Photo Radar, a.k.a. Driving Tax

I just got a photo radar ticket.  I know I did.

I was cruising down  this sublime stretch of road; it’s got gradual curves and gentle slopes – a perfect road for someone who loves to drive as much as I do.  As I emerged from underneath a bridge overpass I saw it – the tan Ford Expedition parked suspiciously in the turn out lane – and I knew I’d been caught.  I cruised past doing 80km in a 60km zone, barely having time to hit the brakes as I came level with Mr. Radar.  There wasn’t another car within 500 yards of me, so they will certainly have gotten a clear shot of my plate.

Inevitably, I’ll get that envelope stamped from the city in a week or so time requesting that I pay whatever 20Km over will work out to… I’m guessing it’ll be about $200.

This won’t affect the amount of insurance I pay in the coming year, the cost to register my vehicle, or anything really at all, other than the one $200 hit.  I realize that kind of money isn’t what I could find in my couch, but by the same token, it’s not enough of a hit do to anything other than annoy me.  Maybe I’ll forego buying that new dress for a month, but that’s probably about it.

In conferring with my contemporaries on the subject of photo radar most feel the same as me; it’s nothing other than an annoyance.  There are no longer term ramifications to it, so at maximum we may slow down a touch for the next few weeks until the memory of the fine fades and we’re faced with another open stretch of perfect snow-free spring pavement.

I realize that it’s much easier for cops to issue tickets in this manner, but I don’t see it having any lasting affects on people’s driving.  What I’m saying is that it is not making the roads any safer (which I thought was the point of issuing traffic violations).  It’s the driving tax we will all pay at one time or another, however begrudgingly.  If they want to facilitate a step change in how people drive they’ll have to come up with something that hurts a little more.

Until that time… I’ll take another 200 Aeroplan points on my credit card, thanks.

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