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MAN PAYS TRAFFIC FINE WITH 15,000 PENNIES

March 27, 2003  --  3:45 pm PST
NewsWithViews.com

An Oregon man is so upset for being slapped with a $150 traffic fine for crossing a fog line on the freeway, he is venting his anger toward the government by paying his fine in pennies.

Ted Wegener, a Grants Pass resident, was ticketed last year for his car crossing over the painted fog line on the I-5 freeway, a relatively minor offense. The ticket carries a hefty $150 fine.

"Yes, I crossed over the fog line while making a cell call but corrected my driving and there was no danger to anyone. He could have just given me a warning. $150 fine for crossing over a painted line is an insult. In fact, these excessive traffic fines are an insult to every working person. It's no wonder that people are losing respect for government." Replied Mr. Wegener.

Mr. Wegener says the whole traffic court system is corrupt.

"I tried to make a motion in court for a jury trial but when Judge Ambrosini of Douglas County, OR found out what the motion was about he wouldnít even let me make it. And if I want to appeal to a higher court, they want to charge me a non-refundable $140 filing fee for a $150 traffic fine"

Mr. Wegener says the traffic court is really a revenue enhancer.

"What is happening is that the legislature is establishing excessive fines to raise money. This is not about safe highways; this is about taxation in the guise of traffic enforcement."

Mr. Wegener says people should be outraged about the excessive fines and that there is something they can do about it.

"I can't appeal because of the high appeals fees. Writing my 'legislooters' won't help either, because they are the cause of the problem in the first place. I have no choice but to pay the fine."

Mr. Wegener says he is going to mail the court the fine: in pennies.

"They donít think $150 is a lot of money, so I'm going to send it to them in pennies. This is legal: pennies are legal tender. Maybe when they are counting it they will realize itís a lot of money. "

Ted Wegener's E-Mail is tedw@internetcds.com

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"What is happening is that the legislature is establishing excessive fines to raise money. This is not about safe highways; this is about taxation in the guise of traffic enforcement."