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Imagine how many decent drivers this would create.

This post on a tech blog I frequently read got me thinking, which is usually something dangerous more often than not. With the way people have been buying up lottery tickets lately, what would happen if instead of people getting pulled over and/or caught on camera just for speeding, what if the money from issued tickets actually went towards something semi-productive? Yes, I mean besides helping to pay for a get together conference the majority of Canada doesn’t actually give a damn about. Like, for example, the ticket money could be pooled together on either a provincial or national basis, and issued out in jackpot format every so often–not unlike the draw taking place tonight for the 6/49 in Ontario.

Basicly, if you haven’t been driving like an absolute crazed maniac worthy of landing yourself at the very least a hefty ticket and at the most time well wasted in jail, you’d qualify for the draw. And if you decided your foot gained weight the second you got behind the wheel, you’d still get the privelege of paying into that jackpot. Suddenly, I don’t think being pulled over or caught on camera would necessarily always be such a major ordeal at that point.

Regardless to what your opinion is on anything from advertising to who should pay to maintain the police services, I’ve yet to meet anyone who either hates getting free money or likes giving away their money–even if, and often especially if, they’re giving away their money because of something stupid that was entirely within their realm of control–like, say, speeding. If all people have to do in order to guarantee themselves at least a shot at a few thousand dollars is nothing short of behaving themselves, I suspect most people would probably be a little more mindful of the posted speed limit. I’d be equally inclined to think if most people knew their fine would be going straight into the pocket of some well-behaved driver instead of theirs, they’d probably be doing the same–or at least bitching about it a little more when the ticket came in the mail, which would hopefully clue them in just that little bit more.

I’m going to differ from the linked post, though, and say I think it should be run much like our lottery corporations are run–minus the OLG-style kerfuffle that took up a pretty huge chunk of last year’s headlines. They should take a percentage–a small percentage–of the ticket earnings, such that they could continue to maintain something resembling normal operations, while at the same time letting the rest build into the jackpot payout. Assuming current trends remain so far as number of tickets issued, even a small percentage would probably still be a nice little chunk of change. So even if it were 50/50, whoever ran the arangement would make a profit and there’d still be plenty left over to make some law-obeying driver very, very happy.

Now, because at least one person’s probably sitting there thinking socialism, I’ll explain why it’s not. It’s entirely user contributed–one of those user fees Quebec’s apparently getting fond of. If you’re not caught speeding, you aren’t paying into the system. If you are, then you are. Meanwhile, if you behave yourself long enough, there’s a chance you could make a tidy profit off those other morons who decided the speed limit was just a suggestion. Fewer speeders, smaller jackpot. Fewer times caught speeding, fewer trips to the bank to add to the size of that jackpot.

The way I see it, you pay to ride the bus in one way, shape or form. Same with the train. You pay to gain access to the gym–those of you that do it fairly close to regularly. Hell, in most grocery stores nowadays, you pay for the privelege of using a plastic bag. You don’t wanna pay for that bus trip, that train ticket, that gym membership, or that plastic bag? Fine; no one’s forcing you. But you don’t get to use it. Similarly, if you don’t wanna pay to go huge over the speed limit, fine; again, no one’s forcing you. Don’t speed. If laws took that kind of approach rather than the straight pull over, ticket, fine, see ya later approach, we might actually see people more inclined to behave themselves. especially if the odds are halfway decent.

Money talks. It always has, and unless we go all star Trek in the near future and it isn’t required, it probably always will. Someone waves free money at you, you’ll take it. Someone waves a bill at you, you’ll probably get pissed for about 5 minutes, then eventually, grudgingly, pay it–or not, if you like the whole legal battle scenario. I can’t see why that kind of arangement wouldn’t work for encouraging more actual legal behaviour. Anyone feel like coming up with reasons why it wouldn’t? I’m open.

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