A few weeks ago, I was talking with a Traffic School entrepreneur out in California. It seems that throughout the state they have “second chances” for first-time traffic offenders or those who haven’t received a ticket or any moving violation in the previous 18-months or so. All the driver has to do is go to court, ask for traffic school, complete it, and then bring that certificate to the court clerk. If they do their fine is reduced and it doesn’t add up against them for future fines and penalties, thus, it just doesn’t show up.
That’s a good thing for the occasional speeder who really meant no harm, and absolutely wonderful for the traffic school business with a captured audience, nearly unlimited folks wanting to sign up. You can surely imagine that costs increase over time and due to supply and demand, certification of the school, there are serious barriers to entry from competitors. Still, if all those rules and regulations for the traffic schools aren’t bad enough at minimizing competition and keeping the price up for the poor lowly driver, it gets worse.
You see, in discussing this with my acquaintance at the Starbucks on the West Side of Los Angeles I learned what they had to do to get those laws passed in the first place. Apparently, campaign contributions were made at the Sacramento State Level, and perhaps even quasi-questionable contributions made to politically appointed judges, although back 30-years ago, that wasn’t considered unethical. Since then, people all over CA have been participating in traffic schools. Something that many are opposed to because offenders take the easy way out, thus, perhaps don’t learn their lesson, or maybe they do, the jury is still out, but I have my personal doubts.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say it is nothing more than crony capitalism, where business owners either bribe or get favors via contributions in getting the government to make new rules which favor their businesses and often in the process making millions of dollars. Now then, I don’t believe as a young man I ever had anything close to a stellar driving record, and I might have gotten some of those tickets to come off my record I suppose had I gone to traffic school, I just never had the time to attend, and opted to pay the cover price on the ticket.
Still, I wonder if things might have been much different today if everyone was forced to pay, and didn’t have traffic school or it wasn’t mandated in the way it is today in California. It’s amazing one a few businesses can change the way our government or courts operate, generally in their favor and making hardships on all of us citizens. I am not amused by such things, I think it’s what’s wrong with our system of government. I’d like to see such things stopped, and if that means changing the rules from the Federal Level on down, so be it, we’d be better off with more freedom and liberty than self-serving crony capitalist induced rules. Think on it.