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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fast Money

Not too long ago, a co-worker of mine went on vacation to the Carolina Coast. Along the way, he got a speeding ticket. As it turns out, states are issuing more speeding tickets. Not necessarily because people are speeding, they are, but not excessively. States are issuing more tickets because they generate revenue.

With the economy in a recession, real estate tanking; state budgets are taking a big hit. One way they have come up with to compensate is to issue more traffic violations and speeding tickets. In some cases, this activity is up more than 30%.

In fact, the officer who pulled him over in North Carolina, said that this is basically all he does all day long. And, it does not stop there. When Mike, my co-worker, called to try and settle and or schedule a court date, he got caught up in all the red tape and bureaucracy.

Seems he could schedule a court date, pay the fine and court fees and get excessive points added to his record; or, he could work the system, have the DA, who knows the officer, and county clerk, work out a deal where he could pay the fine, pay the lawyer, pay processing fees and effectively reduce the points on his license.

Of course all this cost money. So, a $75 dollar speeding ticket can get processed, paid, and recorded with no points against your record for a mere $300 dollars. That is supposedly worth avoiding the points, the time to drive back down to North Carolina, risk getting another speeding ticket, gas money, court fees and the hassle of driving all the way back.

Add to this that states such as Maryland have just approved measures to increase speeding cameras, not only at intersections, but in other residential, commercial areas; and one has the makings of legal extortion and efficient revenue collection by local and state municipalities.

So, it is of no wonder that in this economic turmoil, and increased law enforcement, that the table has been turned, for a price of course....

Cashing in on speed camera law.

In this article by the Washington Post, this company has developed a program that relays the location of speed cameras and traps, collects the GPS coordinates, and posts them to a web site and GPS service for publication and updates to subscribers.

A one year subscription of $40 will get you everything you need to know for avoiding these traps. $99 will get you a special introductory lifetime membership.

Oh, and the guy mentioned in the article, is the one who helped either invent or sell PhotoBlocker, a high-gloss formula in a can that customers sprayed onto license plates. It was designed to create a bright reflection that made the photo image difficult to read.

He also rolled out PhotoShield, a clear license plate cover with a similar purpose.

Find out more at PhantomAlert.com

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