Pay to Speed in Nevada?

September 16, 2010

Nevada independent gubernatorial candidate Eugene DiSimone has a unique plan to help out the state’s budget:

In what Mr. DiSimone called his Free Limit Plan, he would give Nevadans and nonresidents the option to drive up to 90 miles an hour on state roads. The privilege would cost $25 a day and would conservatively generate more than $1 billion a year in new state revenue, he said.

The state of Nevada collected a little over $7.5 billion in taxes and fees in fiscal year 2008.

If you wanted to participate your car would need an annual safety inspection, something that is not currently required in Nevada. Your car would be fitted with a transponder which would be registered to the car and the driver, and as you zoom by it would notify police officers that you have paid your fee for that day and should not be pulled over. Steep fines would be implemented for those speeding without paying the $25.

Initial feedback to Mr. DiSimone’s plan was favorable, but soured when elderly Nevadans were asked their impressions by the local media. “Suddenly, the phone calls we were getting went from ‘You guys are doing the right thing,’ and ‘You’ve got my vote,’ to ‘You’re going to cause more vehicular deaths, even though the data doesn’t bear that out,” he said.

Despite the skepticism, Mr. DiSimone said his plan was winning fans beyond Nevada.

“I just did a radio program up in Seattle, and people wanted to know whether I could work with their legislators to make this happen,” he said. “There’s a gubernatorial candidate out in California that is going to put it on her platform. Most states can architect something similar that satisfies the driving conditions within their state.”


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