Fines for Traffic Jam Offenders

Julie North
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3 Signatures Goal: 1,000

Traffic jams caused by accidents and negligent drivers immobilize Colorado residents on a daily basis. With mounting costs to tax payers for construction and road maintenance as well as the availability of emergency personnel, guilty parties of traffic accidents need to be fined for lost hours of productivity and air pollution caused by traffic jams.  

The following is a simple compilation of economic, environmental, and social reasons why a fine for traffic jam offenders would be beneficial to Colorado commuters. 

#1 Diesel engines emit more than 40 hazardous air pollutants

#2 In New York City alone, idling cars and trucks each year produce 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide 

#3 An idling car uses between 1/5 to 7/10 of a gallon of fuel an hour. An idling diesel truck burn approximately one gallon of fuel an hour. With average U.S. prices for diesel fuel topping $2 a gallon (as of 2/2/09), that's about $2 burned, every hour. 

#4 The new report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that Americans wasted an average of $818 FOR EACH TIME sitting in traffic in 2011. 

#5 When all costs are totaled, the cost of traffic congestion to Americans was up $1 billion over 2010 for a total of $121 billion. For commercial truck drivers alone, wasted time and diesel fuel amounted to $27 billion. 

#6 A new study by the U.S. Treasury Department finds that traffic snarls wasted 1.9 billion gallons of fuel last year — about 5% of the gas American motorists used. At the current price, that would work out to more than $7 billion nationwide. Other recent studies have indicated that Americans collectively waste about 5 billion hours in traffic, meanwhile, which works out to billions of dollars more in lost productivity.  

#7 The passing of this law or legislation might also help to engage drivers to become more aware of the consequences of causing an accident, encourage better driving practices, and the fines could go to transportation improvements.





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