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Commentary: Raise Fines on "Fast & Furious" Speeders

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, August 13, 2010
Even by California standards, Sacramento County's highways are dangerous. A big reason why: motorists are going really, really fast.
Kings star Tyreke Evans got everyone's attention by going 130 in his Mercedes over Memorial Day weekend. I saw the Highway Patrol video on youtube, and it's a miracle he didn't kill himself or someone else.
But he's far from alone in treating local freeways like the set of "The Fast and the Furious." The Highway Patrol says that during May and June, it caught 83 drivers doing more than 100 in the Valley. And those 83 are only the ones who got caught.
That need for speed -- that recklessness - it comes at a terrible price.
In 2008, Sacramento ranked third worst among California's 58 counties, with more than 2600 speed-related crashes that caused death or injuries. (Ed. note: 2008 figures are most current available. Only San Francisco and Napa counties ranked worse than Sacramento.)
For most of us, getting behind the wheel is the most hazardous thing we do in our daily lives. But some drivers add to the risk.
The current fine for speeding over 100 mph is just under $1,000. Let's raise it. We could dock drivers $30 for each mile an hour they go over the limit. Going 130 mph in a 65 zone would cost a tidy $1,950. That price might be high enough to get the attention of even the most stubborn lead-foot.
Foon Rhee writes for The Sacramento Bee opinion pages.
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