Comment of the Week: Raise the gas tax one penny per fatality

Comment of the Week: Raise the gas tax one penny per fatality

exxon

How to get people’s attention?
(Photo: Blink Ofanaye)

Want to end traffic deaths? Try hitting people in the wallet.

That was the crazy-like-a-fox idea Pat Franz shared in a comment on Wednesday’s post about the known dangerous crossing of Cully Boulevard at Mason, where Patrick Curry died Saturday night as he tried to walk across the street.

Here’s Franz’s modest proposal:

How about we increase the gas tax by $0.01 for every vulnerable road user death? I know it sounds crass, a penny per life, but it would point out the incredible crassness of how we don’t pay for things, even when there is a clear need. The tax might eventually get so high that there could be effective social scorn for the killers, who knows?






Doesn’t sound at all crass to us — at least, not any crasser than a society that saw traffic fatalities jump 15 percent last year because gasoline got cheaper.

The fastest year-on-year increase in the country was Oregon’s.

Yes, we pay for good comments. This regular feature is sponsored by readers who’ve become BikePortland subscribers to keep our site and our community strong. We’ll be sending $5 and a little goodie bag to Pat in thanks for this great addition. Watch your email!

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

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