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Friday, December 21, 2007

Abuser Fees Have No Impact on Safety

Now that about six months have gone by since the Abuser Fees took affect, it is time to look at their purposes and effectiveness. There were two purposes of the Abuser Fees: revenue and safety. It is still too early to tell if they will bring in the revenue they were supposed to produce. However, the safety aspect is easily reviewable.

Governor Tim Kaine reported in a press release yesterday that this year may be a record year for vehicular fatalities. He said, “For the first time in 17 years, Virginia may lose 1,000 lives to traffic crashes.” He lists some sobering statistics. Virginia is averaging 17 traffic fatalities each week in 2007. This works out to three each day. While these are statistics for the whole year there is not data to show that it has decreased since July. In fact, the Governor reports that there has been a “sharp rise” in motorcycle fatalities. There were 20 such deaths in October alone.

One can certainly gather than the Abuser Fees have not had a drastic impact in safety. With Virginia headed to a record year in traffic related fatalities, it is fair to say that the Abuser Fees have not accomplished their secondary goal.

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