David Farbman on: Streamlining Government



The other afternoon I was sitting in Bacco, a restaurant in Southfield, with my good friend Pete Davis. Nearby, we overheard a gentleman complaining that he had just been issued a ticket for doing 8 mph over the speed limit. At that moment I thought it didn’t make much sense. The man went on to say that he was going to fight it in court. The whole issue seemed like a waste of everyone’s time and money. There has to be a better way for the state to gain revenue from tickets in a quick fashion without having to compromise someone’s driving record for a minimal speeding violation. Plus, it clogs up time in the courts.

Later that night, while I was restlessly trying to sleep, it hit me like a ton of bricks: Why not let the police “make the call?” Let an officer make a decision on the spot whether or not they think someone should be issued a no points violation, but at a higher cost than a normal speeding ticket. I am not speaking of mixing alcohol with driving. With a simple speeding violation or minor driving infraction, I feel an officer should be able to “make the call.” By “making the call,” they should have the ability to write a no points violation that is a double fee, but there is no court involved, and it can be paid for on the spot with a credit card.

Picture yourself pulled over and being given an option to receive no points while bypassing a court hearing. In exchange for taking a double fine, but being guaranteed no points, all you have to do is pay for the violation. Obviously, there would need to be a limit because we wouldn’t want to encourage people to speed time and again, rather the no points option would be for people who find themselves in a hurry due to any number of reasons like a sick child or a stranded friend. How many of you would gladly pay that difference? Additionally, what if you could receive a 25 percent discount for paying the ticket off on the spot via a credit card? It seems like the brilliant minds of Compuware Corp. in Detroit could jump all over this and build the ultimate camera-monitored, credit-card-driven tracking system tied into the courts and police departments. This would reduce unnecessary cases that flood the courts, while boosting state revenue in a huge fashion.

This concept I’m sure steps on the toes of someone, and they will hate it — but sorry; I’m focused on solving a crisis in Michigan — not aiding special interests. It was just a one-day thought, but that’s how I roll.