Sunday, August 28, 2005

Traffic and Taxes

I've been in traffic hell the last two days. Friday I left work to go home, pack the car, and take off for 10 days on Kiawah Island near Charleston, South Carolina. Kiawah is our most favorite spot on Earth and we always look forward to winding down on the beach. I headed for home, but it took me 75 minutes to go 15 miles. I passed three fender benders which caused the traffic. Outside of Washington DC, we hit three more accidents that made the long drive even longer.

As I was sitting in traffic, I came up with two ideas. First, I think the driver at fault in a fender bender should have to pay the state a $3000 fine. You could call this a nuisance tax, a traffic tax, or a whatever tax. Either way, it comes directly out of the driver's pocket and would not be covered by insurance. This money, in turn, goes directly into the state's transportation budget and the state reduces the amount everybody else pays on gas by reducing the taxes. The person that caused the accident then gives a little back to the rest of us that were stuck in traffic while they were doing their lipstick going 75mph. If no fault can be assessed, then that's OK too.

Another idea that I came up with was I should be able to take the time I am sitting in traffic off my income taxes. Think about it for a second. The state AND federal government are responsible for having inadequate roadways that can't handle the amount of traffic that is on them. If every state were like New Jersey with its ten and twelve lane highways then nobody would take time off their taxes. If every state was like Connecticut or California and people deducted $10k off their taxes every year, the roads would get fixed. In a hurry.

Then again, maybe I had been breathing too much exhaust.


OracleDoc said...

Take a deep breath and count to ten. It's all going to be ok. Besides, what are you doing looking here anyway? You're suppose to be on vacation and I bet your wife is cussing at you right now for being on the internet.

Bill S. said...

I like the way you think Jeff! Some folks seem to forget that driving is a privilege, not a right. I can't tell you how many people I see in a day that are:
a) talking on their cellphones
b) reading
c) performing circus-like acrobatics to get something from an unreachable area of the car
d) watching tv/dvd
e) talking on the phone WHILE writing

And all while they attempt to steer a 3,000 lb monster at 75 mph on a crowded interstate.

I like to keep those folks AHEAD of me so I can watch what happens. And avoid the incipient accident ;-D.

Anonymous said...

I think the $3000 fine should be for all the jackasses who stare at the accident when there is all of a sudden miles of open freeway ahead. That and poor merging algorithms lend to the extremely long lines at accidents.

Robert Vollman said...

Call it an environmental tax.

In Canada, since we ratified Kyoto, we have to roll back CO2 emissions. With all those cars idling in traffic, that will increase CO2 emissions, forcing us to buy Kyoto credits. This is how we can pay for the Kyoto credits.