Jessica Hodges was on her way to the hospital with labor pains when she got stopped for speeding. She thought she had a pretty good excuse, but the law didn’t see it that way.
The 26-year-old bank teller from Hodges became one of the first people slapped with Virginia’s new “abusive driver” fees. She was ordered to pay $1,050 on top of a $100 fine and court costs.
The new fees were passed by the General Assembly in the spring as part of a package aimed at funding transportation projects. The idea was to raise money by targeting those who commit severe traffic offenses.
But the fees have sparked widespread outrage.
Hodges said she has no regrets about speeding on July 3. She said having a baby is more important than staying within the speed limit.
Her labor pains that day turned out to be a false alarm, and daughter Alessandra was born July 19.
Let’s see, a woman having labor pains gets a reckless driving ticket for going 57 mph in a 35 mph zone, along with failure to report a change of address for her operator’s license, gets $188 in fines and court costs, and has to pay $1,050 in “abusive driver’s fee”.
Damn fine job there, Officer (or Deputy, or Trooper) J. R. Vesper, damn fine job Fairfax County Police Department (or Sheriff’s Office, or Virginia State Police), and damn fine job Virginia General Assembly.