Box Elder County sheriff wants surcharge for speeders
August 7th, 2008 @ 10:06pm
By Sarah Dallof
Box Elder County has a creative new proposal to help cover its additional spending for gasoline. The plan targets people who break the law.
The Box Elder County Sheriff wants to add a fuel surcharge to speeding tickets. He hasn't decided yet how much that would be, but he's sold on the idea: You speed, you help pay for the gas used by the officer writing you up.
Box Elder County has a problem. The Sheriff's fuel budget is running on empty. Sheriff Lynn Yeates said, "Box Elder County is the third largest county in the state. I have about 6,000 square miles that need to be patrolled."
So when the sheriff saw a story on the news about Denver police tacking a fuel surcharge onto speeding tickets, he figured it was a great idea. "Why should the taxpayers pay for a person who speeds and breaks the law?" he asked.
A $12 surcharge is already in place in an Atlanta, Georgia, suburb. Officials there estimate it will generate up to $26,000, an amount that would go far in Box Elder County.
"I save the taxpayers money and I need to be economical with my budget because it's the taxpayers who give me the budget," the sheriff says.
For motorists who don't like the idea of a fuel surcharge, the sheriff says it's easy: don't speed.
But the proposal isn't sitting well with some drivers.
Judy Chlarson said she's "totally against it."
Justin Jensen said it's "another way to give money to the government, pretty much."
People we talked to at a Brigham City drive-through were against it, saying the root of the problem isn't really speeders.
Dale Humphreys said, "I think there should be a way to reduce fuel costs in some way. I think that's what should be worked on."
Chlarson said, "I'm paying a huge amount for gas, so no surcharge on ay speeding ticket."
The sheriff plans on taking a written proposal to the county attorney in the coming weeks. If he approves it, it moves on to the county commissioners who then vote.