The Washington Post front-pages a story about the hardship abuser fees are creating for poor Virginians who must now pay these exorbitant fines to the state. The article features a poor woman who was speeding on her way to the hospital because she was having labor pains.Generally, speeding recklessly to a hospital is a really bad idea.The labor pains were coming, so Jessica Hodges got going. The 26-year-old bank teller from Burke sped toward Inova Fairfax Hospital, but before she got there, the law got her -- 57 mph in a 35 zone. Reckless driving.Grreat going, co-sponsor Del. Scott Lingamfelter. You can be real proud of your handywork!
If it is an emergency, it is much better to call an ambulance. Not only will they get you their safely, AND without risking the lives of others, but they can actually treat you before you leave your house.
She's lucky. If some poor kid had run into the street while she was speeding down the road, she'd be looking at a little more serious charge.
But apparently Democrats are really upset that they can't put all of our children at risk with their out-of-control driving habits, and they can't wait to blame Republicans for making them pay more for their law-breaking.
Meanwhile, the Post story has more information:
Hodges's labor pains subsided -- they turned out to be a false alarm -- but the agony from her ticket is mounting. She was found guilty of the July 3 offense and given a $1,050 civil fee on top of a judge-imposed $100 fine and court costs, making her one of the first to be hit with Virginia's new "abusive driver fees," which have been greeted by widespread public outrage.
"It's crazy," said an unregretful Hodges. "Having a baby's more important. Of course I'm going to speed."
So it turned out she wasn't in labor. But she was driving while in labor, and going recklessly fast. And she is unregretful. If she had been regretful, I'm betting the judge would have allowed her to plead to a lesser charge, although a woman experiencing labor pains driving over 55 mph down local streets is a danger to everybody.
Of course, those additional facts do lessen the "sympathy" we'd have for this woman. And while she says she'd speed again, maybe after she pays some of these new fees, she might reconsider whether it's worth it to put us all in danger next time she thinks she's in labor. Although given her selfish attitude, that may be too much to hope for.
I oppose the fees, as I oppose the transportation package, but this story almost makes me glad for the fees -- this is exactly the type of person I don't mind seeing pay for our road system.
NOTE: I updated this extensively because in my original I had missed that she had already been convicted, and that she wasn't actually in labor.