[Rushtalk] Cops To Collect Traffic Fines On the Spot Via Credit or Debit Card

Carl Spitzer lynux at keepandbeararms.com
Tue Dec 2 07:41:54 MST 2014

Proof tickets are not about public safety.

Under Texas Bill, Cops To Collect Traffic Fines On the Spot Via Credit
or Debit Card

November 12, 2014

                          Source: Adan Salazar


H.B. No. 121, introduced on Monday by State Rep. Allen Fletcher,
concerns “an alternative means of payment of certain criminal fines and
court costs.” 

“Under the procedure, a peace officer making an arrest of a defendant
(1) shall inform the defendant of: (A) the possibility of making an
immediate payment of the fine and related court costs by use of a credit
or debit card; and (B) the defendant’s available alternatives to making
an immediate payment,” the bill, still in its initial phase, states.

The House bill goes on to explain that “a peace officer making an arrest
of a defendant: (2) may accept, on behalf of the court, the defendant’s
immediate payment of the fine and related court costs by use of a credit
or debit card, after which the peace officer must release the

Backers of the bill may attempt to argue it merely provides an
additional method for the courts to expedite the collection of
outstanding payments, and may say it will free up jail space to be able
to hold more criminal offenders, or free up court dockets to deal with
more important cases.

However, should the bill pass, it would deal a devastating blow to the
citizenry’s right to due process, which among other things mandates an
appearance and assessment before a magistrate prior to a case proceeding
to trial, and would set the legal precedent wherein everyday police
officers would be empowered to take on the roles of judge, jury and
executioner – and charge “related court costs.”

Not explicitly stated is the fact that, under the bill, traffic cops
would be required to carry around credit card swiping machines, in
addition to citizens’ private credit or debit card information, which
could open the doors to a litany of personal security risks and

If the bill were to pass, it would follow a disturbing trend set by
other states such as North Carolina, whose populace recently voted in
favor of passing a law permitting criminal defendants to waive their
rights to a jury trial, allowing law enforcement to pressure them into
surrendering due process as part of a plea bargain.

In areas such as Tenaha, Texas, where cops were exposed to be running a
racket operation tantamount to highway robbery, it would be much easier
for police to extract wealth from unsuspecting travelers who would
rather pay immediate fines than revisit an out-of-the-way small town for
a trivial court appearance.

Indeed, the passage of H.B. No. 121 would go a long way in destroying
the illusion that traffic cops work in the interest of public safety,
and would lay bare that the state leverages arbitrary traffic laws to
fleece the American public.


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