#1 By: Cory Doctorow, August 3rd, 2013 15:45
#2 By: Jonathan Roberts, August 3rd, 2013 16:27
It does need to be looked at, but I'm sure you can reach $2000 in fines pretty quickly if you consider 100 cars that have had any fines doubled for not paying them within half a month. It isn't really on the scale of driving offenses by people with diplomatic plates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_immunity#Vehicular):
In cities that impose a congestion charge, the decision of some diplomatic missions not to furnish payment has proved controversial. In London, embassies have amassed approximately £58 million in unpaid charges as of 2012, with the American embassy comprising approximately £6 million and the Russian, German and Japanese missions around £2 million each.
#3 By: Gorgonaut , August 3rd, 2013 16:29
Wow, what a coincidence!
What are the odds for that? Every single one?
Clearly, God is looking out for them, because they're so wholesome.
Wow, such a wonderful, freaky, totally unintentional, wholly innocent and unrelated set of fortunate incidents.
#4 By: Devin Carless, August 3rd, 2013 17:28
I don't think the comparison to diplomatic immunity is appropriate here, since that exists to make diplomacy between states possible.
Similar exceptions exist in some jurisdictions for doctors and police, who both might be legitimately serving in an emergency when they might normally be off the clock. So plainly lawmakers need this perquisite for emergencies: perhaps some lobbyist must be entertained at Chez Porc's, and the closest non-handicapped parking spot was too far away. Or consider this horrific scenario: maybe a lawmaker needed to get to a photo op, and their mascara was all messy, and it took a long time to fix it, and they needed to break the speed limit to get there on time.
Though we don't like to consider them, dire situations like these happen. The chance that abuse of this privilege might damage the reputation of democracy among the electorate is just one we will have to take.
#5 By: cservant, August 3rd, 2013 17:38
We could just tow.
Only applies to illegal parking.
#6 By: bzishi, August 3rd, 2013 18:01
I have a better idea: get rid of the speed cams. Let actual police officers pull over speeders. There will still be a conflict of interest, but it is a lot less of a conflict of interest than when a company that lobbies for speed cameras protects those that authorized it or when the legislature creates loopholes to exempt themselves.
#7 By: Jonathan Roberts, August 3rd, 2013 18:05
I'm not saying they deserve the immunity from prosecution for driving and parking offenses (and at least one lawmaker is trying to change the situation), just that the drivers don't seem to be taking advantage of the anomaly as much as you would expect if this was intentional. The article says that they want to recover $2100 from the 100 private vehicles that were given these plates. If those fines include the 100% late payment penalty, that's an average of less than half of one $25 parking offense per vehicle over five years (the attached list of unpaid tickets is from 2008-2013).
Still, the driver of #04 needs to replace the front number plate. It's been falling off for the past year and now (s)he owes $450 in fines for not correctly fixing it.
#8 By: Rob Bray, August 3rd, 2013 19:30
You mean, if my license plate number isn't in the system, I must be an Important Person who Should Not Be Noticed? Um, doesn't anybody see the rather serious security problems inherent in this? (Isn't this the kind of thing that the TSA and NSA actually exist to catch?)
I mean, say if I wanted to park a nondescript panel van next to a Federal Building, and its plates weren't in the database, the cops would respectfully not ticket it and leave it alone and have no record of its having been there?
Wow. And I thought I was going to have to steal the plates off a Representative's car, just for the giggle factor... Oops, did I say that out loud? Hi there NSA guys!
#9 By: Boundegar, August 3rd, 2013 19:47
You say that as if it was unintended.
#10 By: bzishi, August 3rd, 2013 19:49
I never said any such thing. You misread my post.
#11 By: Boundegar, August 3rd, 2013 20:06
I was kidding, bro. It's so hard to type sarcasm.
#12 By: newliminted, August 4th, 2013 00:08
Well, the plates are numbered, and the citations list the number plate which earned the fine. It probably can't be too hard to figure out who has which plate. Maybe the constituents of these particular representatives could contact their rep and have a little conversation...
"Rep Fillinthename, if you want to keep your seat, stop speeding and parking illegally. You may not have to pay the fine for those tickets, and that's okay, but it's going to cost you."
#13 By: Dimitrios_Papagiannis, August 4th, 2013 03:58
How can they have a plate if it's not in the system? Also where is the DMV code allowing such abuses.
#14 By: Paul Sampson, August 4th, 2013 06:52
And even if you could, say with Times New Romany Sarcastic, or Sarky Sans Serif fonts, would you always want to declare your hand quite so openly?
#15 By: Allen_Taylor_Garvin, August 5th, 2013 13:25
Many states have similar systems, either automatic or de facto. Here's a post from a few years ago on Boing Boing: http://boingboing.net/2008/04/07/special-license-plat.html
In CA, it applies to hundreds of thousands of state employees.
#16 By: Cory Doctorow, August 8th, 2013 15:46
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