that is typically about $200. A first-time drunken driver will face a $2,250 civil penalty, plus fines and court costs that typically run about $500 or more. Driving without a license is a mandatory $900 civil penalty, in addition to the ordinary $100 for a fine and court costs. Violators pay by installment and if they do not pay, they lose their license. Not only have Virginia’s residents slowed down, the traffic penalties are expected to raise $65 million a year, to be used for state road projects with out raising taxes.
In Pitkin County, the lack of enforcement enables drivers to continue to drive aggressively. There should be no warnings for speeding or running red lights. If you’ve passed a driver’s test, you know that this is illegal and dangerous.
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I realize that you have your hands full with the increase in traffic going through your district. I sincerely believe that increased fines is an answer.