Nothing but a tax grab?

These words were often spoken by drivers during or just after signing to acknowledge the receipt of a violation ticket.

“This is nothing but a tax grab!”

These words were often spoken by drivers during or just after signing to acknowledge the receipt of a violation ticket. I can understand being the target of an expression of frustration in these circumstances, but I wish that the expressing had a little thought behind it rather than just parroting something inappropriate to the circumstances.

To me a tax grab is an unscrupulous action by government at any level to extract money from taxpayers for general revenue. It was untaxed before hand, we cannot avoid the new tax and it is seen as having no benefit by the taxpayer. Hopefully this is seldom the case and something we will actually have control over at the next election.

A violation ticket is the most commonly used tool in an attempt to modify driving behaviour, encourage compliance with the rules and promote road safety. If you truly believe that this is a tax grab then I invite you to reconsider. Voluntary conformity will eliminate the “tax.” Deliberate violation is a decision that you make and means that you chose to accept the risk of being “taxed.”

Photo radar, red light cameras and increased penalties for distracted driving are not examples of tax grabs. They are genuine attempts by the people that we elect to make our highways safer to drive on. I will accept that photo radar was politically unpalatable, but it still may be a bitter pill that we should swallow in our own best interests.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit drivesmartbc.ca

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