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7/12/2007
Civil Remedial Fees Draw Fire from Virginia Voters
More than 48,000 Virginia motorists sign a petition calling for repeal of the speeding ticket tax.

Motorcycle police in Virginia
Furious Virginia voters are making their voices heard in opposition to the so-called civil remedial fees imposed earlier this month on major and minor traffic violations. Effectively a tax that drives the maximum cost of a ticket issued for driving 15-20 MPH over the limit to $3550, the fees have generated a flurry of calls to lawmakers and thousands of signatures on a petition calling for repeal of the tax. Many voters were upset about the lack of public discussion of the idea before it took effect at the beginning of the month. (More information on the fees)

"It feels like my house got robbed when I was sleeping," a local attorney from Woodbridge told TheNewspaper. "They snuck it in during the middle of the night. It's just amazing to me."

The Woodbridge motorist had contacted his state delegate, Jeff Frederick (R), whose staff calmly explained that the legislator voted against HB 3202, the bill that contained the civil remedial fees. Left unmentioned was that Frederick himself had co-sponsored a more modest version of the civil remedial fee legislation in 2005. (View bill) Frederick told TheNewspaper he changed his mind after learning of the unintended consequences.

"I will vote to repeal the abuser fee provision entirely," Frederick said in an email. "I'll work hard to fix this law so that it doesn't just penalize the people we are supposed to represent, or as I said earlier, work for an all-out repeal."

To date, 48,000 Virginia residents have signed the fast-growing repeal petition online. Signers pledge not to "vote for any state delegate or state senator who voted for this bill, or for any delegate or senator who does not take action to repeal the sections of House Bill 3202 that inflict these exorbitant and unjust penalties." (View petition)

Because HB 3202 was one provision of a larger, controversial transportation funding bill, it is difficult to identify supporters of the fee provision from that vote. On February 14, 2006, however, the House of Delegates recorded a clean vote on HB 527, a nearly identical ticket taxing plan. Only 18 delegates voted against the bill. Listed below are delegates who are on the record in direct support of the fees. The name of each delegate is linked to full contact information.

Article Excerpt:
Chief sponsors of the legislation

Secondary sponsors (House Bill 1563 January 2005)

Voted in Favor of Fees (House Bill 527, February 14, 2006)


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