“If you are going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.” So goes the hit song from 1967 that painted the city as a mecca of openness and freedom. Today, however, the lyrics might go something like this: “If you are going to San Francisco, be sure to have lots of coins in your pocket and don’t violate any traffic rules, or else: fines, fines, fines.”
Not so poetic, admittedly, nor pretty. But neither are the heavy fines and ticketing efforts that are being waged here due to the budget crisis in a drawn-out recession.
Take parking violations. Already among the highest in the nation, proposals are in the works for a $3 increase on parking violations, making a parking ticket a whopping $68. Street cleaning parking violations could soon put you back $58. But if you parked at a handicap zone without a permit or at a bus loading area, you might as well give up your car. It will set you back $976.
Moving violation fines are also quite steep. Run a red light and it will cost you $436, up from $381 in 2008. If you didn’t come to a full stop at a stop sign? That’ll be $214.
What's that saying..... "a government so big that it can give you anything is big enough to take it away....."