Going too Fast? It Pays to be Poor
by: Kenzi Schmidt, Hailey Dick
Julia Burke, David Surzykiewicz, and Liz Witek of the Lake Park delegation have joined together to write a bill focused on creating a fining system for speeding in Illinois that is based on income.
Burke explains that “a big percentage of people that are caught speeding are actually making over a certain amount a year, to where the amount that they pay in a speeding fine doesn’t even make that much of an impact on them.” Burke continues: “What’s $150 to someone that’s making over $500,000 a year?” She and her bill group want to put an end to the “It’s legal if you pay for it” mentality.
Fines would be calculated by taking the average American income and applying the current fine rate of speeding tickets to it. The highest fine that the bill group expects is close to $3,000 for higher-income individuals. This bill group believes that this bill would be a huge benefit to many low-income households and individuals below the poverty line. Burke explains that lower income individuals “would still receive punishment for the speeding ticket; however, it wouldn’t be so severe as to having to choose between eating for a week or a roof over their heads.”
Burke and her bill group have high hopes for their bill, claiming, “It sounds like it’s a money bill; it’s not–it’s really a safety bill.”