New Driving Fines May Help Pay State Budget Deficit

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)–The biggest concern in Maryland continues to be the budget, but some lawmakers want to put the brakes on a plan to make bad drivers pay extra.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains.

Mike Slayton and Cindy Randes paid to renew their tags Friday only to learn from Eyewitness News they may be making up for the state’s budget deficit from behind the wheels of their cars with new driving fines of a $100 a point every year for three years.

“I think that’s a crap of you know what, but I can’t really say that word. I don’t know that idea at all, at all,” said Slayton.

Caught speeding more than once in two years? That’s 5 points times $100 a point, $500 a year for three years…$1500.

“That’s a big fine for people to pay,” Randes said.

Even bigger offenses mean even bigger annual payments to the state. Fail to pay, and you lose your license.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee thinks it’s too much.

“You get a driving suspended case and the judge might fine you $250, might send you to jail. But when you get out, you owe him another $700 for three years. That’s $2,100,” said Joe Vallario, House Judiciary Committee chairman.

“People are having a hard enough time making ends meet now without somebody tacking on something else,” Randes said. “It’s ridiculous.”

Governor Martin O’Malley has said he won’t raise taxes, but even he has argued that it’s hard to see the difference between a tax and an additional fee.

“So, I guess technically it’s an exception,” O’Malley said.

Maybe the question is: When is a fee not a tax?

When you’re the guy proposing it.

More from Pat Warren
  • susan

    Stop forgiving those foreign loans and when or if that happens then the federal government can spread those monies around to all of the states. If you want the public to take public transportation because they can not pay those so-called fees or fines then that might just happen and then where would the state be because no money would be going anywhere

  • pigeon

    That’s absolutely ludicrous. What part of their body are they thinking with – sure as heck isn’t their brains. People can hardly meet expenses now. A one time fine is sufficient and warranted. But to continue to pay year after year? Even people in jail make out better – make them repay the state penny for penny for their “keep” – go after those who don’t repay and get the money from any tax refund or even their salaries. The recommendation is nothing more then triple jeopardy.

  • Barney

    Don’t Break the LAW and speed putting others in danger and you won’t have to PAY the penalty…It’s actually easy…obey and keep your money…you want to drive like an idiot..PAY!… I think it’s a great idea… Raise taxes for law breakers and people that obey the law SAVE….YES!…If this is passed…I may become a Democrate….

  • Jim

    If you do not break the law, you will not have to pay the penalty. This is not a fee it is a penalty for breaking the law. The regular registration fee is all you will pay if you have not broken the law. If you have broken the law, you pay a penalty in addition to the regular fee. Make ends meet by not breaking the law. Very, very simple.

  • Steve

    Ha!!!!! Keep it up, i already got rid of my car, my phones, and stopped smoking!!! I have seen a small bottle tax, cost 75 Marylanders their jobs! I will continue to walk. 2 years now the state has lost income from me, and i dont see me thinking of going back to owning a vehicle in Maryland anytime soon. This is ridiculous, it seems the only things they can come up with to fix the budget woes, is higher taxes, and fines, I know this is an odd idea, have you ever thought of STOP SPENDING? It has worked for me, i have saved very nicely during this down turn, and see NO reason why the state cant do the same.

  • TJN72

    Hey Omalley how about stopping the creation of high paying positions and filling them with your chronies? It seems like every week we hear of one being filled

  • JC

    Instead of increasing fees, fines, or coming up with new creative taxes, our state government needs to cut spending. Plain and simple.

  • Doug

    How about less troopers and less fines,thank you.

  • Jim


    How about less speeding? Thank you very much.

  • kass

    pay attention, obey laws, and think of the safety of those around you while driving and you don’t have to pay. simple as that. i think its a great idea. it’ll either teach bad drivers a lesson, or keep them off the roads.

  • Small

    Taxs today are getting to be like in some movies when the tax man comes around for the king and takes every penny you have including the food on your plate. They get richer and we get poorer. What will they want when they have all our money. lol

  • Jim

    To Small,

    THIS IS NOT A TAX. It is a penalty for speeding or otherwise breaking the law. OBEY the law and there is no penalty. Very simple. Easy to do. DO NOT BREAK THE LAW AND THIS WILL NOT AFFECT YOU.

    • Cheryl Sherpinski

      I hear that you are all for this penalty; until you get stopped for going 5 miles over the limit or end up behind someone who is doing the speed limit and your late for something.
      I didn’t hear them say their is a grace area in there , so if you are going 1 mile over the limit ~ oh well that would mean that you get to pay the same amount as someone who got stopped going 5 miles over!!!!

  • sharon

    It is a penalty; but it is also getting out of hand! The government needs to stop spending and stop giving a free ride to illegals! Too many are struggling just to keep food on the table as it is. What will they penalize or tax next? Increase food tax? Obsurd! Take care of Americans and send illegals back! Stop making us pay for your overspending!

  • dll913

    Face it …these policticians are brain dead. They won’t cut the waste out of govenrment and they want us to pay for it.

  • JP10

    Sure it’s a penalty, but it should be a one-time fee. If you are dumb enough to speed and you do get caught, you should not have to pay for it three years later.

  • Jim

    Sorry you are too dumb not to speed. Pay up.

  • j

    Jim, you’re an idiot….

    • Jim

      J, you are an idiot speeder. Must have hit a nerve.

  • Jay

    Jim = IDIOT.

    • Jim


      And you must be a Rhodes scholar with a penchant for speeding. One can always tell the intelligentsia by their ad hominem ways.

  • hitek

    Jim = Idiot

    • Jim


      That is a very original thought, just like j’s and Jay’s. Keep that thought process moving.

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