Nevada gubernatorial candidate Eugene DiSimone reputedly has little chance of winning but he has floated an interesting idea to support his candidacy. He proposes allowing Nevada residents the right to buy a one-day license to speed on certain highways for $25. Buy a license and you get a transponder in your car that identifies you to a pursuing police car that you are licensed to drive up to 90 mph. Your license is good for one 24-hour period and you can buy successive licenses for $25 each. DiSimone claims his scheme will raise $1 Billion in new revenue for cash-strapped Nevada.
I doubt this idea will be implemented any time soon but that a gubernatorial candidate would seriously propose it tells us something we already know. Speeding citations are a huge source of revenue for governments at all levels and no matter how much the bureaucrats and politicians try to convince us that traffic enforcement policies are guided by safety concerns, we know better. We know that when anyone tells us “it is not about the money,” it is certain that it is about the money.
A more undeniable example can be found in the Colorado clean air program. 1986 and older vehicles must be emission tested every year. But you can buy a five-year registration of your plates for five times the cost of a one-year license plate. So why would anyone want to pay in advance for 5 years if there is no discount? Oh, but there is a discount. You see, if you buy a 5-year license plate for an old car you don’t have to get an emission test every year. You only have to have your clunker emission tested every 5 years.
So you see, it isn’t even about air quality. It’s about the money.