mdd0127 wrote:So, let's say that the speed limit is 65mph but the cops can't give you tickets for speeding alone. Instead, if you do get in an accident at speeds above the recommended speed limit, your penalty is muptiplied for every x miles per hour that you are exceeding it by. So, the speed limit is 65 and you get in a wreck. It's determined that you were going 65 and it's determined that you're responsible for the damages, which could be thousands of dollars, which your insurance will likely pay for. Let's say the same accident happens but you're going ten over. You're automatically at fault, since you were speeding, your insurance company pays the damages as if you were going 65, and you, personally, are responsible the multiplied fine amount. A portion goes to your victim, and a portion goes to the enforcement system. This would definitely make people think twice about exceeding the speed limit but would not penalize them if they chose to do so and didn't hurt anyone.
How do you propose to determine how fast someone was moving after the wreckage has come to rest and their victims have already died? At that point, why does it matter anyway? We want to deter people from driving unsafely/irresponsibly in order to prevent
accidents, not just to punish people after they've already done what we were trying to prevent.
I think speeding more than 50% over the posted limit should be a crime equivalent to assault with a deadly weapon (non-aggravated, no battery), because that's what it is. It's shooting at other road users without hitting them, throwing punches without connecting. When it results in a crash with other road users, then it should constitute aggravated assault, attempted homicide, or homicide. Speeding way over the limit on an open public right of way should be treated as intent to commit harm.
But being a driver in a crash with any fatalities should relieve you permanently of your driving responsibilities-- no questions asked, no fault presumed. That would just take you out of the driving pool whether you're a pathological risk taker, inattentive, drunk, easily flustered, epileptic, narcoleptic, unlucky, or afflicted with a Gypsy curse. In a practical sense, it doesn't matter to the rest of us why you were in a fatal crash-- and if it really wasn't your fault, well, the other driver is either dead or also out of the driving business. You get to enjoy a life free of the stress and expense of driving a car, and the rest of us are probably a little bit safer for it.
Cars aren't sacred or special, they are just dangerous machines like any other. If you kill someone with a chainsaw or a forklift or a shotgun and it's not obvious whether you meant to do it or who was at fault, you might not face criminal prosecution, but you sure won't be operating that thing the next day at work like nothing happened. Why we let people drive after they screw up hugely, often repeatedly, makes no logical sense.